Finally Champions League again. The best teams from Europe will face each other again in the coming months. And it’s all like it used to be: in swirling stadiums with an audience. Which club can raise the cup with the big ears in the air on May 28, 2022 in the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg? An overview of Tuesday evening’s group matches.
Group E: Barcelona – Bayern Munich 0-3
For Barcelona, the first European game without Messi was no gift: straight away against Bayern Munich, the team they lost 2-8 to a good year ago. Back then with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, now boys like Memphis Depay and Luuk De Jong have to take care of the goals in Camp Nou.
The difference between the two teams soon became apparent. Just after half an hour, Müller was lucky to score the opening goal, in the second half the inevitable Robert Lewandowski quickly doubled the score. Five minutes before the end, Lewandowski completely closed the books: 0-3.
Group E: Dynamo Kiev – SL Benfica 0-0
Jan Vertonghen stood with Benfica for the distant move to Ukraine. Another (old) acquaintance in the team at Benfica: Roman Yaremchuk. Just before the hour, the ex-striker of AA Gent had the opening goal on his shoe, but he couldn’t get the ball past the Ukrainian goalkeeper from close range.
In the injury time, Vertonghen and co almost got the lid on the nose. Fortunately, the Red Devil, Shaparenko’s goal was disallowed for offside.
Groep F: Young Boys Bern – Manchester United 2-1
After barely thirteen minutes of play on the field of the Swiss Young Boys Bern, Ronaldo had already scored his goal. The Portuguese kicked in a great cross from compatriot Bruno Fernandes at the far post. The Young Boys goalkeeper still hit the ball, but couldn’t prevent it from entering.
It was Ronaldo’s 135th goal in the Champions League. This makes him even more solid all-time top scorer of the championship ball. Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United on Tuesday since May 5, 2009. Then the Portuguese scored twice in the semi-final against Arsenal:
What followed next was less for Manchester United. After 35 minutes Wan-Bissaka got red and had to The Red Devils another hour with ten further. The Swiss came into the game better and better and were rewarded for it after 66 minutes: Ngalameu equalized. United striker Jesse Lingard gave the Swiss a hand in the 95th minute. The Englishman played back too short, Young Boys attacker Siebatcheu was able to take advantage. The Swiss got what they deserved: three points against a weak Manchester United.
Group F: Villareal – Atalanta 2-2
At first glance, not the most attractive poster of the evening, but Villareal is the Europa League winner for a reason and Atalanta finished third in Serie A last season for a reason. They made it a pleasant spectacle: 1-1 at the halftime, 2-2 at the end. Fifteen minutes before the end, Arnaut Danjuma (ex-Club Brugge) gave Villareal the lead, ten minutes later the German Gosens equalized again.
Group G: Sevilla – RB Salzburg 1-1
The duel between Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg has turned out to be a true penalty festival. In the first half, Belarusian referee Aleksey Kulbakov whistled no less than four penalties: three for Salzburg, one for Sevilla.
Between the 13th and the 37th minute, Red Bull Salzburg received no fewer than three penalties. Three times attacker Karim Adeyemi was stopped incorrectly, three times the Belarusian referee Aleksey Kulbakov pointed to the spot. Adeyemi himself missed first and then left it to Luka Sucic, who first managed to score but then also missed.
In minute 42 it was Sevilla’s turn to kick a penalty. Ivan Rakitic kept calm and put the 1-1 on the scoreboard after an amazing first half.
In the second half we didn’t get any penalties and we didn’t see any more goals.
Group G: LOSC Lille – Vfl Wolfsburg 0-0
A disappointment for the Belgian fans who went across the border in Lille to watch the match between Lille and Wolfsburg. At Wolfsburg, Sebastiaan Bornauw, Aster Vranckx and Dodi Lukebakio started on the bench. So of the four Belgians at Wolfsburg, only Koen Casteels was at the kick-off. Lille midfielder Amadou Onana also started on the bench.
Across the street was also a Jonathan David. The ex-striker of AA Gent seemed to give the French national champion the lead, but the Canadian’s goal was rejected by the VAR.
At the end we got to see some more Belgians in action. Bornauw and Lukebakio came in for Wolfsburg, Amadou Onana joined the team at Lille. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any more goals.
Group H: Chelsea – Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0
It was looking forward to Romelu Lukaku’s first Champions League game at Chelsea. The opponent from Russia seemed to be a tougher customer than expected. Lukaku was constantly sought by his fellow players, but not found. Until minute 66: Azpelicueta made an excellent cross, Big Rom headed in at the far post.
Chelsea kept pushing, but it remained at 1-0. Lukaku once again pulls his team over the line.
Group H: Malmö – Juventus 0-3
Juventus had no problem with the Swedish champion Malmö. Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Álvaro Morata already put the 0-3 final score on the scoreboard in the first half. The second half thus became no more than a mandatory number.