Liverpool were below their best but saw off Dutch giants Ajax in Amsterdam thanks to Nicolas Tagliafico’s own goal, while City were made to work hard for their 3-1 home win over Porto.
Elsewhere, reigning champions Bayern Munich began the defence of their title with an emphatic 4-0 thumping of Atletico Madrid, while Romelu Lukaku’s double earned a point for Inter Milan against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Earlier on in the evening there was a huge surprise as a Shakhtar Donetsk side who’ve seen their squad decimated by positive coronavirus tests earned a famous 3-2 win away at Real Madrid.
- 1755 (FT) | Salzburg 2-2 Lokomotiv Moscow, Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
- 2000 | (FT) Bayern 4-0 Atletico, Inter 2-2 Gladbach, Olympiacos 1-0 Marseille, Man City 3-1 Porto, Ajax 0-1 Liverpool, Midtylland 0-4 Atalanta
Flick: We scored four beautiful goals
Safe to say Hansi Flick was pretty pleased with his Bayern Munich side after they began the defence of their title with a thumping 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid.
“Our game was just good tonight,” Flick told reporters. “It was a tough task but we mastered it. Our efficiency was good today and I am very satisfied. It is very important to win that first game.
“We were physically present. That was important, to be there, to win those one-on-one situations. We had a match plan and we applied it, playing out four beautiful goals.”
Klopp: ‘We were good enough to win’
Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp cut a frustrated figure in the dugout tonight but afterwards he declared himself happy enough with Liverpool’s winning start to the campaign.
“Good enough, good enough to win the game,” he told BT Sport. “That’s what you need. But of course I think both teams can play better football. It was at moments pretty wild.
“The pitch was really tricky, it was deep, muddy a little bit. Maybe you can’t see it from outside, but it was like this because both teams looked really exhausted pretty early.
“But you need to score a goal, we did that. We didn’t use our chances, which is a bit of a shame. Ajax had a big one with the post directly after half-time and of course when you are only 1-0 up, these things can happen.
“But overall, I’m really fine with the game because it was not our sunny, shining, world-class football day, but then especially in a tournament like the Champions League, you still need a result and we got it.”
City ‘struggling’, says Gundogan
Despite his brilliant free-kick and a big win for Manchester City, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was pretty downbeat in his post-match interview.
“If I’m being honest we are struggling at the moment,” he told BT Sport. “Fernandinho went off at the end, we have players playing in different positions. I am not 100% there because I had Covid, we are not all at the same moment.
“That is the challenge for this season, it’s not going to end for a while. It’s not going to be difficult for Pep to pick an XI because players are going to be tired.”
Milner hails Fabinho display in Van Dijk absence
Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
James Milner told BT Sport: “They were well organised, played good football and we’ve had an up and down week and so it was important to bounce back which we did and I expected nothing less from this group of players.
“Fabinho is a top player and top players can adapt and he did that. He’s played there before and played very well. I thought it was a good team performance because it was tough out there, it was a physical battle under tricky conditions.”
A pretty good week in Europe for the English sides, then, headlined by Manchester United’s terrific win in Paris last night.
Manchester City and Liverpool joined them in getting their campaigns off to winning starts tonight, with only Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Sevilla as a minor blemish.
Here’s a round-up of all the full-time scores…
FULL-TIME | Man City 3-1 Porto |
City had to work hard but they’re smart winners in the end.
FULL-TIME | Bayern 4-0 Atletico |
FULL-TIME | Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
It wasn’t pretty, but Liverpool are off to a winning start.
GOAL! | Inter 2-2 Monchengladbach | Romelu Lukaku 90′
Back on terms! The corner is flicked on at the near post and Lukaku arrives round the back stick to bundle home.
GOAL! | Olympiacos 1-0 Marseille | Ahmed Hassan 90+1′
Winner! Valbuena crosses superbly from the right and the substitute heads into the bottom corner.
GOAL! | Midtjylland 0-4 Atalanta | Alexsei Miranchuk 89′
Another stunning finish on what’s been an excellent night for the Italians.
GOAL! | Inter 1-2 Monchengladbach | Jonas Hoffman 84′
Smash and grab!
Vidal is all at sea, playing Hoffman onside and not bothering to track his run and he slots under Handanovic to score.
Inter 1-1 Monchengladbach
82 mins: Off the post!
What an effort, Lautaro Martinez meets a cross from the right first time on the volley and it hammers back off the woodwork. So close to a winner.
GOAL! | Man City 3-1 Porto | Ferran Torres 75′
That should be City home and hosed. Two substitutes combine as Phil Foden feeds Ferran Torres and the winger dips inside to curl into the far corner.
Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
74 mins: Close!
Gini Wijnaldum meets Robertson’s corner and engineers a really good header because the ball was a bit behind him but it’s six inches too high and Onana can watch it go over the bar.
GOAL! | Bayern 4-0 Atletico | Kingsley Coman 72′
It’s an absolute rout. Kingsley Coman again, breaking onto Muller’s pass from halfway and then leading two men a merry dance before steering into the far corner.
It’s not been a 4-0 game, but Bayern have been absolutely ruthless.
GOAL! | Man City 2-1 Porto | Ilkay Gündoğan 65′
We are seeing some goals tonight!
City have created very little from open play but a free-kick gives them a chance and Gundogan does not waste it, curling over the wall and in.
GOAL! | Bayern 3-0 Atletico | Corentin Tolisso 66′
What. A. Hit.
Bayern work a short free-kick so that Kimmich can have a go from range but his shot is charged down. Still, the ball break to Tolisso even further out but he lets fly with an absolute stunner into the top corner.
GOAL! | Inter 1-1 Monchengladbach | Ramy Bensebaini (P) 63′
A trailing leg from Vidal brings Thuram down and Bensebaini steps up to level the scores.
Champions League 2020-21 group stage results and standings
Champions League | Group A
- Salzburg 2-2 Lokomotiv Moscow
- Bayern Munich 4-0 Atletico Madrid
Champions League | Group B
- Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
- Inter Milan 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
Champions League | Group C
- Manchester City 3-1 Porto
- Olympiacos 1-0 Marseille
Champions League | Group D
- Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
- Midtylland 0-4 Atalanta
Champions League | Group E
- Rennes 1-1 Krasnodar
- Chelsea 0-0 Sevilla
Champions League | Group F
- Zenit 1-2 Club Brugge
- Lazio 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Champions League | Group G
- Dynamo Kyiv 0-2 Juventus
- Barcelona 5-1 Ferencvarosi
Champions League | Group H
- Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Manchester United
- RB Leipzig 2-0 Istanbul Basaksehir
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