The second day of the first day of the Champions League is over and dusted and it ended with a plethora of goals, including two trebles.
Liverpool and AC Milan rekindled their European rivalry in the 2005 and 2007 finals, while Jack Grealish finally got a taste of Champions League football with Manchester City.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi was playing for a club other than Barcelona in Europe for the first time in his career and both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were in action.
Here is what happened…
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LIVERPOOL 3-2 AC MILAN
Jordan Henderson’s superb strike saw Liverpool come back from behind to beat AC Milan again with a thrilling 3-2 win at Anfield to kick off their Champions League campaign on a level playing field.
The Reds came back from 3-0 to beat the Italian giants on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, but should have made it easier to eliminate Stefano Pioli’s men when they return to European football high level.
Seven-time winners, Milan were in their first Champions League game in seven years and had a rude awakening at the class stage, but for a two-minute stay before half-time that threatened to take the game away from Liverpool .
Fikayo Tomori’s only goal at the start was a meager reward for the home side’s early dominance as Mike Maignan saved Mohamed Salah’s penalty.
But the goals of Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz completely changed the game.
Salah evened the scores once more before Henderson’s thunderous finish proved to be a deserving winner with 21 minutes remaining.
MANCHESTER CITY 6-3 RB LEIPZIG
Jack Grealish scored a stunning Champions League debut goal as Manchester City survived Christopher Nkunku’s hat-trick to beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in a thrilling Group A opener on Wednesday.
Grealish admits the lure of playing on the Champions League stage convinced him to leave his childhood club Aston Villa to join City in a club record of £ 100million ($ 185million) in end of season.
The England winger took advantage of his first glimpse of the tournament’s bright lights with a brilliant solo effort in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.
Grealish also scored City’s first goal for Nathan Ake with an accurate corner kick. While City were snubbed by Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portuguese superstar chose to join Manchester United, Pep Guardiola believes the young Grealish is more than enough compensation and this influential display underscored why.
Nordi Mukiele’s own goal had doubled City’s lead before Nkunku recovered one in a memorable personal night for the French winger.
Riyad Mahrez’s penalty made it 3-1 and Nkunku scored again before Grealish’s magical moment.
Nkunku’s third was followed by Joao Cancelo’s rocket and a red card for ex-Leipzig city defender Angelino.
Gabriel Jesus completed the streak of goals as City celebrated Guardiola’s 300th game in charge in appropriate style.
CLUB BRUGGE 1-1 PSG
Lionel Messi finally made his first start for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, but the French giants had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in Belgium to start their Champions League campaign.
Ander Herrera gave PSG an early lead at the Jan Breydel stadium, but Hans Vanaken equalized for the home side, who were excellent and more than deserved their point.
Messi – who had only played 24 minutes as a substitute before this game – is still looking for his first goal for his new club despite hitting the bar in the first half and testing Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after the pause before taking a yellow card for a foul on Mats Rits.
However, it was not a convincing performance from the Parisians as coach Mauricio Pochettino fielded his star attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for the first time.
Mbappe was injured in the second half and PSG, despite building a squad with the goal of winning the Champions League for the first time, have already complicated their chances of coming out of a tough Group A.
INTERNAZIONALE 0-1 REAL MADRID
Rodrygo sank unnecessary Inter Milan with the dying winner in a 1-0 triumph at San Siro, giving Real Madrid a perfect start to their Champions League campaign.
The Italian champions are looking to advance to the round of 16 of the competition for the first time since 2011/12, but they were punished for missing out on a string of opportunities before Brazilian Rodrygo’s beautifully struck goal in the last minute.
It was a difficult result for Inter against Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid, who until then had shown little offensive verve which has earned them 13 goals in four La Liga games so far this season.
BESIKTAS 1-2 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
England midfielder Jude Bellingham shone with a goal and an assist for Erling Braut Haaland as Borussia Dortmund kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win at Besiktas.
Bellingham silenced the boisterous Istanbul crowd with the opening goal, then nabbed the home defense to serve a simple tap-in for Haaland to claim their 21st Champions League goal just before half-time.
Javi Montero scored a consolation goal for Besiktas in added time. Haaland underlined his reputation as a prolific goalscorer, bringing his tally to 14 goals in 10 games this season for Dortmund and Norway.
SHERIFF 2-0 SHAKHTAR DONETSK
Sheriff Tiraspol got off to a fairytale start to life in the Champions League on Wednesday as the club from a small breakaway region of Moldova lost 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Adama Traoré and Momo Yansane scored the first historic goals of a club from the former Soviet country at the high table of the European game.
After sending the 13 times Ukrainian champions, Sheriff’s adventure continues against the continental giants Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
Atlético Madrid 0-0 Porto
Sportsman 1-5 Ajax