The second round of Champions League group stage action recently took place, and it certainly didn’t disappoint — with goals, upsets and thrilling matches galore. That said, read on as we take a look at some of the big talking points from gameweek two.
Newcastle United thrash Paris Saint-Germain
The biggest talking point of the round was, undoubtedly, Newcastle United’s emphatic 4-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain. Champions League football returned to St James’ Park for the first time in over 20 years, and the Magpies gave the home fans a night to remember.
The atmosphere in Newcastle was spine-tingling from the first whistle, but Miguel Almiron raised the roof when he scored the opening goal in the 17th minute. Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff, who both grew up supporting the club, scored either side of half-time to make it 3-0.
Lucas Hernandez grabbed one back for PSG with around 30 minutes to spare, but the French side couldn’t find a way back into the match, and Fabian Schar made it 4-1 with a fantastic strike into the top corner from outside the box.
Manchester United’s struggles continue
Erik ten Hag was heavily praised for his first season in charge at Old Trafford, as he guided Manchester United to a third-place finish in the Premier League and League Cup glory. However, the Dutchman will be feeling hot on the collar after his side’s poor start to this campaign.
Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring at the Theatre of Dreams in the 17th minute, but former Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha got Galatasaray back on level terms just minutes later. Man United looked back on track for a crucial three points when Hojlund grabbed his second goal in the 67th minute.
But Muhammed Kerem Akturkoglu equalised for the Turkish side and Casemiro was sent off for a second bookable offence that led to a penalty to Galatasaray. Mauro Icardi missed from the spot but ended up scoring the winner from open play in the 81st minute.
Arsenal stunned by Lens
The Red Devils weren’t the only English side to suffer an upset, as all of Arsenal’s fantastic work in their opening group game against PSV — beating the Dutch side 4-0 at the Emirates in September — came undone in a trip to Lens.
It looked like it would be another comfortable night in the Champions League for the Gunners as Gabriel Jesus gave the visitors the lead in the 14th minute, but Adrien Thomasson levelled the scores 11 minutes later.
Mikel Arteta’s men continued to dominate proceedings, but couldn’t make their hefty possession of the football count, and Elye Wahi won it for the hosts in the 69th minute. The Gunners bounced back with a win over Man City, and are the favourites in the Chelsea v Arsenal odds, as they are due to take on the Blues at Stamford Bridge on October 21.
Five 3-2 thrillers
As well as Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray, there were four other matches of the same scoreline across the gameweek. Braga came from two goals down to beat Union Berlin 3-2 in Germany, with Andre Castro’s winner coming in the 94th minute.
In Italy, Real Madrid beat Napoli in a game that ebbed and flowed. Napoli took the lead through Leo Skiri Ostigard, but Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham gave Madrid a 2-1 advantage. Piotr Zielinski levelled from the spot in the second half, but a wonderful strike from Federico Valverde deflected in off the keeper for the winner.
Atletico Madrid beat Feyenoord 3-2, as the Spanish side had to come from behind twice against their Dutch counterparts, while Shakhtar Donetsk came from 2-0 down against Antwerp to win 3-2 in Belgium.
Manchester City leave it late against RB Leipzig
Manchester City have won both of their two games thus far by three goals to one, but the defending champions are yet to really look convincing. Unlike against Red Star Belgrade, Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead through Phil Foden in the 25thminute, but Lois Openda pegged them back with an equaliser three minutes into the second half.
It looked like time was running out for Man City in Germany, as they entered the final 10 minutes locked at 1-1. However, Julian Alvarez came off the bench and provided a crucial goal,before Jeremy Doku killed the tie with a strike two minutes passed the 90.