The most important club competition in Europe has returned and already it’s provided a few upsets and a few key comebacks. All of the best teams have a serious chance of winning Big Ears and following an interesting start to the season there could be a few surprise packages that challenge the big guns, while some former giants may struggle to match their reputations.
PSG thrashed Dynamo Kiev 4-1 at the Parc des Princes with four different players each notching goals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who has yet to win a Champions League in his illustrious career – opened the scoring with a cool penalty kick in the 19th minute. The defensive pairing of Alex and Thiago Silva both scored from corners around the 30 minute mark to put the French team comfortably ahead. Miguel Veloso caught out Salvatore Sirigu from the wing but Javier Pastore secured a key three points with a late goal.
The Parisians may be new to the competition but they have several key factors influencing their chances. The Qatari money has been spent wisely to purchase a mix of fresh young talent (Pastore and Verratti) and experienced European stars (Silva and Ibra). Carlo Ancelotti has had a mixed few years but he guided AC Milan to three Champions League finals in five years – winning twice.
The other clash was between Dinamo Zagreb and Porto. The home team were dominated at the Maksimir Stadium and were fairly beaten 2-0. Lucho Gonzalez scored shortly before half time before Steven Defour scored in the 90th minute. The Portuguese team had over 60% possession and took 13 chances; with eight being on target.
Porto are an experienced Champions League team with a strong team while PSG have the financial power and managerial knowledge to win the tournament. It will be difficult for the two eastern European teams will more than likely be fighting over the Europa League place.
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