Manchester United

Marcus Rashford sprinted towards the nook flag inside an empty Parc des Princes and slid on his knees in celebration, similar to two seasons in the past.

Another journey to Paris Saint-Germain within the Champions League. Another late winner for the Manchester United striker.

In a heavyweight contest on the opening evening of the group stage, United reproduced its gorgeous exploits from the 2018-19 competitors by beating PSG away due to Rashford’s 87th-minute strike in a 2-1 win on Tuesday.

It was an eerily comparable state of affairs to 18 months in the past, when United arrived within the French capital closely depleted and 2-Zero down from the primary leg of the groups’ last-16 match. It was Rashford who clinched an unlikely 3-1 win — and progress to the quarterfinals — with a stoppage-time penalty.

PSG, final season’s crushed finalist, already has work to do if the Qatar-owned workforce is to comprehend its long-held ambition of being European champion for the primary time.

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus are up and working already, although.

Messi scored a penalty to set Barca on its strategy to a 5-1 win over Hungarian outsider Ferencváros because the Spanish workforce started the rebuild of its popularity in Europe’s elite competitors, two months after an embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the quarterfinals final season.

Ronaldo was lacking for Juventus after testing constructive for the coronavirus final week, however the Italian champion had a worthy alternative in Alvaro Morata because the striker scored twice in a 2-Zero win at Dynamo Kyiv.

There had been wins for Lazio, Leipzig and Club Brugge, whereas Chelsea and Sevilla drew 0-Zero and two group-stage newcomers — Rennes and Krasnodar — drew 1-1.

SHORTAGE OF FANS

There had been no followers on the Parc des Princes, one in all three stadiums — together with Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge — to be with out spectators for the return of the Champions League due to the coronavirus.

Other video games had been sparsely attended, with practically 16,700 spectators watching Zenit St. Petersburg lose 2-1 to Brugge, 14,850 seeing Juventus win in Kyiv, and 5,000 attending the Rennes-Krasnodar recreation.

A sluggish PSG definitely might have completed with some backing from its supporters, with United proving greater than a match for the house workforce regardless of having a makeshift center-back pairing of Axel Tuanzebe and Victor Lindelof whereas Paul Pogba began on the bench.

United went forward by way of midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ twice-taken penalty halfway by way of the primary half however conceded when Anthony Martial rose to clear Neymar’s nook from the left, solely to look a header previous his personal goalkeeper, David de Gea, within the 55th.

Rashford had already been denied by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas when he collected a move from Pogba and smashed a low, angled shot contained in the far publish from the sting of the penalty space.

In the opposite recreation in Group H, Leipzig — a shock semifinalist final season — beat Istanbul Basaksehir 2-Zero in entrance of just below 1,000 followers thanks to 2 first-half targets by Spanish defender Angeliño.

YOUNGSTERS SHINE

Messi now has 116 targets within the Champions League, and prolonged his run of scoring at the least one purpose within the competitors in 16 consecutive seasons.

It was additionally a particular evening for 2 gamers practically half his age, with 17-year-olds Ansu Fati and Pedri additionally scoring for Barcelona towards Ferencváros — a membership making its first look within the group stage in 25 years.

Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé had been the opposite scorers for Barcelona, which misplaced defender Gerard Piqué to a straight pink card with about 20 minutes left. Ihor Kharatin scored Ferencváros’ lone purpose from the ensuing penalty.

Messi and Ronaldo — two gamers who’ve been on the high of the world recreation for greater than a decade — are in the identical Champions League group for the primary time and are set to satisfy subsequent week when Juventus hosts Barca.

Juventus coped properly with out Ronaldo in Kyiv, with Morata — a current arrival from Atlético Madrid on mortgage — scoring twice within the second half.

AMERICAN PRESENCE

U.S. nationwide workforce goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is one in all a report 10 Americans eligible for the group stage with varied golf equipment. He didn’t get off to one of the best of begins.

Horvath, who performs for Brugge, was credited with an own-goal towards Zenit after a shot by Dejan Lovren hit the publish and bounced in off the again of the diving goalkeeper.

Brugge grabbed a stoppage-time winner from Charles De Ketelaere, although, and joins Lazio on three factors in Group F.

The Italian workforce, which is enjoying within the Champions League group stage for the primary time in 13 years, beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 by way of targets by Ciro Immobile and Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro in addition to an own-goal by Dortmund goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.

Erling Haaland scored for Dortmund.

In Group E, all 4 groups are on one level. Chelsea lastly obtained its six main summer time signings on the sphere collectively however couldn’t discover a well past cussed Sevilla.

Rennes took the lead towards Krasnodar by way of striker Serhou Guirassy’s penalty within the 56th, however conceded three minutes later when left again Cristian Ramirez’s long-distance strike beat goalkeeper Alfred Gomis on the close to publish.


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