The most anticipated match-up of match day 1 in group B of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League season didn’t fail to provide football fans with breath taking attacking football.
Star studded French side, Paris St. Germain (PSG) who have unarguably the most expensive attacking trio ever assembled in the history of football, squared up against Scottish champions, Celtic and contrary to what Celtic coach had hinted no surprise was served up as the attacking trio of Neymar, Edison Cavani and Kylian Mbappe ensured that PSG ran out comfortable winners in the contest.
As expected, PSG started the game the brighter side and it was Neymar who broke the deadlock at the Celtic park on the 19th min after a well drilled effort from his right foot. PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was then forced into one fine save, turning away Leigh Griffiths’ curling free-kick but the result was never in doubt, especially following the early breakthrough through Neymar.
Mbappe and Cavani then compounded their woes in quick succession before an own goal and a fine header from Cavani completed the rout to make it Celtic’s heaviest home defeat in 122 years.
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In the other game of the group, German champions, Bayern Munich made light work of Anderlecht who were reduced to 10 men, 10 mins into the game after Robert Lewandowski was brought down in the box.
Lewandowski scored from the resulting penalty, on the 12th min to make it 18 consecutive UCL games in which the Germans have scored at home. Thaigo Alcantara and Joshua Kimmich then added a second and third to condemn the Belgians to their first defeat of the 2017/2018 UCL season.
Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag
It rained goals as Chelsea marked the return of Champions League to Stamford Bridge with a resounding 6-0 thrashing of debutantes, Qarabag.
Pedro Rodriguez set the ball rolling with a beautiful opener, before Zappacosta added another goal to double their advantage on his first start for the Premier League Champions just before the break.
Azpilicueta extended Chelsea’s lead to three after the break, with goals from Timeoue Bakayoko, substitute, Michy Batshuayi goals completed a convincing win for the Blues.
Elsewhere, there were no winners in the game at the Stadio Olympico, where AS Roma marked their CL return with a goalless draw against La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona 3-0 Juventus
The game of the night took place at Camp Nou, in what was the replay of last season’s semi-finals clash between two giants of the game, Barcelona and Juventus.
However, while that game ended goalless with the Italians progressing to the finals, where they eventually lost, they met a different Barcelona side this time, with Lionel Messi particularly in an inspired form.
Messi ended his hoodoo of never scoring past Juve legend, Gianluigi Buffon by leading Barcelona to an excellent 3-0 win, scoring not once but twice.
The Argentine started the scoring just before half time, and ended it 20 minutes from time, but after Ivan Rakitic had doubled the home side’s advantage ten minutes after the break.
Meanwhile, in Greece, hosts Olympiacos was at the receiving end of a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Portuguese side, Sporting Lisbon, thanks to goals from Seydou Doumbia, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes.
But the away side had to survive a late scare from their hosts, who attempted an unlikely come back after their first half capitulation two late goals from Pardo.
Photo credits: AFP, Bundesliga, Barcelona, Chelsea FC