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Here's what happened in the Champions League

By Joseph Kizza

Added 19th September 2018 07:21 AM

Wins for Liverpool, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dortmund, Galatasaray and Belgrade start off this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

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Wins for Liverpool, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dortmund, Galatasaray and Belgrade start off this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE


By Joseph Kizza

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Did you watch any of last night's Champions League games? I bet you did, but of course you couldn't catch up on all of them at the same time. Here's is a wrap-up of all the action . . .

 

English side Liverpool have kicked off this season with a bang. A real one at that. And to clearly sound their intentions to whoever may have earlier paid a deaf ear, the Reds did so by beating French side PSG in their opening group game of the Champions League.

 

 

 

Senegalese star Sadio Mane, pictured up here vying for the ball with PSG's midfielder Adrien Rabiot, was in the heart of the action.

Daniel Sturridge opened the scoreline on the half-hour mark, before James Milner slotted home from the spot to give the hosts a comfortable lead six minutes later.

Thomas Meunier reduced PSG's deficit five minutes before half-time and Kylian Mbappe levelled matters in the 83rd-minute to put the home crowd on the edge.

But Roberto Firmino's dramatic last-gasp winner sent the Kop into celebrations as Liverpool took charge of Group C.

 

 


Final score: Liverpool 3  PSG  2

 

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Meanwhile, it was a routine start of the campaign for Spanish side Barcelona. When you have a player of Lionel Messi's calibre on your side, it should help calm nerves and build your confidence.

The Spanish giants faced Dutch side PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, and it was one good beating by a Messi-inspired Barcelona.

 

 

 

It was a physical contest, and in this particular one frozen mid-air, Luis Suarez found himself heavily involved in a battle for the ball.

Ousmane Dembele, wearing shirt number 11, was one of the two scorers in a familiar rout at Camp Nou, with the Frenchman slotting home in the 74th minute.

 

 

 

But earlier, Messi had already given Barcelona the lead in the 31st minute to pave way for his 48th career hattrick.

The Argentine maestro found the net again in the 77th minute, before completing his hattrick three minutes before fulltime.

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But on a night of routine triumph, Barcelona's statistics were stained by one conspicuous blemish: A red card for Samuel Umtiti 11 minutes before time.

 

 

 

Final score: Barcelona 4  PSV Eindhoven 0

 

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On the same night, another English side was also in action: Tottenham Hotspur.

They are in Group B with Barcelona, but they started their campaign against former champions Inter Milan Tueday night.

 

 

With Inter Milan a shadow of their former selves and struggling domestically, Spurs were seen as the clear favorites in this match.

They proved this narrative right when Christian Eriksen's deflected strike in the 53rd-minute gave the visitors the lead.

 

 

 

 

But two late goals by Mauro Icardi (85th) and Matias Vecino (90+2nd) left Mauricio Pochettino's men clasping their heads in disbelief.


Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti, after bellowing instructions to his charges throughout the game from the touchline, enjoyed the last laugh.

 

 

Final score: Inter Milan 2  Tottenham 1

 

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Can you imagine UEFA Champions League action without a dollop of German flair? I can't.

Well, Borussia Dortmund was in the mix in Group A -- against Club Brugge of Belgium.

 

 

 

But for all the action on display, there was only one goal to show for, and it came late on.

Christian Pulisic was the scorer in the 85th minute to help the Germans sit in second place, behind Atletico Madrid.

 

 

 

Final score: Club Brugge 0  Borussia Dortmund 1

 

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By the way, Germany had more representation on the night. Schalke 04 played host to FC Porto of Portugal.

During the game, Schalke midfielder Daniel Caligiuri required some talking to from Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano in a contest that played out a goalless first half.

 

 

 

And in the rush for a breathrough, Schalke headcoach Domenico Tedesco wanted to get the ball rolling as swiftly as possible from the sidelines.

 

 

 

 

But in a physical encounter that had home side's Breel Embolo dish out some fierce tackling on opponent, Alex Telles, it was Embolo that gave Schalke the lead in the 64th minute.

Eleven minutes later, however, da Silva Monteiro equalised from the spot to give the scoreline a balanced look.

 

 

 

Final score: Schalke 1  Porto 1

 

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Meanwhile, it was a French-Spanish contest as Monaco faced Atletico Madrid.

Diego Simeone's side were the visitors, and with players such as Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa on their side, they had the edge.


There was a measure of physicality in the battle, with Monaco's defender Djibril Sidibe once pictured unsettling the turf as he fought for the ball with compatriot Griezmann.

 

 

 

In fact, there were flashes of extra action on the sidelines as Monaco's coach Leonardo Jardim was seen trying to put his own skill on display.

 

 

 

 

Although the visitors trailed in the 18th minute thanks to Samuel Grandsir's poke, the Spanish side equalised through Diego Costa 14 minutes before the break, before Jose Gimenez's header sealed victory for Simeone's side.

 

 

 

Final score: Monaco 1  Atletico Madrid 2

 

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One game that had plenty of goals was Galatasaray v Lokomotiv Moscow.

Turkish side Galatasaray, who were the hosts, enjoyed a smooth victory. Mendes Rodrigues gave them a 9th-minute lead, Eren Derdiyok made it two on the 67th-mark, before Selcuk Inan wrapped up a comfortable win from a stoppage time penalty.

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But Galatasaray had to play the dying minutes a man less after Badou Ndiaye was shown red for a second bookable offence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final score: Galatasaray 3  Lokomotiv Moscow 0

 

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And finally, Red Star Belgrade v Napoli.

In short, this one was a dead rubber. A number of chances, but no single goal registered.

 

 

 

 

 

Final score: Red Star Belgrade 0  Napoli 0

 

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