UEFA Champions League is back after an exact 100 day break, and this season Playing for 90 will bring you all the action from the elite club football competition from Europe with Tops and Flops list from every Match Day, starting from Match Day 01.
First in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 in Champions League is the last season Runner up Juventus, who had a tough visit to the Etihad stadium to face the red hot Manchester City, who won 5 out of 5 in the Premier League this season. Having gone behind, Juventus showed their resistance power by coming back strongly, first after a sublime pass from Paul Pogba that led to an equalizer from Mario Manzukic and later after a stunning strike from young Alvero Morata, which completed the fight back. Juventus had a hard time containing the pace that was on offer from City, especially through the wings, but stayed compose after taking the lead, which proved to be enough to take all three points back home. Allegri will hope that an impressive show against a red hot City side on their home turf will turn their domestic form around, where they are found themselves at 16th position, after taking only 2 points from the first 3 matches in Seria A.
Next in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 features Dutch Champions PSV, who came from behind while playing at home against Manchester United and won 2-1 at the end. United opened the scoring from former PSV man Memphis Depay scoring against his former club, but the home team came back just before the half time and equalize from Hector Moreno header, which was deflected by blind’s header.
In the 2nd half, United dominated most of the part, but again PSV’s pace, which caught United by surprise and their defensive problems were on view as PSV gained advantage in the 57thminute which lasted till the end. The match itself was overshadowed by a horrible injury to young English and United left back Luke Shaw, who was confirmed with double fracture in his left foot, which might see him out for the rest of the season. We wish him a very speedy recovery very soon.
Last in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 features Russian Champion Zenit St. Peter Burg, who came out on top against Spanish side Valencia on their home ground. Zenit went into the match as the 2nd favorite, as Valencia always proved a tough opposition to beat on their home ground, and the stats showed that as they had more possession, more corners and more shots on goal than Zenit on the night. However, it was Zenit and Brazil striker Hulk, who steal the show, with two scintillating strikes that saw them taking a 2-0 lead at the half time. However, Valencia did managed to equalize in the 73 minutes before Belgian Axel Vitsal scored a decisive goal in the 76thminute, that proved to be enough for the Russian Champions.
First in the list of Flops on the Match Day 01 in the Champions League features Manchester City, who were in a red hot form coming into this match and were hoping to see off the last time finalist at a time where they seemed unsettled in their domestic run. City, who had extremely tough runs in their previous campaigns in the same competition, were hoping to turn it around this time with a tougher squad which seems to cover most of the areas if not all. However, Pallegrini got the reality check soon after receiving a boost when Chiellini’s own goal put English giants ahead in the 57th minute. Pallegrini’s men had more possession, more corners and more shots on goal, but failed to capitalize on open chances which came to haunt them later on. City, who finally have their sight on proving their critics wrong in this competition, will need to up their game and stay more discipline if they want to reach at least semi – finals this time around.
Next in the list of flops on Match Day 01 in the Champions League features another Premier League giant in Arsenal. Arsenal, who had an impressive weekend performance against Stoke, were found once again guilty of over confidence and lazy attitude to start with, which cost them heavily in the end.
Oliver Giroud red card in the 40th minute made it even worse for the visitors who were already a goal down after Josip Pivaric opening the scoring for the home side in the 24th minute. Striker Junior Fernandes made it 2-0 in the 79thminute, which pretty much seal the deal for the home side. Arsene Wenger’s side will now have a slightly tougher route to the next round, as any further slip up would end up costing them heavily.
Last in the list of flops on Match Day 01 in the Champions League features the French side Lyon, who failed to beat 9 men Belgian side Genk away from home. Having been able to dominate the whole match, Hubert Fournier would be extremely disappointed that his side could not able to capitalize on the numerical advantage. Lyon also failed to take the initiative in the 88th minute, with highly rated French striker Alexander Lacazette failed to convert the penalty which would have virtually sealed the victory. Having been placed in a competitive group, Lyon might live to ruin their missed opportunities as they will face a tough competition with Valencia and Zenit to qualify in the next round.
The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.