After the plethora of unexpected events in Gameweek 1, similar things might happen again, after all this tournament never fails to amuse the fans.
The 65th edition of Europe’s premier club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League 2019-20 commenced on 17th September 2019 and as we head into the 2nd Match Day, let’s revisit some of the most eye-catching moments from Match Day 1 of this season.
Paris Saint-Germain have started to believe in their amazing squad depth, something that was missing in the previous season, as they beat down Real Madrid without the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe or Edinson Cavani.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are struggling to recapture the magic that yielded a hat-trick of UCL trophies from 2016-18.
Things did not go well for some of the Premier League elites as both the finalists of last season, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur started their campaign dropping points away from home. Tottenham blew a 2-0 lead in Athens against Olympiacos as the hosts roared back while Liverpool failed to put their past demons to bed at the San Paolo Stadium in Napoli.
On the other side, Manchester City cruised to victory away at Shakhtar Donetsk as they aspire to top the table in Group C.
Elsewhere, it was a rare night for Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus as they lost a 2-0 lead away to Atletico Madrid while there were big wins for Bayern Munich, Lokomotiv Moscow, Manchester City, RB Salzburg in their respective groups on Match Day 1.
As these teams look to fight back and get their Champions League journey back on track, let’s look at some of the key matches which will be played in Match Day 2:
Real Madrid vs Club Brugge –
Unlike previous seasons, this match will not be a walk in the park for Real Madrid as Club Brugge comes to Spain on the back of five unbeaten matches. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have lost three of their last four UCL games and will need to regroup from a heavy Match Day 1 loss.Club Brugge may have been unbeaten in five matches but those are their only successes in the last 17 such outings compared to Madrid who have still lost only eight of their last 42 European games.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Bayern Munich–
Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich meet for the first time in 35 years but both have experienced contrasting fortunes in the first match of their group. However, last year, Mauricio Pochettino’s side recovered from taking one point from their first three games to finish second in Group B and eventually went on to play the finals.
The London club have won eight of their last 11 UEFA Champions League home matches and look forward to confidently face the German champions in their backyard.On the other hand, Bayern are unbeaten in their last nine European away games scoring at least two goals in each before drawing a blank at Anfield.
Galatasaray vs Paris Saint-Germain–
Unlike the last season, Paris Saint-Germain kick-started the new campaign on the back of a convincing win over Real Madrid in their back yard while Galatasaray will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s first home fixture as they were held in a goalless draw away at Club Brugge.
On a positive side, Galatasaray have won both previous home matches against PSG, in the 1996-97 UEFA Cup and the 2000-01 UCL second group stage.
Juventus vs Bayer Leverkusen –
Both these teams missed the chance to begin Group D with a win and now face each other on Match Day 2. These sides faced each other in the past only once when they were drawn in the second group stage of the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League where Juventus won 4-0 but later Leverkusen turned the tables with a 3-1 home success – ultimately reaching the final and thus eliminating Juventus from the competition.
Since then both teams have changed in leaps and bounds season on season with Juventus now being the force to reckon with.
Barcelona vs Inter Milan –
For the second time running, these two teams are drawn against each other in the same group with Inter Milan hoping for change in fortunes compared to last season’s heart-breaking exit from the group stages. Barcelona have dominated their meeting with Inter Milan over the years, particularly in Spain.The Nerazzurri have won only two of their last 12 European away fixtures but this is a different Inter side lead by Antonio Conte, who is determined to rest the demons of the past for Inter Milan, both in Serie A and UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona will witness the most awaited moment of their season as Lionel Messi is pegged to start his first UEFA Champions League match of this season.
Liverpool vs RB Salzburg –
Liverpool find themselves in a similar position this time round where they have to rely on their home form to get through the group stages. This is the first time Liverpool will face an Austrian club in more than 15 years but an impressive 6-2 dismantling of Genk by Salzburg should prove as a warning sign for the reds.The defeat at Napoli made it four successive away group stage defeats for Liverpool but their home form is nothing less than exceptional and it will be a difficult night for the travelers under the lights at Anfield.
Watch the Match Day 2 of UCL 2019-20 live and exclusive from 1st October 2019 onwards only on Sony Pictures Sports Network in Indian Sub continent.