The second instalment of Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League saw Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain – who put in eye-catching displays against Manchester City, Copenhagen and Benfica respectively – all record a second success in a row on Wednesday evening.
Juventus, meanwhile, were held 2-2 at home by Galatasaray, while Manchester United also drew away at Shakhtar Donetsk.
The big match
Manchester City 1-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: Alvaro Negredo 79 (Manchester City); Franck Ribery 7, Thomas Muller 56, Arjen Robben 59 (Bayern Munich)
Pep Guardiola may well have provided the ideal response on Wednesday to those sceptics who failed to see what he could add to the reigning European champions.
Forced to watch Bayern Munich put on a passing masterclass worthy of Barcelona at their peak, Manchester City spent most of the match simply chasing after the ball. In fact, the final score somewhat flattered the Citizens.
Franck Ribery’s low drive, Thomas Muller’s well-timed run and finish, and Arjen Robben’s emphatic shot from the right-hand side of the box did the damage on a night that City goalkeeper Joe Hart will likely prefer to forget.
The Bavarians’ excellent team performance, masterminded from the sidelines by their beaming Spanish coach, was tarnished just slightly towards the end, as Alvaro Negredo swivelled brilliantly to score a fine consolation goal. David Silva would later hit the bar from a free kick, but it was a case of too little, too late for the home side.
The other games
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Real Sociedad
Manchester United appeared to have initially done enough to pocket all three points in Ukraine, having opened the scoring through Danny Welbeck, who slid in to stab home a low Marouane Fellaini cross.
For a good hour of the encounter, the Mancunians frustrated Shakhtar by using their experience and defensive solidity to good effect.
However, a rare poor clearance from Nemanja Vidic allowed Taison to pounce and smash the ball past David de Gea for the leveller. All in all, United are unlikely to be too downhearted with the draw, given that no English team has ever won in Donetsk.
Bayer Leverkusen’s European know-how plus goals from Simon Rolfes and Jens Hegeler – the first a sliding finish from point-blank range, the second a wonderful free kick in stoppage time – were enough to overcome Basque outfit Real Sociedad, who nevertheless dominated the second half.
Real Madrid 4-0 Copenhagen
Juventus 2-2 Galatasaray
Copenhagen held out for 20 minutes in Madrid before being overpowered by Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo, who both nabbed a brace on the night. In doing so, the Portuguese forward also had the honour of registering Los Blancos’ 500th European goal.
Iker Casillas, who has only played in Champions League and Spanish Cup matches since the beginning of the season, pulled off several top-class saves that earned him a standing ovation from the appreciative home crowd.
Following their draw in Copenhagen, Juventus were again forced into a stalemate versus Galatasaray, for whom Didier Drogba was outstanding. The Ivoirian front man broke the deadlock in 36 minutes, taking advantage of terrible defending to round Gianluigi Buffon and calmly slot the ball into an empty net.
La Vecchia Signora had to wait until 12 minutes from time to find an equaliser, Arturo Vidal confidently sidefooting home a penalty, prior to taking the lead through Fabio Quagliarella, who finished with aplomb after being picked out by Andrea Pirlo.
Remarkably, the Turks responded immediately when Drogba flicked the ball on to Umut Bulut, who steered it into the net and earned his team a share of the spoils. The result sees Real Madrid open up a four-point lead at the top of the section.
Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Benfica
Anderlecht 0-3 Olympiacos
Half an hour was all it took for PSG to seal the points against a Benfica side outgunned by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and overwhelmed by the hardworking midfield trio of Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti.
The Parisians, putting in their most effective performance of the season, controlled the ball and offered very few chances to their Portuguese opponents.
In the second half, they were content to see out the match, doubtless looking ahead to their high-profile clash with Marseille on Sunday. The result sends PSG, who have now scored seven goals in two games, clear at the top of the group.
Elsewhere, Olympiacos caused a minor surprise by defeating Anderlecht 3-0 in Brussels, where Kostantinos Mitroglou scored a clinical hat-trick. The unfortunate Belgians managed 21 shots on target throughout the duel, and even conspired to miss a penalty, while the Greeks found the net from three of their nine attempts.
CSKA Moscow 3-2 Viktoria Plzen
During a match that swung to and fro throughout and featured a remarkable goalkeeping error from Plzen’s Matus Kozacik, a Zoran Tosic-inspired CSKA Moscow got their campaign back on track by picking up their first win against a Czech outfit that fought hard till the final whistle.
Among PSG’s plethora of stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands head and shoulders above the rest, both literally and figuratively. The captain’s thirst for victory, nose for goal and football brain were all on show during his team’s 3-0 triumph over Benfica at the Parc des Princes, as he scored two clinical goals and played a key role in the other, artfully backheeling the ball to Marco Verratti in a move that would end with Marquinhos netting from close range.
Real Madrid 2-0 Copenhagen (Cristiano Ronaldo 65)
Angel Di Maria played a one-two with Karim Benzema on the edge of the area, the Frenchman returning the ball with a superb backheel. The Argentinian continued his run and aimed a tremendous front-post cross on to the head of Cristiano Ronaldo, who promptly celebrated his 100th European match (56 goals, 57 wins, 24 draws and 19 losses) with an impressive double.
145 – The number of Champions League matches played by Ryan Giggs over 19 seasons, during which he has come up against 50 different opposing teams.
Have your say
Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi score more goals in the tournament?