Matchday one football in the Uefa Champions League returned on Wednesday with fixtures from the Groups E-H.
In the whole eight matches which took centre-stage last night, twenty-three goals were scored, taking Matchday one goal tally to a total of 53 goals.
It was a bad night for last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund and Europa Cup winners Chelsea who were beaten away and at home respectively.
Lionel Messi netted the twenty-fourth hat-trick of his Barcelona career at the Camp Nou to take his Champions League goal haul to 62 goals in 80 games.
Marseille 1- 2 Arsenal
‘The Gunners’ recorded their tenth successive away win as they cruised past Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.
Theo Walcott opened scoring with a superb volley after a defensive error, before the inform Aaron Ramsey placed the game beyond the reach of the Ligue 1 side.
A stoppage-time penalty by Marseille’s Ghanaian export Jordan Ayew was all but a consolation for the home fans.
The London club were a bit scrappy in the first-half as Marseille controlled much of the proceedings. They gradually got their passing game going and once they were one goal ahead, Marseille dropped on the performance radar.
Napoli 2- 1 Dortmund 1
Coach Jurgen Klopp watched his side lose 2-1 to Rafael Benitez’s Napoli from the stand after an altercation with the fourth official as well as having goalkeeper Roman Weindenfeller sent off for a deliberate handball outside the penalty area.
Lorenzo Insigne’s masterclass free-kick went in off the underside of the crossbar to silence the visiting fans.
Summer signing Gonzalo Higuain opened scoring for the Naples club. Dortmund’s consolation came in form of an own goal.
Barcelona 6- 0 Ajax
Barcelona cruised to a comfortable victory in Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s first Champions League match with Messi grabbing a hat-trick of goals. Barca struggled to find penetration in the first-half, but could only open up space after the interval.
Gerard Pique headed in the third goal. Victor Valdes was in his best of forms, saving a late Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s penalty.
AC Milan 2- 0 Celtic
Two late goals from Emilio Izaguirre (own goal) and Sulley Muntari saw Milan beat Neil Lennon’s Celtic at the San Siro.
A Cristian Zapata’s low shot took a huge deflection off the unfortunate Izaguirre and eludes Fraser Foster in goal for Celtic in the 81st minute.
And Muntari edged out teammate Alessandro Matri to stab into the empty net after a Foster’s one-handed stop of a Mario Balotelli wonderful free-kick.
Chelsea 1- 2 Basel
Giant-killers Basel plotted another wonderful surprise against Jose Mourinho’s men at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 1 of Group E fixtures.
In what was Mourinho’s first Champions League tie since returning to Chelsea, Basel’s Mohamed Salah and skipper Marco Streller earned a shock victory for the Swiss club in a rather unfamiliar fashion.
Oscar put the home side ahead with an angled first-time shot into the bottom corner at the end of the first-half and despite a couple of changes ‘The Blues’ failed to create clear cut chances in the second period.
Schalke 3- 0 Steaua Bucharest
Romanian visitors Steaua Bucharest were humbled by Schalke with the goals coming from Japan’s Atsuto Uchida, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler.
Ateltico Madrid 3- 1 Zenit St Petersburg
Miranda, Arda Turan and Leo Baptista were on the scoresheet for Atletico, in a 3-1 victory over Russian side Zenit, who scored through Brazilian Hulk.
Austria Vienna 0- 1 Porto
2004 winners Porto narrowly beat Austria Vienna with a solitary goal scored by Argentine Lucho Gonzalez.