Home > Sports > Champions League: PSG held on to Messi’s first start, while Haller hit four for Ajax | Champions League

Champions League: PSG held on to Messi’s first start, while Haller hit four for Ajax | Champions League

Lionel Messi failed to deliver Paris Saint Germain with every spark as their potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing 1-1 draw by Club Brugge in their Champions League opening.

With his first start for the Ligue 1 team, the Argentine striker hit the woodwork, but was otherwise far from his brilliant best along with the hugely disappointing Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, who lined up Ander Herrera for PSG’s first half opening before being replaced injured after the break. Bruges, who equalized before half-time through Hans Vanaken, were more aggressive and had the best chances against a PSG side that lacked quality and defensive focus. The result left PSG and Bruges behind in Group A leaders Manchester City by two points after the Premier League champions had crushed RB Leipzig 6-3.

That Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo hit a winner in the 89th minute to snatch a 1-0 win away to International, punishing the wasting Italians for missing out on a number of chances. The Brazilian met a smart volley pass from team-mate Eduardo Camavinga and volleyed home in the dying minutes as Carlo Ancelotti’s side won against their big rivals for top spot in Group D. It was a painful end to a game the Italian side had dominated the stretch. but the hosts could not find a way past on-form goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who produced several crucial saves.

Real is number two in the group behind Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspolwho stunned Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-0 win on their tournament debut through goals from Adama Traoré and Momo Yansane. They then travel to Madrid.

Sébastien Haller scored four goals as Ajax picked apart Sporty for a one-sided 5-1 victory in Group C. The former West Ham striker, whom Ajax forgot to register for European club competition last season in an embarrassing administrative error, scored twice in the first 10 minutes. He completed his hat-trick early in the second half before adding another goal just after the hour mark in Lisbon. Steven Berghuis claimed his first goal for his new club to add to the count, while Paulinho got the home team’s consolation.

Sébastien Haller keeps four fingers up after he went crazy in Sporting.
Sébastien Haller holds up four fingers after he went crazy in Sporting. Photo: DeFodi Images / Getty Images

Jude Bellingham produced an inspired individual performance as he scored one goal and set up the other to help Borussia Dortmund to a 2-1 victory at Besiktas in their Champions League Group C opener. The 18-year-old English midfielder fired the visitors ahead with a fine finish in the 20th minute, leaving his marker flat-footed to set up striker Erling Haaland for the second time in the half. Francisco Montero pulled one back to the home team deep inside standtime.

Atletico Madrid draw 0-0 at home to Postage in a cagey Group B game in which the Spaniards were spared defeat by a VAR review that toppled a late goal from Mehdi Taremi. The Port striker had bundled the ball into the net from the floor in the 80th minute after a mix between Renan Lodi and goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but the goal was ruled out as the Iranian forward had handled the ball as he slid to the ground. Chancel Mbemba appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie.

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