Soccer

Champions League Week One Reactions

Young Boys Champions League
Denis Balibouse, Reuters

With just week one of the Champions League Group Stage already wrapped up, let’s just say there were indeed quite a few surprise reactions!

From Young Boys and their upset over a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Manchester United, to Club Brugge’s admirable hold over a star-studded PSG, here are a few reactions to this week’s matches!

Young Boys 2, Manchester United 1

In my predictions article for this week, I basically wrote that this match should’ve been nothing less than an easy win for the visiting Red Devils. And OH, how wrong I was!

The match did start off fairly predictable with the Champions League all-time top goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, finding the net in just the 13th minute of the match. But that seemed to be all the firepower United had in the bag. Things became worse for them when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off with a red card just before halftime, leaving his team down to just 10 men.

In the second half, Young Boys fearlessly pushed forward, with Moumi Ngamaleu scoring the equalizer in the 66th. The most disastrous moment for United came right at the very end in stoppage time, when Jesse Lingard sent a backward pass directly in the direction of Young Boys Jordan Siebatchu. The USMNT striker had no problem getting past David de Gea, sealing the win for the Swiss team.

Young Boys were ecstatic, (as they should be). Meanwhile back in Manchester:

Club Brugge 1, Paris Saint-Germain 1

A head-scratcher this one. PSG’s only goal did not come from the man who was making all the headlines prior to the match. Nor did it come from Neymar or Kylian Mbappe.

Ander Herrera added a goal to his name for PSG in just the 15th minute, but Club Brugge was quick to equalize with Hans Vanaken in the 27th. The rest of the performance for PSG was not exactly as inspiring as most of their fans eagerly had hoped. Their team looked unbalanced for large portions, while Club Brugge held their composure and were by far the more impressive side.

To add to PSG’s worries, Mbappe was subbed off in the second half due to an apparent injury. It is now up to Mauricio Pochettino to quickly get his star-studded team up to competitive standards, because up next in the Group Stage they face Manchester City, who clearly have no trouble scoring

Liverpool 3, AC Milan 2

Even for a neutral such as myself, this match was pure entertainment to watch! We already knew Anfield was going to bring the noise and the atmosphere, but the intensity that was brought along tonight clearly fueled the home side from start to finish.

To say Liverpool came out dominant in the first half is an understatement. The Reds had full control of the game from the very first whistle, while AC Milan looked too slow and too flustered to keep up with their opponents. Fikayo Tomori had an unfortunate own goal in just the 9th minute of the match, and it was anybody’s guess from there that Liverpool would easily add to that score by 2 or 3 before the night was over.

But PSYCH! Mohamed Salah missed a penalty in the first half, followed by AC Milan scoring back-to-back goals in just two minutes! The fans at Anfield were stunned into silence.

But, perhaps inevitably, Liverpool came back from the interval determined. Salah scored in the 48th, while Captain Jordan Henderson sent in a beautiful strike in the 69th.

Safe to say that all eyes will be intently watching when these two teams meet up again, this time at the San Siro, on December 7th.

Manchester City 6, RB Leipzig 3

Ok, so we already knew that Man City is a top scoring machine. But I don’t think many of us imagined that they would run rampant! Or that RB Leipzig would put up as much of a fight as they did!

City scored on their very first attempt on goal in the match thanks to Nathan Aké. Leipzig made the error of an own goal in the 28th, but the team looked far from hindered and continued to press forward assertively.

This biggest moment of the game however, came from City’s sensational summer signing, Jack Grealish. Grealish captured his first ever Champions League goal with a trademark curler of his, giving his team their fourth goal of the match.

The German side did better than expected to give Man City a good game of competition, but City ended up running away with 6 goals total.

So, after this week’s excitement, who’s all ready for next week’s matches?!

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