The 2017/2018 Uefa Champions League competition kicked off to an entertaining start with a good number of goals being scored. It was a night of braces for some forward men on the match day. Four of the five representatives from the Premier League covered themselves in glory in the UCL match day 1 as they racked up opening day wins with Chelsea scoring the highest number of goals on the match day, albeit, against a side that had been tagged the whipping boys of their group after the draws. Liverpool were the only exception as they were held to a 2 all draw by Sevilla at Anfield.
Nevertheless, it was a UCL match day that saw many predictions come true. It’s early days yet but who smells what PSG is cooking? The Ligue 1 outfit, although clear favorites for the win away against Celtic, went one better as they routed the Scottish champions 5 nil, keeping a clean sheet in the process. The Neymar, Cavani, Mbappe partnership should be a cause for concern to defenses in the competition. Lionel Messi was on song as he broke the seeming ‘never scored against Buffon’ jinx as Barcelona hit 3 past Juventus with the Argentine grabbing a brace.
READ: Five Talking Points from 2017/18 Premier League Match Day 1
A big UCL night it was for Chelsea new boy Zappacosta as he scored a stunner in Chelsea’s 6 nil win over Qarabag. Manchester United got their revenge against Basel with a 3 nil win with Lukaku also hitting the back of the net. However, it didn’t stop Jose Mourinho from pointing out that his players engaged in play station football on the night.
The Serie A clubs were the biggest losers in the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League match day 1 as they all failed to garner maximum points with Roma being the only side to get a point at home against Atletico Madrid as the other sides lost.
Cristiano Ronaldo was always going to be in the picture as he grabbed a brace against Apoel Nicosia. Some stand out stats and numbers from the 2017/2018 UCL match day 1:
• 54 goals were scored on match day 1 of the 2017/2018 UCL
• The home sides contributed 31 goals while the away sides contributed 23 goals
• PSG scored the most goals away from home – 5
• Chelsea scored the most goals at home – 6
• 3 red cards were brandished on the 2017/2018 UCL match day 1. Vertonghen, Gomez, and Kums got reds for Spurs, Liverpool and Anderlecht respectively. Kums got a straight red card
• 3 own goals were recorded on the day – Tosic, Lustig, and Medvedev scoring against Porto, Celtic, and Qarabag respectively
• 6 penalties were awarded on match day 1 of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League. 5 were converted for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Napoli, CSKA Moscow and PSG by Cristiano Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Milik, Vitinho, and Cavani respectively. Firmino failed to convert for Liverpool
• 6 braces were recorded as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Harry Kane, F. Pardo, Stones, and Cavani hit the back of the net twice for their sides.
Much was expected from Juventus and Napoli, but they failed to deliver. Tottenham were impressive with their win against Dortmund in a very entertaining encounter at Wembley. Apoel Nicosia may have impressed by conceding just 3 goals against Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid showed their defensive doggedness away against AS Roma. All can’t be said! Nevertheless, we look forward to the next match day to see how the clubs respond to easier or more difficult fixtures.
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