Champions League holders Liverpool suffered defeat at Napoli this week, whereas Paris Saint-Germain laid down a marker by brushing apart Actual Madrid and Juventus have been held by Atletico Madrid.
Right here, AFP Sport takes a have a look at 5 issues we realized from the opening spherical of group-stage matches:
PSG can cope with out ‘MSN’
Paris Saint-Germain confronted their first actual check with out the suspended Neymar and the injured duo of Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani on the Parc des Princes in opposition to Actual Madrid.
However Thomas Tuchel’s males confirmed they’ll cope with out their star entrance three, as Angel Di Maria’s double and Thomas Meunier’s late strike secured a 3-Zero victory over the report 13-time winners.
The French champions weren’t brief on firepower, with close-season signings Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia each offering a risk going ahead.
With Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe all to return, hopes might be greater than ever within the French capital this season that PSG can attain a maiden Champions League closing.
Liverpool not unbeatable
Holders Liverpool got here unstuck for the second straight season at Napoli as a mixture of poor ending and sloppy defending value Jurgen Klopp’s males in a 2-Zero loss on the Stadio San Paolo.
The famed entrance three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have been all responsible of losing probabilities on Tuesday, whereas UEFA males’s participant of the 12 months Virgil van Dijk made an uncharacteristic error to reward Fernando Llorente Napoli’s late second.
It was a primary defeat for Liverpool, on a club-record 14-match profitable streak within the Premier League, since their 3-Zero loss in final season’s semi-final, first leg at Barcelona.
“It should hurt because there were opportunities for us,” mentioned Klopp, whose crew misplaced 1-Zero in Naples final 12 months earlier than occurring to elevate the trophy.
Tottenham’s delicate underbelly
Final season’s runners-up Tottenham let a two-goal lead slip for the second time this season in a 2-2 draw at Olympiakos.
Mauricio Pochettino criticised his crew’s want after a tame efficiency which was solely sufficient for some extent because of Harry Kane and Lucas Moura scoring in 4 first-half minutes.
“It’s not about tactics, it’s not about quality players, it’s about the quality of preparing yourself to be ready to fight,” bemoaned Pochettino, who additionally noticed his crew draw after main 2-Zero in opposition to rivals Arsenal earlier this month.
Spurs have gained simply three of their final 12 matches in all competitions.
Salzburg hoping to be ‘new Ajax’
Austrian champions Salzburg laid down a marker of their first group-stage recreation since 1994 as teenage sensation Erling Braut Haaland scored a hat-trick in a 6-2 demolition of Genk.
The 19-year-old striker, who has scored 17 targets in 9 matches this time period, thinks his crew can emulate Ajax, whose younger facet knocked out Actual Madrid and Juventus in a shock run to the semi-finals final season.
“Everything is possible. We all saw Ajax last year, it would be nice to be the new Ajax,” the Norwegian informed uefa.com.
Atalanta’s attacking fashion uncovered
Italian debutants Atalanta claimed third place in Serie A and a spot within the Champions League final season after an exciting marketing campaign that noticed them end because the main goalscorers within the Italian prime flight.
However their hopes of transferring that kind to European membership soccer’s prime competitors suffered an early blow with a 4-Zero thrashing at Dinamo Zagreb.
It was solely a second win in 25 Champions League group-stage matches for the Croatian champions, and leaves Atalanta with loads to do to get out of a bunch which additionally consists of match favourites Manchester Metropolis.