2023-09-22 · 0 min read · UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham

Getty Images | Reuters

The first matchday for Champions League has come and gone and as always leaves us with plenty of talking points. The headline of matchday one was undoubtedly Manchester United travelling to Munich to take on Bayern Munich. Real Madrid leaves it until the very last minute against a feisty Bundesliga squad making their first ever appearance in the tournament and game-winners coming from goalkeepers (yes you read that right). Here are all the talking points to recap an exciting week.
Harry Kane scores as Bayern take-down Manchester United 4-3
Manchester United’s return to the Champions League could barely have been more difficult, and though they showed some late fight, it was in vain as Bayern Munich won 4-3 at the Allianz Arena, with Harry Kane grabbing a goal and an assist. André Onana’s error for Bayern’s opener will grab the headlines, but in fairness, the former Ajax and Inter Milan goalkeeper hasn’t really been to blame for Man Utd’s poor start to the season.
Manchester United started well enough in Munich, with Bayern not having a shot until the 20th minute, and even that was blocked. However, there was no blocking to be found eight minutes later when Leroy Sané hit a relatively tame shot from the edge of the box, with Onana inexplicably letting it through his hands and in. All in all, Manchester United have positives to take away from this game while Bayern Munich can feel satisfied, they got the job done.
Arsenal Blow PSV Away with Fast Start
It’s safe to say the first big European night for this new Arsenal era could not have gone better. Key behind their dominant win was their splendid first-half performance, as they raced out of the blocks and caught their visitors cold.  Bukayo Saka’s eighth-minute goal was the earliest Arsenal have ever scored in their opening match of a UEFA Champions League campaign, and it was one of seven shots on target they had in the first half. Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus added two more first-half goals to make the score 3-0 at half time. Martin Odegaard added a fourth in the second half as Arsenal begin a Champions League campaign with a win on Matchday 1 for the first time since 2013-14. They already look a lock to win Group B comfortably.
Salzburg Upset Benfica in Portugal
Salzburg started the youngest starting-11 in history of Champions League and most importantly, gained three points. The 11 players who started for FC Salzburg against Benfica had a staggering average age of just 21 years and 183 days old. Six of those players were under the age of 21.
This was Benfica’s first Champions League group stage defeat since losing 5-2 to Bayern Munich in November 2021 – they had previously gone eight unbeaten in group games before tonight (W5 D3).
With the victory, Salzburg now have a 65% chance of qualifying from Group D.
Jude Bellingham Saves Real Madrid Once Again
As far as places to make your Champions League debut go, the Santiago Bernabéu is one of the toughest stadiums to do it. Nevertheless, that was the task of tournament newcomers Union Berlin, and they got heartbreakingly close to earning a valiant point. But Real Madrid’s new golden boy, Jude Bellingham, had other ideas, popping up in Union’s box to score a 94th-minute winner.
Given his remarkable start to life in Madrid – the Englishman already has five goals in five La Liga games, including three match-winners – it was hard to imagine Bellingham’s star rising any higher in the Spanish capital. But European nights are that extra bit special for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, and Bellingham delivered once again when his side needed him.
It earned Madrid what was, on reflection, a well-earned three points. Ancelotti’s men absolutely dominated the game, taking 32 shots to Union Berlin’s four and registering north of 3.0 expected goals.
Ivan Provedel becomes the unlikely hero as Lazio earns a draw at the deadline
Deep into injury time, trailing Atlético Madrid 1-0, Lazio needed a miracle to rescue a point in their opening game of the UEFA Champions League season. Their goalkeeper Ivan Provedel provided just that, with a bullet header from Luis Alberto’s teasing cross in the fifth minute of added time. It’s not Provedel’s first professional goal, either. He also scored a 95th-minute header to rescue a draw in a Serie B game back in February 2020. Away at Ascoli and losing 2-1, he scored Juve Stabia’s second goal to earn them a point with a 2-2 draw.
The Italian is the fourth goalkeeper to score in the UEFA Champions League, and just the second to do so excluding penalties.
Provedel was the first goalkeeper to score in the competition since Vincent Enyeama’s penalty for Hapoel Tel Aviv versus Lyon in September 2010, while the only other goalkeeper to score from open play in the competition was Sinan Bolat for Standard Liège against AZ Alkmaar in December 2009.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Aaron Cantin


Up Next

Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-06-10 · 3 min read
UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-05-10 · 2 min read

Sports Tree

© 2024 Sports Tree LTD.

The sports tree newsletter

Sign up for the newsletter

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms of Service  and Privacy Policy. You can opt out at any time.