Champions League football once again made a glorious return and it was last season’s victors, Real Madrid, who provided the biggest win of match day 1, defeating Basel 5-1. Elsewhere, Liverpool made a triumphant return to Europe’s premier club competition after years dwelling in the abyss, managing to scrape through with a 2-1 victory over Ludogrets, their first match in five or so years.
Speaking of firsts, Monaco also played their first match in the Champions League since their previous appearance way back in the 2005/06 edition of the competition, beating Bayer Leverkusen 1-0.
The same cannot be said for Arsenal, though, whose lackluster start to the season continued overnight with a 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund. In truth, things could’ve been worse. Last year’s runners-up Atletico Madrid also failed to fire, slumping to a 3-2 loss to Olympiakos.
Here, we round up all the action from matchday 1:
Benfica 0-2 Zenit
In his first return to the Estadio de Luz since departing for Zenit, Axel Witzel made a triumphant return to Portugal, leading the visitors to a comfortable win over Benfica.
Hulk helped his side to an early lead after pulling off a chip in the fifth minute of play before Witsel headed home in the 22nd minute to seal the victory after goalkeeper Artur was given the marching orders for bringing down a player in the box. The win means Zenit are on an 11 game winning streak in all competition whilst Benfica suffered their first loss of season.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal
For the third time in four seasons, Dortmund found themselves facing Arsenal yet again, and it was the Germans who went one up on their English rivals, cruising to a 2-0 win over the Gunners. Goals either side of half-time courtesy of Ciro Immobile and Aubameyang lifted Jurgen Klopp’s men to the all-important victory. For Immobile, his strike just before the stroke of half-time marked his first goal for Dortmund since joining from Torino earlier this summer while Aubameyang scored three minutes after the restart with a solo effort to seal the victory.
Midfielder Sebastian Kehl’s words post-match were telling: “Arsenal never really offered much. I was very confident after we got the first goal and I knew we’d be going for it again in the second half. We could easily have won three or four-nil,” Kehl told the official Uefa website.
Galatasaray 1-1 Anderlecht
Galatasaray left it late to equalise to snatch a point in their opening fixture against Anderlecht at the Turk Telekom Arena. Burak Yilmaz netted in stoppage time to level the scores Denis Praet gave the Belgians the lead in the 52nd minute. The result is unfortunate for the away side who, for much of the match, looked the more impressive side.