The most notable encounter of the first game week of the 2023–24 Champions League took place on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern Munich defeating Manchester United 4–3.
With Copenhagen and Galatasaray drawing 2-2 in the other Group A match, leaving Man United at the bottom, Bayern has jumped out to an early lead.
In Group B, Lens and Sevilla drew 1-1 in Spain, unable to separate themselves from Arsenal, who opened with a 4-0 triumph over PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates Stadium.
Both Napoli and Real Madrid triumphed in Group C. The former defeated Braga 2-1, and the latter defeated Union Berlin 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Jude Bellingham.
Red Bull Salzburg is in first place in Group D after a 2-0 win against Benfica, while Inter Milan and Real Sociedad drew 1-1 in their matchup in Spain.
Feyenoord, which defeated Celtic 2-0, is currently leading Group E. Lazio and Atletico Madrid tied 1-1, with the Italian team’s goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scoring the game-tying goal in stoppage time.
Paris Saint-Germain is in first place in Group F after defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0, while Newcastle United held out against a barrage to earn a point against AC Milan in a scoreless draw.
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig and Manchester City also emerged victorious from Group G, with the former defeating Young Boys 3-1 and the latter defeating Red Star Belgrade in Manchester by the same score.
With a 5-0 victory over Royal Antwerp in their opening match, Barcelona is the early leader in Group H. Porto is second with three points after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1.
Here is Sports Mole’s best XI from the opening round of group play in the Champions League this year.
Nick Pope of Newcastle and Frederik Ronnow of Union Berlin are sad losers in goal, but Ivan Provedel, who headed a goal for Lazio against Atletico in the 95th minute, had to win the job.
Provedel had to be a part of the team of the week after being just the fourth goalie overall and the first to score in a Champions League game in 13 years.
This lineup features three defenders, with Giovanni Di Lorenzo one of them. Giovanni Di Lorenzo shone in Napoli’s victory over Braga, scoring the game’s only goal in the 46th minute of play while also having an 88% pass completion rate overall.
Mohamed Simakan also qualifies, having contributed significantly to Leipzig’s victory over Young Boys by scoring early on and dominating the middle of the field while winning four aerial duels.
Achraf Hakimi completes the defense for the club. He scored in PSG’s victory over Dortmund, but it was his whole performance that stood out most. He completed three dribbles, won three tackles, and had an 87% pass completion percentage.
Jude Bellingham made it six goals in six appearances for Real Madrid this season with the winner against Union Berlin on Wednesday. The 20-year-old was again the dominant force for the hosts, having four shots, winning two aerial duels and completing 59 of his 66 passes during a brilliant performance.
Martin Odegaard also sails into the midfield due to his excellent performance against PSV, with the Norway international on the scoresheet in North London, while he boasted a pass success rate of 91%, completed three dribbles and had three shots, starring once again for the Gunners.
Jamal Musiala did not score against Man United on Wednesday, but he was the best player on the pitch, providing a brilliant assist for Serge Gnabry’s goal, while he was a constant menace between the lines, rarely relinquishing control of the football.
Ilkay Gundogan, who assisted in Barcelona’s 5-0 victory over Antwerp, completes the midfield. The German international has been a great addition to Xavi’s team, and on Tuesday he was a master in the center, dictating the pace for the hosts with a 94% pass completion percentage.
Galeno makes the attack, having excelled in Porto’s 3-1 win over Shakhtar on Tuesday; the 25-year-old was the star of the show, scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes before setting up Mehdi Taremi for his side’s third, and Shakhtar just could not deal with his movement in the final third of the field.
Joao Felix is also included due to his showing against Antwerp; much has been made of the Portugal international’s loan move to Barcelona from Atletico, but he has started his Camp Nou career impressively, and he scored a brace and came up with an assist in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter.
The attack was rounded off by Julian Alvarez, who was Man City’s best player in the victory over Red Star Belgrade. The Argentine netted twice to turn the match around early in the second period, and his overall game was outstanding, having eight shots in total, three successful dribbles and completing 53 of his 59 passes.