Bayern Tops Barça 3-0, United Loses, Lukaku Powers Chelsea – .

JOIN NOW

BERLIN: It was a tale of three strikers as the Champions League group stage started on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored but lost on his return with Manchester United, then Robert Lewandowski and Romelu Lukaku both led their teams to victory in their opening games.

Ronaldo and United were upset in a late 2-1 loss at Swiss champion Young Boys, Lewandowski scored two as Bayern Munich eased to a 3-0 win in Barcelona, and Lukakus second-half header gave defending champion Chelsea a 1-0 win over Zenit St. Petersburg.

Juventus won 3-0 at Malm, and Sevilla held Salzburg 1-1 after the visitors missed two penalties in a game with four.

RONALDOS RETURN

Ronaldo struck early in his first Champions League game for United since losing the 2009 final, but American forward Jordan Siebatcheu had the last laugh in a dramatic 2-1 win in Bern.

Ronaldo didnt take long to make his mark in his record-equaling 177th appearance in the competition squeezing his shot under goalkeeper David von Ballmoos in the 13th minute after a brilliant cross from Bruno Fernandes.

Only Ronaldos former Real Madrid teammate Iker Casillas has as many Champions League appearances.

However, United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the 35th for a bad challenge and the home team pressed its advantage in the final third of the game.

Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu equalized in the 66th and Siebatcheu capitalized on a poor back pass from Jesse Lingard to score Berns dramatic winner in the last minute of injury time.

Robin Gosens equalizer earned Italian team Atalanta a 2-2 draw at Villarreal in the other Group F game.

BARA DOMINATED, AGAIN

Bayern hammered Barcelona 8-2 in the teams last meeting in the quarterfinals in 2020, and the home side seemed fearful of another rout after its summer of upheaval saw the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

Bayern might have won by more but will be happy with 3-0 after another dominant performance.

Thomas Mller scored with a deflected shot in the 33rd minute to ensure Bayern scored for the 23rd consecutive Champions League game, a club record.

The visitors had been pushing harder and it seemed only a matter of time before the breakthrough would come. Mllers shot struck Eric Garcas back to deceive Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andr ter Stegen.

Lewandowski got the second in the 56th on a rebound after 18-year-old Jamal Musialas effort struck the post.

It stretched Lewandowskis scoring run to 18 consecutive games across all competitions for Bayern. But that didnt mean he had enough.

The Poland star scored his second goal in the 85th, again after a teammate Serge Gnabry hit the post, though there was plenty for Lewandowski to do as he slotted the ball past a host of defenders.

Also in Group E, Mykola Shaparenko thought hed scored a late winner for Dynamo Kyiv over Benfica, but the goal was ruled out through VAR for offside to leave the score 0-0.

LUKAKU THE DIFFERENCE

Chelsea had to wait until the 69th minute for Lukaku to make the breakthrough against a stubborn St. Petersburg defense. The Belgium forward towered above a defender to meet Csar Azpilicuetas cross with a header for his fourth goal in as many games for Chelsea since his return from Inter Milan.

Also in Group H, Juventus trip to Malm came at the right time for the Italian team to get over Ronaldos departure. The Bianconeri had been struggling with just one point from its opening three games in Serie A.

But the Swedish air seemed to invigorate the visitors, as Alex Sandro headed Juve into a 23rd-minute lead, Paulo Dybala added a penalty just before halftime, and there was still time before the break for Alvaro Morata to chip the goalkeeper for the teams third.

PENALTY DRAMA

Four penalties were awarded in the first half of Salzburgs game at Sevilla, but the visitors missed two, leaving the score 1-1. A heavy rain shower added to the drama as it sent spectators scrambling for cover before the break.

Perhaps working on the expectation that more penalties would follow in the second half, Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri was sent off after the break with his second yellow card for diving.

American defender John Brooks was sent off for Wolfsburg at French champion Lille when he earned his second yellow card for a deliberate handball. Wolfsburg held on to draw 0-0.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Ciarn Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here

Leave a Comment