Liverpool embarrassed by Napoli; Barcelona win big

Champions League group stage matchday one concluded on Wednesday night with big wins for Barcelona, Napoli and Ajax.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are left smarting and Tottenham were relieved on a challenging night.

Ajax 4-0 Rangers

Ajax made light work of Rangers in Group A’s early kick-off. It was a first Champions League group game in 12 years for the Scottish side, but they quickly found themselves a goal down when Chelsea summer target Edson Alvarez struck inside the first 20 minutes.

Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus took the game away from Rangers in the first half with goals one after the other shortly after the half hour mark.

Borna Barisic did have a goal for Rangers ruled out by VAR due to an offside spotted in the build up, while Steven Bergwijn got the fourth for Ajax in the closing stages.

Napoli 4-1 Liverpool

Liverpool were humiliated in Italy…there are no other ways to describe it. Napoli simply wanted it far more and blew away Jurgen Klopp’s side in the first half at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Victor Osimhen hit the post within seconds of the opening kick-off and later also missed a first half penalty. But by that stage Napoli were already 1-0 up through a Piotr Zielinski penalty.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone also scored before half-time, with Zielinski getting his second of the night soon after the interval. Luis Diaz did pull one back but it was much too little much too late.

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Porto

Bizarrely, all three goals in this contest at Wanda Metropolitano were scored in stoppage time, with Atletico eventually winning it in the 101st minute of the match.

Koke had already had a goal ruled out by VAR early in the second half, while Mehdi Taremi saw red in the closing stage for Porto when he picked up a second yellow card.

Mario Hermoso finally broke the deadlock for Atleti in the 91st minute, but then Mateus Uribe equalised from the penalty spot four minutes later. And yet, there was still time for Antoine Griezmann, who appeared off the bench again, to score the dramatically late winner.

Club Brugge 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Group B’s other game was won by Club Brugge thanks to a solitary goal from Abakar Sylla in the closing stages of the first half. It was a nightmare moment for at fault Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.

Leverkusen thought they had equalised in the second through Patrik Schick, only for VAR to intervene and disallow it for an offside.

This is a big result for Brugge, who will fancy their chances of building momentum and perhaps even qualifying for the knockout stages.

Barcelona 5-1 Viktoria Plzen

Barcelona were the biggest winners on Wednesday night, hitting five against Czech side Viktoria Plzen at Camp Nou. It was Robert Lewandowski’s Champions League debut for the Catalans and he marked it with an emphatic hat-trick.

Franck Kessie scored the first for Barça, a header from a corner, before Lewandowski hit three either side of half-time.

Plzen did briefly get back into it to reduce the deficit to 2-1 at one stage through Jan Sykora, while Ferran Torres eventually rounded off the night with Barcelona’s fifth.

Inter 0-2 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich claimed an important victory from the ‘group of death’, winning 2-0 against Inter at San Siro to get three points in the bag early on the road.

It was Leroy Sane who scored first for the German visitors, with the winger rounding Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana after latching onto an excellent pass from Joshua Kimmich.

The result was sealed in the second half when Inter skipper Danilo D’Ambrosio inadvertently shanked the ball into his own net while attempting a clearance from a Sane effort.

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting CP

Sporting CP finish matchday one top of Group D courtesy of their impressive 3-0 away win over Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sporting had a penalty overturned by VAR in the first half and had to wait until more than an hour had been played to finally get in front – English striker Marcus Edwards converting from eight yards.

The second goal followed quickly afterward, Edwards turning provider this time for on-loan talent Trincao. Nuno Santos made extra sure of the victory in the closing stages.

Tottenham 2-0 Marseille

Two goals from summer signing Richarlison saved an otherwise disappointing Tottenham as they hosted Marseille’s first Champions League group game since 2020.

Eric Bailly, on loan from Manchester United, impressed for the visitors, but it was Richarlison and not Harry Kane or Son Heung-min who rose to the occasion for Spurs.

Chancel Mbemba had been sent off early in the second half and it was two headers in quick succession late in the day from Spurs’ Brazilian number nine that decided things.

Robert Lewandowski took the match ball home from Camp Nou

Barcelona have started the season in fine form