Holders Manchester City recovered from falling a goal behind to outclass Red Star Belgrade 3-1 in their Group G opener with Julian Alvarez scoring twice at The Etihad on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the opening period but were guilty of wayward finishing and trailed to a sucker-punch just before halftime as Osman Bukari broke clear to finish in style.
City began the game on a 26-match unbeaten run in Champions League home games and normal service was resumed almost immediately after the restart as Alvarez levelled after combining with Erling Haaland.
A misjudgement by Red Star keeper Omri Glazer allowed an Alvarez cross to go into the net on the hour and Rodri made it 3-1 with a clinical finish after 73 minutes as City made it 19 home wins in succession in all competitions.
Norwegian goal-machine Haaland has now gone four Champions League games without hitting the net and he was guilty of some poor misses in a first half in which City’s 22 goal attempts were the most in the competition since data began to be compiled.
He headed one effort wide, another even easier chance against the crossbar and then lashed a shot over.
The 3,000 travelling Belgrade fans celebrated and City could hardly believe it as they headed off at halftime.
Newcastle United marked their return to the Champions League after a two-decade absence with a hard-fought 0-0 draw with AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday, as the Serie A club spurned numerous opportunities in the Group F opener.
Arsenal returned to the Champions League in style as they started their first campaign in six years with an impressive win over PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners wrapped up victory in their opening Group B game with a scintillating first half display that saw them race into a 3-0 lead on a rain-soaked night in north London.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring after eight minutes, pouncing on a rebound when PSV keeper Walter Benitez could only push Martin Odegaard’s into the England winger’s path.
Saka was involved again when Arsenal doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, laying the ball perfectly into Leandro Trossard’s pass for a smooth low finish after Gabriel Jesus had broken clear.
Jesus was outstanding and thoroughly deserved to add Arsenal’s third seven minutes before half-time with a rising drive that gave Benitez no chance.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made a host of second-half changes with Sunday’s derby at home to in-form Tottenham in mind, but his side still retained complete control, and Odegaard made it 4-0 with a powerful 20-yard strike with 20 minutes left.
Elsewhere in Group B, French side Lens held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw in Spain as they played in their first Champions League match in 20 years.
Manchester United were given a taste of what could have been as Harry Kane helped Bayern Munich to victory over Erik ten Hag’s struggling side in a high-scoring and eventful Champions League opener.
It was no secret that the Red Devils would have liked to have signed Kane from Tottenham in the summer, but instead England’s captain and record goalscorer opted for a career in Germany that has begun in stellar fashion.
At the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, the 30-year-old claimed both an assist and scored from the penalty spot – after a VAR check to rule Christian Eriksen had handled in the box – to take his tally of goals this season to five in five games in all competitions.
It was a timely strike from Kane too as it came just after Rasmus Hojland had scored his first United goal to make it 2-1 early in the second half and give his side some hope of a result.
Before that, goalkeeper Andre Onana had undone a disciplined start from the visitors with a shocking error to allow Leroy Sane’s drive to slip under him and find the net in the 28th minute.
Four minutes later, Serge Gnabry struck low and accurately inside the far corner to make it 2-0.
It is to the visitors’ credit that they came out swinging to try and make a contest of it but their current fragility and lack of options from the bench as a result of numerous injuries undermined their ability to compete.
Casemiro showed dogged determination to smuggle a second in for United to give them a glimmer of hope but Mathys Tel snuffed that out by hammering a Bayern fourth high into the net in added time.
United were not finished, with Casemiro heading home Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick from close range with almost the last kick of the game, but it was too late.
An opening-game loss at the six-time champions of Europe will not define the campaign, especially with FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray – who drew 2-2 earlier on Wednesday in Istanbul – both more beatable in the group, but they are now in dire need of a response to restore some focus and faith.
UEFA Champions League results
Real Madrid 1 Union Berlin 0
Galatasaray 2 København 2
Sporting Braga 1 Napoli 2
Benfica 0 Salzburg 2
Real Sociedad 1 Internazionale 1
Bayern München 4 Manchester United 3
Sevilla 1 Lens 1
Arsenal 4 PSV 0
Young Boys 1 RB Leipzig 3
Milan 0 Newcastle United 0
Manchester City 3 Crvena Zvezda 1
Feyenoord 2 Celtic 0
Lazio 1 Atlético Madrid 1
Barcelona 5 Antwerp 0
Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Porto 3
PSG 2 Borussia Dortmund 0