The Champions League group stage saw its first match day on September 19, with a number of giants appearing on the pitch. Among them, AC Milan’s draw against Newcastle, Paris Saint-Germain’s victory against Borussia Dortmund, Lazio’s draw against Atlético Madrid, Barcelona’s thrashing of Antwerp, and Manchester City’s comeback victory against Red Star Belgrade took center stage. These matches saw AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund under immense pressure in the Group of Death, while Barcelona and Manchester City showed excellent performances.
AC Milan hosted Newcastle. Despite Milan’s disastrous loss in the Milan Derby in their last match, this time they faced the newcomers of the English Premier League with 15 shots on goal in the first half, while Newcastle only had 2 shots on goal. However, Milan’s attacking momentum waned significantly in the second half, and in the end the two sides could only shake hands 0-0. For Milan, not getting 3 points at home is not a good situation.
Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, easily beat Borussia Dortmund at home with goals from Mbappe and Ashraf, getting their first win with 2-0. After this game, Paris leads the group, while Dortmund is at the bottom.
Lazio faced Atletico Madrid at home and also picked up a draw. However, the match was full of drama. Barrios’ goal in the 29th minute helped Atletico take the lead away from home. In the final moments of the match, Lazio took a risk by sending goalkeeper Provedor into the Atletico penalty area and accomplished the feat of equalizing with a header.
Barcelona hosted Antwerp with a clear difference between the two teams. It took Barcelona only 22 minutes to take a 3-goal lead. In the end, Barcelona won 5-0, with newcomer Felix scoring 2 goals and dishing out 1 assist in a great performance. Meanwhile, Lewandowski achieved a milestone by scoring his 100th European goal.
City did not have a good game at home against Red Star Belgrade. In the first half, City went on a 22-shot shooting spree but failed to score. Instead, Red Star Belgrade took the lead with their first shot on goal in the final moments of the half-time extra time. In the second half, Alvarez scored twice in 11 minutes and Rodri added the icing on the cake to give City a 3-1 comeback. Although City finished with 37 shots on goal, the game did not go as well as Barcelona.
The first matchday of this Champions League group stage featured mixed results, with AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund under immense pressure in the Group of Death. However, Barcelona and Manchester City performed well and showed their strength. Fans are looking forward to the next matches and more exciting performances.