The famous anthem rang out from the loudspeakers of some of the most prestigious stadiums in Europe last night when the UEFA Champions League and the the best of the best of football in the field across the continent.
Fans had been waiting with bated breath for this moment since the start of the season and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
With last-gasp action, end-to-end game passages and an abundance of goals on the first matchday compared to the 1st matchday, everyone will be waiting for the following games with the same or much greater enthusiasm than before.
The curtain falls on the first day of action of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, FootTheBall brings you a summary of everything that happened on Tuesday evening in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
1) BAYERN BULLY DIE BLAUGRANA IN BARCELONA
Every Barcelona fan knew the inevitable that lay ahead of them at the end of the evening in the Catalan capital. And their fears came true again when Bayern Munich won another win against the Azulgrana on their own lawn in Spain.
A deflected attempt by Thomas Müller in the first half together with two robber goals from Robert Lewandowski were enough to sink Barcelona’s ship in the Camp Nou Die red Group E started with a win that once again showed why they are among the favorites to win the tournament this season.
Barcelona, on the other hand, need a long and arduous rebuilding project that will bring them back to their former glory in the days of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.
2) SEVILLE RECEIVED FROM SALZBURG IN SPAIN
Julen Lopeteguis Sevilla had to play a draw in the Spanish Autonomous Region of Andalusia when the Austrian club RB Salzburg proved their references in the Champions League on the opening night.
There were four mammoth penalties in the group stage – for the first time in the Champions League – three of them were won by Karim Adeyemi from Salzburg. The German missed the first penalty, which resulted in Croatian Luka Sucic shooting the other two (also missing one) as the Austrians took a 1-0 lead in Spain.
Sucic’s compatriot Ivan Rakitic shot the score back to 1-1 after another penalty before half-time whistle at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville. The home side lost striker Youssef En-Nesyri with a red card at the beginning of the second half, but were able to secure a point in Andalusia to start unbeaten in the Champions League.
3) JUVENTUS MAUL MALMO IN SOUTHERN SWEDEN
Paulo Dybala converted a penalty on both sides of Alex Sandro and Alvaro Morata in Malmo when Juventus were promoted to Group H after a win in front of English club Chelsea.
Juventus Turin suffered a loss to Napoli in the Italian Serie A and had to prove a point in that game. This time around, they didn’t disappoint in Sweden as they easily won 3-0 in Scandinavia to thwart discussions about a crisis in Turin after Ronaldo’s departure from Italy.
Massimiliano Allegri got his tactics right to the point La Vecchia Signora drove to a sovereign victory in the first group match to boost the confidence of the entire team before the reigning European champions Chelsea visit Turin.
4) VILLARREAL DENIED PROFIT FROM GRITTY ATALANTA
The Spaniards play in the UEFA Champions League as they won the Europa League in Poland last season. And they opened their Champions League season with a spectacular 2-2 draw against Italian club Atalanta.
Juan Musso blocked Villarreal’s win with ten men in the opening game of the Champions League with an impressive save towards the end of the game in Spain. Remo Freuler had only brought the Italians into the lead for Manu Trigueros to compensate for the Spaniards.
Arnaut Danjuma then gave the hosts on the Iberian Peninsula the lead, except that German defender Robin Gosens restored parity in the game for Gian Piero Gasperini’s protégés.
Gerard Moreno stayed out for a long time, Atalanta secured a point and started their season with a fairly encouraging performance.
5) LUKAKU LIGHTED LONDON ON OPENING NIGHT
Thomas Tuchel needed a striker who scores consistently and also relieves Timo Werner in London, and in Lukaku he has found the perfect player who meets his needs.
The Belgian scored Chelsea’s only goal when the Blues began their title defense perfectly with a heavy header from a delicious cross from Cesar Azpilicueta. In defense, Antonio Rüdiger was in inspiring form for Chelsea as they were clean at home to give their fans a reason to celebrate before joining Juventus the next day of the Champions League.
6) LILLE AND WOLFSBURG SHARE SPOILS IN FRANCE
The French champions LOSC Lille and the German club VfL Wolfsburg shared the booty on the first day of the Champions League in the French Republic.
Burak Yilmaz and Jonathan David got close to the French in Lille, but couldn’t get past the imposing presence of Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal.
The Germans held out even after John Brooks was sacked shortly after an hour in France to contest Lille’s first Champions League victory since November 2012.
7) DYNAMO KYIV KEEPING ITS FORTRESS AGAINST BENFICA
Benfica were denied victory in Ukraine when Dynamo Kyiv held their own on the opening night of this season’s Champions League group stage.
The two clubs shared the points when Benfica rose to second place in Group E with a draw in an away game in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Meanwhile, Dynamo Kyiv finished third ahead of European heavyweights Barcelona, who are last in Catalonia after their home loss to Bayern Munich.
The Ukrainians are next to visit Bayern Munich in Germany, while the Portuguese welcome Barcelona back to the Estadio da Luz – where the Catalans lost with a massive 8-2 to the Bavarian giants.
8) JESSE LINGARD ‘PRESENTS’ WINNING LITTLE BOYS IN BERN
The Young Boys won in an exciting way after a faulty pass from Jesse Lingard aimed at Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was intercepted by Theoson Siebatcheu as the Swiss club won at the last minute in the Swiss capital.
Cristiano Ronaldo had given the lead to the Red Devils shortly before a quarter of an hour early in Bern, only to see after his substitution how United surrendered under pressure in the last minutes.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card in the first half changed the tide in Switzerland when the Young Boys equalized six minutes after the hour thanks to a concerted effort from Moumi Ngamaleu before Siebatcheu took the lead well into stoppage time in the second half to the exuberant and uncontrolled celebrations of the home fans in Bern.