The Champions League is Back!


The Champions League is Back!

The UEFA Champions League is finally back! Bringing us the biggest games and rivalries in European football. This past week we got a taste of the first set of group stage battles with some heavy hitters going big. With last year’s winners Liverpool looking to defend their crown, other teams are looking to add that coveted trophy to their case. Although it’s a start to a new season, some teams are still struggling to find their feet, with an injury toll hitting many of the stars that they convey.

On Tuesday, defending champs Liverpool played against Napoli for their opener, playing a good game they created many opportunities, but unfortunately without the desired end product. While opponents Napoli made good with all the mistakes of Liverpool’s backline, with Andy Robertson giving away a penalty to Napoli with a clumsy challenge. Which Napoli striker Dries Mertens capitalized on. Then, a late goal in injury time, from Napoli’s back-up striker Llorent making good on defender Virgil Van Djik’s mistake, giving them a comfortable cushion to finish out the game.

Juventus FC

Blaise Matuidi rises up for the precise header to put Juventus up 2-0 in Madrid.

While in Germany, Barcelona was lined up to play German giants Borussia Dortmund. That game ended as a draw, with Marc Andre Ter Stegen coming up big, saving Dortmund’s Marco Reus penalty shot. Also giving Barcelona’s forwards returning from injury Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi a chance to get back into shape.
Meanwhile on Wednesday in Paris, PSG was set to play Real Madrid. PSG was overlooked to win due to the absence of their star forwards Neymar and Mbappe. But, all in all, they made a fool of Madrid, who didn’t have a single shot on target in the match, besides Garreth Bale’s disallowed goal. With PSG’s midfielder Di Maria hitting the back of the net twice, playing against his former side. It was a disappointing come out for the 13-time champions.

In Madrid, Atletico Madrid was set to face Juventus, with anticipation about the meeting of the future of Portuguese soccer, Jaoa Felix, and their current face, Cristiano Ronaldo. With Juventus winger Cuadrado hitting the back of the net just after half time, and midfielder Blaise Matuidi adding to the scoreline to make it 2-0. But Madrid would not leave without a fight, with Stefan Savic hitting back just 5 minutes after Matuidi’s goal. And with their last chance from a corner, substitute, Hector Herrera made good on the poor coverage on him and scored a last-minute header, leveling the scoreboard for his side.
Other than this, other teams such as Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and Ajax, made do with their opponents, each winning with a margin of 3-0. This not coming as a shock given the opponents that they were facing.

All in all, the Champions League brought its best for us for its opening week. Bringing us the biggest upsets and nail-biting endings, that we have been longing for. The second game of the group stage will be taking place on the 1st and 2nd of October.