Paris-Saint Germain, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid got off to storming starts on a bad night for English teams as the Champions League roared back to life.
PSG joined Real Madrid atop Group A on a night that saw prodigal son Zlatan Ibrahimovic return home to Sweden. Ibra got his start with tiny Malmo, a shock entrant after surviving the playoff rounds at Celtic's expense, and tonight he made a comeback that unfortunately left his boyhood club at the foot of the table.
Angel Di Maria gave PSG an early lead with a super goal in the 4th minute of play after Marco Veratti set him loose on the far right side. Di Maria simply streaked past Yoshimar Yotun before burying the ball in the top corner with an emphatic finish from an acute angle. Edinson Cavani iced the game just after the hour when he headed home a flick-on from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Maxwell crossed the ball in for Ibra, and Cavani was all alone to score with ease.
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PSG now sit just behind Real Madrid in second by virtue of goal difference after the Spaniards whipped Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0. PSG will travel to Ukraine on Sept. 30 for Matchday 2.
Galatasaray 0, Atletico Madrid 2
France international Antoine Griezmann scored twice in the first half to help Atletico Madrid to a 2-0 victory over Galatasaray in their Champions League opener in Group C on Tuesday.
The 2014 finalists took the lead in the 18th minute when Griezmann guided a low cross from Juanfran past Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a precision first-time finish. Griezmann struck again just seven minutes later, pouncing from close range after Diego Godin rose highest to nod Koke's cross back into the danger zone.
The two strikes were a fair reward for a half that Atletico had started with real intent, with Luciano Vietto twice testing Muslera with long-range efforts in the early stages. Wesley Sneijder came closest to reducing the deficit in the first half, drawing a save from Jan Oblak with a powerful shot. But Atletico could have even have grabbed a third just before the break, with Muslera saving a powerful header from Jose Gimenez.
Galatasaray piled on the pressure in the second half but failed to find a way through, despite shots from Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz, while Griezmann could even have brought up a hat trick. Oliver Torres sent the Frenchman through on goal in the 84th minute but his right-footed strike from 12 yards (meters) was kept out by Muslera.
''We knew it was important to get off to a good start, and we're very happy with the three points,'' Griezmann said.
Wolfsburg 1, CSKA Moscow 0
Julian Draxler's first goal for Wolfsburg was enough for the Bundesliga runner-up to begins its second Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.
Draxler, brought in from league rival Schalke to replace the departed Kevin de Bruyne, broke the deadlock in the Group B game five minutes before the break. The Germany midfielder stabbed home the rebound from close range after Igor Akinfeev saved his initial headed effort from Ricardo Rodriguez' cross.
Wolfsburg dominated the match but failed to take a number of chances to put the result beyond doubt. ''If you look at the chances and counter attacks we had, should have made it 2-0 fairly quickly. Then we would have been a little more at ease,'' Wolfsburg winger Andre Schuerrle said.
Schuerrle should have scored early on after being played through by Draxler only to be thwarted by Akinfeev's foot, and Daniel Caligiuri beat the offside trap but hesitated and allowed Georgy Shchennikov to make a crucial block. ''We have to be more decisive in front of goal,'' Caligiuri said. Draxler's goal was fully deserved and capped an impressive performance over all from the 21-year-old.
Sevilla 3, Borussia Moenchengladbach 0
Sevilla scored two out of its three penalties to ease to a 3-0 win against Borussia Moenchengladbach in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Sevilla bossed the entire Group D match at its Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium but only led 1-0 after Kevin Gameiro converted one of two penalties in the first five minutes of the second half. Both spot kicks were earned by forward Victor ''Vitolo'' Machin.
Gameiro made amends by forcing a third penalty, which this time Ever Banega stepped up to take in the 66th and coolly slotted into the corner. Sevilla's Yevhen Konoplyanka went on in the 83rd and a minute later scored Sevilla's third, catching out goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a long strike from an extremely tight angle on the right flank. It was Sevilla's first victory of the season after going winless in the first three rounds of the Spanish league and losing 5-4 in an extra-time thriller to Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup.
''The entire team was great, from minute one we went for it. We just needed for the ball to go in,'' Vitolo said. ''It was very important for us to win this game. It will give us a boost of confidence for what's to come, both the Spanish league and the Champions League.''
Benfica 2, Astana 0
Nicolas Gaitan and Kostas Mitroglou scored in the second half to give Benfica a 2-0 win over plucky Champions League newcomer Astana in their Group C opener Tuesday.
Gaitan got the breakthrough in the 51st, breaking into the area from the left flank and firing a low drive into the far corner. Mitroglou extended the Portuguese club's lead 11 minutes later when he tapped in Eliseu's cross from the left. The goals came after a frustrating first half in which Benfica dominated the run of play but lacked the speed and imagination to pierce Astana's packed defense.
Astana, the first team from Kazakhstan to reach the competition's group phase, produced a competent performance and looked poised to upset Benfica when substitute Aleksei Schetkin hit the post in the 46th. Benfica mostly dictated the game but in the first half lacked the speed and imagination to pierce Astana's packed defense.
Junior Kabananga and Georgi Zhukov threatened for Astana but the visitors didn't have the sophistication needed to make any real headway. Benfica is making its sixth consecutive Champions League appearance and has lost just one of its last 15 European games at the Stadium of Light.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.