Bayern Munich on Wednesday began their defense of the Champions League title in ominous fashion by crushing Atletico Madrid 4-0, while Liverpool and Manchester City also won, but Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat.
Madrid, the record 13-time European champions, went down to a 3-2 home loss against Shakhtar Donetsk, showing how far Zinedine Zidane’s side are from the standards being set by Bayern.
Two months after scoring the winner in the final against Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon, Kingsley Coman put Bayern ahead against Atletico in Group A and later scored a stunning individual effort to wrap up the victory at an empty Allianz Arena.
In between Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso were also on target for the German champions, with the latter’s strike a long-range stunner.
“The winning goal in last season’s final is a good motivator, but it’s in the past now and we have fresh goals this season,” Coman told Sky Sports.
It was Bayern’s 12th consecutive Champions League win, while the result for Atletico equaled their worst defeat under Diego Simeone.
Bayern next go to Russia to play Lokomotiv Moscow, who battled back to draw 2-2 at RB Salzburg on Wednesday.
Eder put Lokomotiv ahead in Austria, only for Dominik Szoboszlai to crash in a brilliant equalizer.
A deflected Zlatko Junuzovic goal put the hosts in front, but Vitali Lisakovich headed in to earn the Russian side a point.
Real were 3-0 down at halftime against Shakhtar at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano and fell short with a second-half fightback to get their European campaign off to a disastrous start.
A depleted Shakhtar were without 10 first-team players and nine members of staff due to COVID-19 infections, and had seven starters aged 21 or younger.
Strikes from Tete and Manor Solomon, either side of a Raphael Varane own-goal, gave the Ukrainian champions a three-goal halftime lead.
Luka Modric and Vinicius Jr pulled goals back and Fede Valverde thought he had grabbed a stoppage-time equalizer, but his deflected shot was ruled out for an offside.
Missing the injured Sergio Ramos, Real have won just one of their past seven Champions League home games. This was also a second defeat in five days as they prepare to go to Barcelona for El Clasico tomorrow.
“We lacked a bit of everything, but above all our confidence, which is the most important thing,” Zidane said.
Real are already up against it in Group B, even if rivals Inter and Borussia Moenchengladbach canceled each other out in a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.
Liverpool shook off the absence of Virgil van Dijk to edge Ajax 1-0 behind closed doors in Amsterdam in Group D.
Van Dijk is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, but Juergen Klopp’s side kept a clean sheet and took all three points after Nicolas Tagliafico turned a wayward Sadio Mane shot into his own net on 35 minutes.
“It was not sunshine football, but we wanted three points and we got it,” Klopp said.
The 2018-2019 European champions hope to build on the result when they host Midtjylland next week.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
An influx of soccer players to India from Australia has highlighted changing fortunes as the Indian Super League (ISL) flourishes and the A-League hits lean times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just two Australians played in the Indian Super League last year, but 10 were among the 11 teams when the competition got under way in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa last week. Non-Australian A-League players have also made the move, including English striker Adam Le Fondre — last season’s second-highest goal-scorer with Sydney FC — along with German defender Matti Steinman and Aaron Holloway of Wales. Much of the change is down to
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