Bayern Munich got the better of Barcelona as Robert Lewandowski returned to face his former club on Tuesday, while Joel Matip’s late goal saw Liverpool beat Ajax to open their Champions League campaign.
READ ALSO: Chelsea owner Boelli wants a Premier League all-star match
There was also a surprise defeat for Tottenham Hotspur at Sporting Lisbon, while Atletico Madrid suffered a defeat against Bayer Leverkusen.
Both Spanish visitors to Germany lost, with Barcelona losing 2-0 at the Allianz Arena in Group C as Lewandowski returned to the club he left in the summer after eight prolific seasons at Bayern.
The Pole scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Barca as the Catalans beat Viktoria Plzen 5-1 last week.
He came very close to opening the scoring in the first half in Munich, but it was Bayern who took the lead five minutes into the second half when Lucas Hernandez headed home from a corner.
Leroy Sane made it 2-0 four minutes later as Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern made it two wins from two in the group.
They have now won their last five meetings with Barcelona, including two in last season’s group stage and an 8-2 victory in the 2020 quarter-finals.
“I think for Lewi it was a really emotional game to come back – a bit like coming home because he’s been so successful here,” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said of his old Amazon Prime teammate.
“Luck was not on his side in the decisive moments – and it became our luck.”
In the next match, “Barcelona” will meet with “Inter” Milan, who scored their first points away in “Plzen” (Czech Republic) with the score 2:0.
Edin Jacko and Denzel Dumfries scored Inter’s goals, and the home team had Pavel Bucha sent off in the second half.
– Matip the hero –
Liverpool made a disastrous start to Group A, losing 4-1 to Italian side Napoli, but bounced back to beat Ajax 2-1 at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah shook off his poor form to give Jurgen Klopp’s side a 17th-minute lead, only for the Dutch champions to equalize before the half-hour mark thanks to a blistering finish from their exciting Ghanaian talent Mohamed Quddus.
Liverpool were on course for a third game without a win in all competitions until Matip rose in front of the Kop in the 89th minute to head home a corner, the ball crossing the line before being cleared.
“I think everyone saw that we understood and that we needed to bring a completely different shift to the game. The boys did that,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“We played a lot of good stuff against tough opposition.”
This match was preceded by a moment of silence in honor of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The other game in Group A, between Rangers and Napoli, was postponed until Wednesday due to severe restrictions on police resources in Scotland following the Queen’s death.
– to the shock of Spurs –
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte’s Spurs suffered a 2-0 defeat against Sporting in Portugal in Group D, with the home side scoring both late goals at the Estadio José Alvalade.
The English looked set to escape with a point after Hugo Lloris produced a stunning late save to deny Pedro Poro.
But Paulinho headed in a corner in the 90th minute and Brazilian Artur Gomez came off the bench to make it 2-0 with a superb solo strike in stoppage time.
“It was a difficult result. When you lose a game, you’re not happy,” Conte admitted.
Sporting lead the group with six points, while Eintracht Frankfurt joined Spurs on three thanks to a 1-0 win in Marseille, with Jesper Lindstrom scoring a first-half goal.
Leverkusen claimed their first points in Group B with a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid with two late goals, Robert Andric and Moussa Diaby netting.
Belgian champions Club Brugge lead the division with six points after a stunning 4-0 win over FC Porto.
Former Barcelona striker Ferran Jutgla opened the scoring with a penalty before Kamal Sova, Andreas Skov Olsen and Norwegian teenager Antonio Nusa scored in the second half.