Wednesday highlights and round-up: Napoli floor Liverpool as Ajax and Lewandowski sparkle | UEFA Champions League
Wednesday highlights and round-up: Napoli floor Liverpool as Ajax and Lewandowski sparkle | UEFA Champions League

Napoli served notice of their UEFA Champions League intentions with a dazzling first-half performance as they overwhelmed last season's runners-up Liverpool 4-1. Ajax also impressed against Rangers while Robert Lewandowski struck his first hat-trick for Barcelona. There were wins elsewhere for Bayern, Tottenham, Club Brugge, Sporting CP and Atlético, whose meeting with Porto came to a remarkable conclusion.

UEFA.com rounds up all the action from the opening set of group stage fixtures in 2022/23.

Champions League Predictor

Group A

Napoli 4-1 Liverpool 

Highlights: Napoli 4-1 Liverpool

Piotr Zieliński scored in each half as Napoli stunned the visitors. Victor Osimhen hit the post inside a minute before Zieliński opened the scoring from the spot after James Milner had handled. Osimhen then missed a penalty of his own before Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's well-worked second. The lively Osimhen was forced off injured but replacement Giovanni Simeone made it three just before the interval, and Zieliński's second came soon after the restart. Luis Díaz got one back but it was too little, too late for last season's beaten finalists.

Key stat: Napoli are the first side to score four against Liverpool in a group fixture.
13/09: Liverpool vs Ajax, Rangers vs Napoli 

Ajax 4-0 Rangers

Highlights: Ajax 4-0 Rangers

Just as they did 12 months ago, Ajax laid down a real Matchday 1 marker. From the moment Edson Álvarez's bullet header put the home side ahead, the visitors were chasing shadows; two goals in as many first-half minutes from Steven Berghuis and the brilliant Mohammed Kudus effectively ended the contest. Rangers improved, Borna Barišić having a goal ruled out and Ryan Kent hitting the post, but Steven Bergwijn's late strike condemned them to a second 4-0 loss in five days.

Key stat: Álvarez's goal was the 50th by a Mexican player in the Champions League, and first since Hirving Lozano for Napoli in November 2019.
13/09: Liverpool vs Ajax, Rangers vs Napoli

Group B

Atlético 2-1 Porto 

Highlights: Atlético 2-1 Porto

Antoine Griezmann snatched victory in an amazing finish with all three goals scored after 90 minutes. Griezmann nodded in after Axel Witsel's flick-on 11 minutes into stoppage time, securing a win that had looked in the bag when Mario Hermoso's deflected shot had given Atleti the lead a few minutes earlier. Porto then levelled from the penalty spot through Mateus Uribe, before substitute Griezmann's last-gasp intervention.

Key stat: This is only the second time in Champions League history where there have been three goals in the 90th minute or later, excluding extra time. The first? Porto vs Atlético in December.
13/09: Porto vs Club Brugge, Leverkusen vs Atlético

Club Brugge 1-0 Leverkusen

Highlights: Club Brugge 1-0 Leverkusen

Abakar Sylla scored the only goal as Club Brugge squeezed past Leverkusen. A cautious opening gave way to an absorbing game as Moussa Diaby went close. Sylla showed him how it was done before the interval when he met a corner at the near post, his header catching Lukas Hradecky off guard. Leverkusen pressed for an equaliser, and Patrik Schick had two efforts ruled out for offside as Brugge held on for all three points.

Key stat: Sylla scored on his Champions League debut, securing victory for coach Carl Hoefkens who was also making his bow in the competition.
13/09: Porto vs Club Brugge, Leverkusen vs Atlético

Latest standings

Group C

Inter 0-2 Bayern

Highlights: Inter 0-2 Bayern

Bayern made light work of strong opponents at San Siro. Leroy Sané gave the visitors a deserved lead midway through the first half when he latched on to a Joshua Kimmich long ball and rounded André Onana to score the opener. Inter rallied before Bayern's second dampened home enthusiasm; there was an element of fortune to it as Danilo D'Ambrosio turned into his own net after sublime work from Kingsley Coman and Sané.

Key stat: Bayern have claimed 19 successive wins on Matchday 1.
13/09: Plzeň vs Inter, Bayern vs Barcelona

Barcelona 5-1 Plzeň 

Highlights: Barcelona 5-1 Plzeň

Lewandowski bagged his sixth Champions League hat-trick to help guide Barcelona to a comfortable victory. Franck Kessié opened the scoring before Lewandowski made it two with a cool finish. Jan Sýkora provided some hope for the Czech champions with a well-taken header but Lewandowski scored a second in first-half added time and a third from the edge of the box midway through the second period. Ferran Torres came off the bench to add a fifth as Barcelona made an emphatic start.

Key stat: Three of the last five hat-tricks in the Champions League (group stage to final) have been scored by Lewandowski.
13/09: Plzeň vs Inter, Bayern vs Barcelona

Group D

Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting CP

Highlights: Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting CP

Marcus Edwards was the difference as Sporting CP won in Germany for the first time. The former Tottenham youngster was a constant menace, and midway through the second half he finished off a quick counter to give the visitors the lead. Edwards turned provider two minutes later, teeing up Francisco Trincão to fire in the second, before Nuno Santos sealed the points following a fine run and cross from Pedro Porro. Group stage debutants Frankfurt's best chance came early on, with Randal Kolo Muani denied after intercepting a poor back pass.

Key stat: This was only Sporting's second win in their last seven fixtures on Matchday 1, losing four and drawing the other.
13/09: Sporting CP vs Tottenham, Marseille vs Frankfurt

Tottenham 2-0 Marseille

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Olympique de Marseille

Richarlison's first goals for Tottenham got Antonio Conte's side get off to a winning start against ten-man Marseille. The French side were on top until Chancel Mbemba was dismissed in the 48th minute for bringing down Heung-Min Son. Tottenham still struggled to break down the visitors before Richarlison headed in a fine cross from Ivan Perišić. The Brazilian then planted another header in off the post to seal the points.

Key stat: Marseille have failed to score in six of their last seven Champions League matches.
13/09: Sporting CP vs Tottenham, Marseille vs Frankfurt



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.