Real Madrid opened the defense of their UEFA Champions League 2013/14 title in style with an easy 5-1 win over FC Basel at the Bernabeu. 365.WorldSoccerShop looks at the other teams that played with style and those that came up short.
The holders were gifted an easy start with a Marek Suchy own goal setting the visitors back 1 and matters only got worse as the Merengues big guns, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and James Rodriguez, each knocked in a goal over a 7 minute span.
Real Madrid was sporting their Champions League jersey with the new ‘La Decima’ badge on the left sleeve and the winner’s badge on the right sleeve. The way they played may result in an 11th title come May.
Liverpool needed an injury time penalty to defeat Ludogrets at Anfield. Steven Gerrard stepped up to secure the full 3-points after the visitors leveled matters only minutes earlier.
Last year’s runners-up, Atletico Madrid was stunned 3-2 by Olympiakos at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis. The home side scored early off a great strike from Arthur Masuaku in the 13th minute. They were well in control with a 3-1 advantage until Atletico substitute Antoine Griezmann scored from close range shot in the 86th minute to make matters tense for the home crowd until the final whistle.
Carlos Tevez scored a second half brace to led Juventus to a 2-0 win over Malmo. It was the first goal in the Champions League for the Argentine since April 2009.
Zenit Saint Petersburg conquered the fortress of Estadio da Luz with a 2-0 win over Benfica. It ended Benfica’s 51-game unbeaten streak at the venue and surely sent the fans home shaking their heads. Brazilian Hulk opened the scoring in this year’s Champions League with his finish in the 5th minute, Benfica goalkeeper Artur was shown a red card in the 18th minute adding to the home side’s challenge, and former Benfica fan favorite Axel Witsel stuck in the final dagger with his goal in the 22nd minute.
Monaco made their first appearance in the Champions League in 10 years count with a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Stade Louis II. Leverkusen controlled the chances but the Red-and-Whites made it count with Joao Moutinho hitting the only goal in the 61st minute.
Dortmund was too strong for Arsenal with a 2-0 win at BVB Stadion. Ciro Immobile Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on either side of halftime and Arsenal never looked to be in the game. The Gunners and the Black-and-Yellows were both wearing the Cup specific jerseys with both sides in the PUMA brand.
The only draw of the Champions League came in the 1-1 draw between Galatasaray and Anderlecht. Galatasaray, the home side, needed a second half injury time goal from Burak Yilmaz to share the points. It was especially cruel for the Belgian side who have not won away from home in the Champions League since 2005. A run of 10 games.
The worst style did not come from a specific team or individual player but the official’s kit. What was someone thinking with the black jersey and sock paired with the off-white knee length short. It constantly looked like a field intruder was running around chasing the play.