Angel di Maria scored twice against former employers Real Madrid as Paris St-Germain began their Champions League Group A campaign with a comfortable win.
Thomas Meunier’s stoppage-time goal added more embarrassment for the Spanish giants – and heightened the pressure on Real manager Zinedine Zidane, whose win ratio is below 50% since returning to the club towards the end of last season.
Eden Hazard, making his first start for the visitors, showed some nice touches but struggled to influence proceedings, as a Real old boy stole the show.
Celebrating his 100th appearance in the competition, Di Maria opened the scoring with a close-range shot that crept inside Thibaut Courtois’ near post from Juan Bernat’s pass.
While Real’s Belgian goalkeeper Courtois appeared to be caught out for the opening goal, he could do nothing to prevent the second.
Idrissa Gueye’s fine work on the right create the opening for Di Maria, who found the bottom right corner superbly with a curling effort from 20 yards.
Hopes of a Real fight-back were briefly raised when Gareth Bale lobbed the ball magnificently over home keeper Keylor Navas from the edge of the penalty area.
However, his goal was ruled out for handball by referee Anthony Taylor after it was reviewed by video assistant referee (VAR) officials, as was Karim Benzema’s offside effort late in the second period.
And a miserable night for Real and Zidane was compounded as Juan Bernat and Meunier, strolled through the visiting defence before Belgian full-back Meunier placed the ball into the bottom right corner.
It confirmed that PSG, who were without their entire first-choice strike force of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, halted a run of three consecutive defeats against the Spanish club.
In Madrid, substitute Hector Herrera scored a 90th-minute equaliser to crown a fine Atletico Madrid comeback and deny Juventus victory in the Champions League.
Former Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado produced a sumptuous curling finish to put Juventus in front before a header by French World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi made it 2-0.
Stefan Savic sparked Atletico’s fightback with a header inside the six-yard area before Herrera struck from a late corner.
Juventus sent on substitute Aaron Ramsey in the 86th minute, the Wales midfielder’s first appearance for the champions of Italy since moving to Turin in the summer.
In Group D’s other game, Lokomotiv Moscow won 2-1 in Germany against Bayer Leverkusen.
Juventus host Leverkusen on 1 October while Atletico travel to Russia to face Lokomotiv on the same day.
2018/19 finalists, Tottenham, threw away a two-goal lead as they were forced to settle for a point in their Champions League Group B opener against Olympiakos in Greece.
Two goals in four first-half minutes put Spurs in control, with Harry Kane opening the scoring from the penalty spot before Lucas Moura’s scorching 20-yard finish.
Yet Mauricio Pochettino’s side conceded shortly before half-time through impressive Portuguese winger Daniel Podence’s quality finish.
That lifted the passionate home crowd and Olympiakos equalised from the game’s second penalty, former France forward Mathieu Valbuena beating Hugo Lloris, the current Les Bleus captain, from the spot.
Tottenham’s result means both of last season’s Champions League finalists have failed to win their opening group games, after holders Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by Napoli in Italy on Tuesday.
In Group B’s other game on Wednesday, Bayern Munich beat Red Star Belgrade 3-0 in Germany thanks to goals by Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski, and Thomas Muller.
Meanwhile, in Kharkiv, Manchester City bounced back from their shock Premier League defeat at Norwich by launching their Champions League campaign in style with a deserved victory at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Humbled at Carrow Road on Saturday evening, the English champions were imperious in Ukraine against an initially tenacious, but ultimately inferior, opponent.
Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring midway through the first half, firing into a largely empty net after Ilkay Gundogan’s curling shot came back off the post.
Mahrez then turned provider for the onrushing German to toe-poke the ball past the helpless Andriy Pyatov and give the visitors a firm grip on the game – a grip they did not relinquish.
After spurning a number of good opportunities, including an untypically forgiving close-range effort from Raheem Sterling that struck the post, Gabriel Jesus gave the one-sided game a more fitting scoreline with a neat finish after Kevin de Bruyne’s pass.
Only Dinamo Zagreb’s 4-0 hammering of Italian side Atalanta in Croatia prevents Pep Guardiola’s side topping the group.
- / 19 hours ago
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday acceded to the directive by Minister of...
- / 19 hours ago
Over 180 female Karate practitioners will compete at the 6th Zainab Saleh International Female...
- / 1 day ago
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must “render account to Nigerians” and provide “a written...