This week we saw the return of the highest demand competition of European football, the UEFA Champions League. In the first round of group games, we had the return of European giants, new records and both predictable and jaw-dropping wins.
European Giants Make Champions League Return in Style
Inter Milan, Ajax, and Red Star Belgrade made their long-awaited return to Europe’s biggest football stage this week. Serie A giants, Inter Milan spent 7 seasons without Champions League football and on Tuesday they should that they intend to stay and pose a challenge with a 2-1 comeback win against Spurs at San Siro. Mauro Icardi’s stunning volley made him the ninth top goalscorer of all-time for Inter.
1991 European Champions Red Star Belgrade, hosted Italian powerhouse Napoli on Tuesday night. After spending 26 years away from the competition, the Serbian champions returned already causing trouble in their first game frustrating Ancelotti’s side to a 0-0 draw.
Also, four-time European Champions Ajax returned after a 4-year absence marked their return with a 3-0 win against Greek champions AEK Athens.
Casillas Makes It Twenty
Spanish legend, Iker Casillas on Tuesday night became the first player to feature in 20 seasons in Champions League overtaking former Man United legend and Wales manager Ryan Giggs who played 19 seasons. The 2010 World Cup winner attained this landmark against German club Schalke 04 which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Messi takes one step in front of Ronaldo
Lionel Messi broke the tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most hat-tricks in the Champions League. Messi’s hat-trick against PSV was his 8th in the competition, one more than his rival Ronaldo. This record may look to stay in Messi’s hands a bit longer as Ronaldo was red carded against Valencia and may miss up to 3 games.
Lyon add to City’s Champions League misery
Following City’s shocking home defeat 2-1 against Lyon, Man City has become the first English side ever to lose 4 straight Champions League matches. A record that Guardiola will be embarrassed to acknowledge as he was forced to watch from the stands as he continues to serve his match bans. The English Champions were frustrated by the French side as only one shot from their eight shots on target turned into a goal.