PSG trump Dortmund as Barcelona get Champions League quest off to flying start

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Kylian Mbappe was on form again as Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home victory over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST), showing glimpses of what might be under new coach Luis Enrique.

Mbappe opened the scoring with a second-half penalty and Achraf Hakimi doubled the tally with a fine goal as PSG’s patience paid off at the Parc des Princes.

Achraf Hakimi (centre) celebrates with PSG’s other goalscorer, Kylian Mbappe (right) and Vitinha.Credit: Getty

It was only the third win in six competitive games for the Ligue 1 champions this season, and it gave them some much-needed relief after their first defeat at the weekend as they dutifully applied Enrique’s possession game.

PSG top Group F with three points, two ahead of AC Milan and Newcastle, who drew 0-0 earlier on Tuesday. Holders Manchester City recovered from falling a goal behind to outclass Red Star Belgrade 3-1 with Julian Alvarez scoring twice.

Elsewhere, with Joao Felix thriving again, Barcelona got off to a fine start on their quest to get through the group stage after two consecutive early eliminations.

Felix scored twice and had an assist in his second start with Barcelona, leading the Catalan club to a 5-0 win over newcomers Antwerp in Group H.

Champions League matchday 1 results

  • AC Milan 0 Newcastle 0
  • Young Boys 1 RB Leipzig 3
  • PSG 2 Borussia Dortmund 0
  • Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Porto 3
  • Manchester City 3 Red Star Belgrade 1
  • Lazio 1 Atletico Madrid 1
  • Barcelona 5 Antwerp 0
  • Feyenoord 2 Celtic 0

Thursday fixtures (all times AEST):

  • 2.45am: Real Madrid v Union Berlin, Galatasary v Copenhagen.
  • 5am: Bayern Munich v Manchester United, Benfica v RB Salzburg, Braga v Napoli, Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven, Sevilla v Lens, Real Sociedad v Inter Milan.

Felix, who joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid, opened the scoring in the 11th minute and set up Robert Lewandowski’s goal in the 19th. Barcelona’s third was an own-goal by Antwerp defender Jelle Bataille after a cross by Raphinha in the 22nd.

Gavi scored Barcelona’s fourth goal in the 54th, and Felix added his second with a header in the 66th.

Félix got a loud ovation from the Barcelona fans as he was substituted in the 68th.

The five-time European champions are not playing at Camp Nou this season while the venue undergoes renovation work.

Barcelona have not reached the knockout round of the Champions League since Lionel Messi left the club in 2021. Before that, they had made it through the group stage every year since 2001-02.

Earlier, AC Milan were held at San Siro in a hard-fought contest by a Newcastle United side returning to the Champions League after a two-decade absence.

Milan’s Portugal winger Rafael Leao, who has scored in his last two games, was a constant threat down the left and kept the Newcastle defence busy but was let down by his finishing.

“We’re disappointed, because when you play like this, you have to win,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli said.

“The performance was all-round good, but we wanted to win. Our aim is to progress from this group and we wanted to start well. We didn’t take easy chances.”

Julian Alvarez celebrates one of his two goals for holders Manchester City.Credit: Getty

Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists enjoyed a dominant opening spell and tested Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope with long-range efforts from Tommaso Pobega and Leao before Samuel Chukwueze had a header saved.

The best opportunity of the first half fell to Leao in the 34th minute but the 24-year-old miscued an elaborate backheel after skipping past two defenders in the penalty area.

Though Newcastle defended better after the break, Milan continued to press in their search for an opener.

Half-time substitute Alessandro Florenzi found Leao with an inch-perfect cross in the 74th minute, but the Portuguese again failed to find the target as he put his header over the bar.

Milan, who ended the night with a tally of 25 shots, were also dealt a double injury blow with midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and keeper Mike Maignan having to be substituted.

At the other end of the pitch, the visitors’ efforts were limited to counterattacks.

Eddie Howe’s team had one attempt on target, which came when Sean Longstaff forced substitute keeper Marco Sportiello into a save with a shot from the edge of the area in the 95th minute.

“It was emotional. We take this draw and point, a point we fought to get and we’re happy about,” said Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali, who left Milan in the close season.


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