Champions League A-D: Tevez Ends Drought, Balotelli Opens Account

Mario Balotelli scored his first Liverpool goal but it was Steven Gerrard’s injury time penalty which secured a 2-1 win for the hosts against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.

Real Madrid thumped Swiss champions Basel 5-1, with France striker netting the reigning champions’s fifth goal of the day and their 1000th in European competitions.

There were also wins for Juventus, Olympiakos, Zenith and Moncao on Match Day one of the 2014/15 Uefa Champions League season.

Carlos Tevez Celebrates Goal Against Malmo. Image: Getty.
Carlos Tevez Celebrates Goal Against Malmo. Image: Getty.

Group A

Juventus 2-0 Malmo

Carlos Tevez twice sunk the ball in the back of the net as Massimiliano Allegri’s side began with a win over Swedish champions Malmo.

The Argentine striker had waited for over five years to end his Champions League goal drought and it finally materialised on 59 minutes in Turin, when Ghana’s Kwadwo Asamoah sent a lovely back heel into his part for him to calmly slot home.

“I wasn’t concerned about my Uefa Champions League drought. I play for a team and with this one I always play as if it were my last game,” said Tevez.

He doubled the hosts’ lead with a well-taken free-kick, which left goalkeeper Olsen dumbfounded.

Age Hareide’s side are competing in the championship for the first time and will have to make room for more improvements, with Olympiakos and Atletico Madrid lying in wait.

Olympiakos 3-2 Atletico Madrid

Losing finalists from last season Atletico started on a losing note away in Greece.

Masuaku, Affelay and on-loan Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou got among the goals for the Greek champions.

Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezman scored Atleti’s goals.

Group B

Liverpool 2-1 Ludogorets Razgrad

Mario Balotelli Slots Home from Ten Yards Against Ludogorets. Image: Getty
Mario Balotelli Slots Home from Ten Yards Against Ludogorets. Image: Getty

Balotelli opened his Liverpool account with just 8 minutes left in the thrilling encounter at Anfield. The Italian juggled ALberto Moreno’s cross away from a Ludogorets defender’s reach before thumping home from 10 yards to send the ‘Kops’ into wide celebration.

Substitute Dani Abalo restored parity on the nick of full-time, rounding Simon Mignolet; he fired into the net from fellow sub Younes Hamza’s assist.

Goalkeeper Milan Borjan’s error gifted the hosts a penalty in the next real piece of attack down the other end. He fumbled with the ball and then tripped Javi Manquillo in the goal area.

Steven Gerrard stepped up to convert his 20th Champions League goal, becoming only the fourth English player to reach the landmark.

Real Madrid 5-1 Basel

Marek Suchy’s own goal gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side the lead before Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo James Rodriguez and Benzema rounded off a goal-fest at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gonzalez scored Basel’s consolation.

Group C

Benfica 0-2 Zenith St Petersburg

Zenith continued their unbeaten start to the current campaign as Hulk and Axel Witsel sealed an impressive win away to last season’s Europa League losing-finalists Befinca in Lisbon.

Hulk converted the first goal of the 2014/15 Champions League season in the 5th minute with a clever chip over Benfica goalkeeper Artur.

Witsel’s 22nd minute strike against his former club doubled Andre Villas-Boas’ side advantage with the hosts now reduced to ten men following Artur’s marching order.

Monaco 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Joao Moutinho’s 61st minute strike settled the difference against Bundesliga leaders Bayer, who were without there inspirational captain Simon Rolfes.

Moutinho latched on to Dimitar Berbatov’s nod down to fire into the net via a deflection.

Group D

Bosussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal

Gabonese Pierre-Emerrick Aubameyang Scores Against Arsenal In Dortmund. Image: AP.
Gabonese Pierre-Emerrick Aubameyang Scores Against Arsenal In Dortmund. Image: AP.

Arsenal were less impressive against Dortmund. The “Gunners’ conceded a ridiculous goal on the nick of half-time when they let a throw in go astray. Italian striker Ciro Immobile hacked the ball away and bundled his way past the visitors’ backline to precisely drive the ball into the far corner.

Another poor defending from Arsene Wenger’s side saw Dortmund double their lead withing just 3 minutes of restart.

Substitute Matthias Ginter delivered a lovely ball over the top to gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who skipped round Wojciech Szczesny and then scuffed the ball over the line.

Galatasaray 1-1 Anderlecht

Dennis Praet placed the Belgian champions in the ascendancy, weaving his way past two defenders, cut in from the left before driving beyond goalkeeper Fernando Muslera on 52 minutes.

Striker Yilmaz Burak leveled for Cesare Prandelli’s men in injury-time.


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