Shock defeats for Liverpool and Chelsea, comfortable beginning for Real Madrid and Barcelona￼
The first matchday of the 2022/23 season of the UEFA Champions League produced many surprises, as well as some expected results. Defending champions Real Madrid defeated Celtic 3-0, while two prime contenders chasing their maiden title, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain also emerged victorious.
However, Chelsea had a massive shock as they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, but what eclipsed that is perhaps Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat against Italian side Napoli.
Check out what happened on matchday 1 of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League season:
Despite parting ways with many of their star players, Ajax had a fantastic start to their new European campaign as they handed Rangers a 4-0 defeat. Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus and Steven Bergwijn were on the scoresheet for the Dutch giants.
Napoli stunned English side, Liverpool, as they secured a 4-1 victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Piotr Zielinski scored a brace, whilst the other two goals were scored by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone. For Liverpool, Luis Diaz was the lone man on target.
This was the second biggest European defeat in the history of Liverpool’s excursions in European competitions with only a 5-1 loss to Ajax topping the humiliation served by Luciano Spalleti’s men in Naples.
Atletico Madrid handed Porto a 2-1 defeat in one of the most enthralling matches of the round. Despite playing at home, Los Colchoneros predominantly relied on their defense as it was Porto who created most of the chances.
However, Diego Simeone’s men were the ones who eventually opened the scoring through Mario Hermoso in the 92nd minute, before a Matheus Uribe penalty in the 96th minute helped the Portuguese team restore parity. To give it an even more dramatic finish, Antoine Griezmann scored in the 11th minute of added time to secure all three points.
Club Brugge produced one of the upsets of this round as they won 1-0 against German outfit Bayer Leverkusen. The solitary goal of the match was scored by Ivorian teenager Loubadhe Abakar Sylla in the 42nd minute.
Though they were up against the weakest team of the group on paper, Barcelona’s performance was excellent against Viktoria Plzen as they won 5-1. Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick for the Catalans, with Franck Kessie and Ferran Torres scoring the other goals. For the Czech side, Jan Sykora scored the lone goal.
Lewandowski became the first player to score a UEFA Champions League hattrick for three different clubs (one for Borussia Dortmund, four for Bayern Munich, and one for Barcelona).
In the other match of Group C, which undoubtedly garnered more viewers, Bayern Munich handed Inter Milan a 2-0 defeat. Leroy Sane netted the Bavarians’ first goal in the 25th minute before Danilo D’Ambrosio’s own goal increased their lead in the second half.
Barring Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, German teams had a tough time in this round as Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a 3-0 defeat against Sporting CP. Marcus Edwards, Francisco Trincao and Nuno Santos scored for the Portuguese side.
In the other Group D match, Tottenham Hotspur secured a 2-0 win over Ligue 1 side Marseille. Chancel Mbemba’s 47th-minute sending-off gave Spurs a huge advantage, and they capitalized on it as Richarlison netted two goals.
Chelsea suffered a shock defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, which proved to be the last game in charge for their Champions League-winning manager, Thomas Tuchel. Mislav Orsic scored the only goal of the match in the 13th minute.
In the other game, AC Milan was held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg. It was the Austrian side who broke the deadlock first, courtesy of a Noah Okafor strike in the 28th minute. However, Alexis Saelemaekers restored parity for Stefano Pioli’s team in the 40th minute.
Celtic did well to hold Real Madrid to a 0-0 stalemate in the first half, but in the second half, Los Blancos proved why they are the most consistent team in this competition. Courtesy of goals from Vinicius Jr, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard, Real Madrid secured a 3-0 victory.
While this result was on the expected lines, Shakhtar Donetsk stunned the football fraternity when they produced a 4-1 win away from home against RB Leipzig. Marian Shved scored a brace for the Ukrainian side, whilst the other two goals were scored by Mykhalo Mudryk and Lassina Traore. As for the Bundesliga outfit, the only goal was scored by Mohamed Simakan.
Manchester City started their campaign as they usually do – with a comfortable victory. Pep Guardiola’s side handed Sevilla a 4-0 defeat, with Erling Haaland scoring a brace and Phil Foden and Ruben Dias also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Borussia Dortmund also had a convincing victory, as they emerged as 3-0 winners against Copenhagen. Marco Reus scored the first goal in the 35th minute before Raphael Guerreiro made it 2-0 after only seven minutes. Jude Bellingham’s second-half strike further increased Black Yellow’s lead.
Paris Saint-Germain had a pretty impressive start to their campaign as they defeated Juventus by a 2-1 margin. Two goals inside 22 minutes from Kylian Mbappe helped the Parisiens go into half-time with a 2-0 lead. While Weston McKennie’s goal reduced the deficit for Juventus, the Old Lady could not find an equalizer.
Benfica was the favorite to beat Israel’s Maccabi Haifa and they did that, emerging as 2-0 winners. After a goalless first half, strikes from Rafa Silva and Alex Grimaldo helped the Portuguese outfit secure all three points.