Champions League results & predictions – matchday 1

After months of waiting, the Champions League is back – with the first round of fixtures set to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

There are plenty of interesting storylines already brewing this time out. Can Chelsea defend their title? Have Paris Saint-Germain finally got enough to overcome their Champions League hoodoo? And can Cristiano Ronaldo turn Manchester United into genuine contenders?

Answers to these questions and many more will be much clearer after matchday one. Here is how the games have played out so far and how 90min sees the remaining set of fixtures going…

Aleksei Kulbakov, Youssef En NesyriAleksei Kulbakov, Youssef En Nesyri

Youssef En Nesyri was sent off for diving – in attempt to win a FIFTH penalty of the game / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The most ridiculous game of the 2021/22 Champions League campaign has probably already taken place, and it went down in Andalusia between Sevilla and RB Salzburg.

The former are the dominators of the Europa League in recent years while Salzburg are an exciting up and coming team desperately looking to make their mark in European football’s premier club competition.

What played out was a game that featured four penalties, three for the visitors – two of which were missed – a red card for Youssef En Nesyri, for diving and trying to win a fifth spot kick of the game, and an eventual share of the spoils at 1-1.

The successful penalties were converted by Ivan Rakitic and Luka Sucic, though the latter also missed a spot kick after teenager Karim Adeyemi had earlier missed the target with his effort.

Jordan SiebatcheuJordan Siebatcheu

Young Boys snatched victory in stoppage time / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

There was a major shock to open up Group F as underdogs Young Boys fought back from a goal down to beat 10-man Manchester United 2-1.

United were handed the lead early on by Cristiano Ronaldo, who else, as he netted his 135th Champions League goal in his record breaking 177th appearance in the competition. But things took a sour turn for the Red Devils just before half-time when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was shown a straight red card for a dangerous lunge.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacted by bringing on Raphael Varane and Diogo Dalot to form a five-man defence, but they were pegged back by an equaliser from Cameroon winger Moumi Ngamaleu.

Having looked likely to hold on, United threw it away in stoppage as Jesse Lingard’s misplaced back pass allowed Jordan Siebatcheu to nip in and send the home fans wild.

Read Man Utd’s player ratings here.

Jonathan David, Burak Y?lmazJonathan David, Burak Y?lmaz

Lille had a goal ruled out against Wolfsburg / Lars Baron/Getty Images

Reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille had the better of their Group G clash against VfL Wolfsburg but were unable to break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw.

The visitors were reduced to 10-men just after the hour mark when John Brooks was sent off after collecting two yellow cards, the second for handball. But despite their numerical advantage, Lille couldn’t break the deadlock – with just four of their 17 shots in the match on target – though they did have a goal chalked off by VAR.

The Germans, meanwhile, didn’t have a shot on target, but head back to their 100% Bundesliga winning record with a Champions League point safely tucked under their belt.

Arnaut Danjuma, Gerard MorenoArnaut Danjuma, Gerard Moreno

Arnaut Danjuma was on the scoresheet for Villarreal / Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

An entertaining Group F contest between Villarreal and Atalanta ended 2-2, handing Manchester United – who lost to Young Boys earlier in the night – a major boost.

The Italians hit the front early on through Remo Freuler but were pegged back six minutes before half-time when Manu Trigueros Munoz levelled the scores. It was Unai Emery’s Europa League holders who hit the front next, the lead handed to them by Arnaut Danjuma, a summer signing from Bournemouth.

But Gian Piero Gasperini’s side were not to be denied a point in what was an even game statistically. Robin Gosens was the player to score seven minutes from time, and there was still time for former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin to be sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

Romelu Lukaku, Stanislav KritsyukRomelu Lukaku, Stanislav Kritsyuk

Lukaku’s header crept in at the far post / Clive Rose/Getty Images

Champions League holders Chelsea got off to the best possible start, but their opening 1-0 win over Zenit was a bigger struggle than Thomas Tuchel would have liked it to be.

The German was missing a couple of key players through injury, namely N’Golo Kante, but he did have Romelu Lukaku leading the Blues line for the first time in Europe.

Ultimately, it was the Belgian who was the difference maker, nodding home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross from deep to send the Stamford Bridge faithful home happy.

Read Chelsea’s player ratings here.


Paulo Dybala was on the scoresheet for Juventus / ANDREAS HILLERGREN/Getty Images

Juventus forgot about their domestic woes with a routine 3-0 win over Malmo in Group H.

The Bianconeri took the lead midway through the first half when Alex Sandro stooped low to head in before Paulo Dybala converted from the penalty spot after Alvaro Morata had been taken down. The Spaniard was then on hand to make it three before half-time, with the second half played out in cruise control.

Next up is a clash with holders Chelsea at the Allianz Stadium.

Read Juventus’ player ratings here.

It was men against boys at Camp Nou as Bayern Munich completely outclassed Barcelona to pick up a 3-0 win in Group E.

The Bavarians did not allow their illustrious opponents a single shot on target and were dominant from start to finish.

They had to wait a while for their first goal, however, and it actually arrived in slightly fortuitous circumstances; Thomas Muller’s curling shot deflecting wickedly off Eric Garcia to leave Marc-Andre ter Stegen stranded. It was then over to Robert Lewandowski, who showed how good he is in the box with two goals any predatory striker would have been proud of.

First, he reacted quickest to Jamal Musiala’s shot hitting the post to poke home, before he again latched on to Serge Gnabry striking the woodwork to smash past Ter Stegen. It was the 18th consecutive game he has scored in, and incredibly the 28th and 29th goals he’s scored in that time.

Read player ratings for Barcelona & Bayern Munich here.

Dynamo KyivDynamo Kyiv

Dynamo Kyiv thought they had a stoppage time winner – until VAR intervened / GENYA SAVILOV/Getty Images

The other game in Group E pitted Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica against one another, though sadly the action was not as free flowing in the Ukrainian capital.

Benfica enjoyed the lion’s share of possession – 68% in fact – but weren’t able to break down their stubborn hosts despite having 12 efforts on goal. Things almost got away from the Portuguese giants in stoppage time when Dynamo though they had scored an injury time winner.

But Denys Harmash was deemed to be offside in the build-up, ensuring the game finished goalless with a point each.

Erling Haaland, Thomas Meunier, Jude BellinghamErling Haaland, Thomas Meunier, Jude Bellingham

Dortmund have a host of young players / Joosep Martinson/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 17:45 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Vodafone Arena
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
VAR? Juan Martinez Munuera

It’s been a while since Borussia Dortmund seriously impressed in Europe – largely because of their defensive shortcomings.

Their leaky backline has persisted at the start of this season and former player Michy Batshuayi will be looking to exploit that on Wednesday.

He is just one of several well-known players Besiktas have at their disposal with BVB likely to be in for a tough night.

Prediction: Besiktas 2-2 Dortmund

Marcos Antonio (R) of Shahtar Donetsk celebrates his goal...Marcos Antonio (R) of Shahtar Donetsk celebrates his goal...

Shakhtar will be confident of securing a win / SOPA Images/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 17:45 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Deniz Aytekin
VAR? Christian Dingert

Sheriff making it to the Champions League for the first time is already an incredible story. Their job now is to make sure they do themselves justice in a tough group that contains both Inter and Real Madrid.

Before facing that illustrious pair, they take on Shakhtar Donetsk, who are no slouches themselves. The Ukrainian’s did the double over Real last season and should make light work of the minnows.

Prediction: Sheriff 1-3 Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid players seen celebrating a goal during the La...Real Madrid players seen celebrating a goal during the La...

Real had great Champions League pedigree / SOPA Images/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? San Siro
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Daniel Siebert
VAR? Marco Fritz

Inter have a very different side to the one that faced Real Madrid in the group stages last season. Manager Antonio Conte, as well as top scorer Romelu Lukaku and star right-back Achraf Hakimi have all departed, with their replacements nowhere near as talented.

Real have also experienced upheaval with head coach Zinedine Zidane and captain Sergio Ramos both leaving the club in the summer.

Los Blancos are in better shape overall though, and should secure all three points – particularly with Karim Benzema and Vini Jr. in such great form.

Prediction: Inter 1-2 Real Madrid

Thomas LemarThomas Lemar

Atletico have their strongest squad of the modern era / Eric Alonso/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Wanda Metropolitano
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Ovidiu Hategan
VAR? Marco Di Bello

After returning to the summit of Spanish football last season, Atletico Madrid will be looking to make an impact in Europe this time out.

They kick off their campaign against a Porto side known for causing an upset in the past, so will need to be wary. Centre-back Pepe will be particularly keen to get one over his old rivals.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-0 FC Porto

Kylian Mbappe, Achraf HakimiKylian Mbappe, Achraf Hakimi

PSG are looking to end their Champions League hoodoo / John Berry/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Jan Breydel Stadium
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Sandro Scharer
VAR? Massimiliano Irrati

Paris Saint-Germain are most people’s tip to win the Champions League this season and it’s easy to see why.

They had one of the greatest transfer windows of all time this summer, bringing in Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and of course, Lionel Messi on free transfers.

On paper Club Brugge don’t stand a chance. This one could get ugly for the Belgians.

Prediction: Club Brugge 0-4 PSG

Mohamed Salah, Virgil van DijkMohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have lofty ambitions / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Anfield
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Szymon Marciniak
VAR? Tomasz Kwiatkowski

Incredibly, this will be Milan’s first ever European game at Anfield. They will face an uphill struggle getting anything off of a Liverpool side that have started the campaign strong.

Saying that, the Rossoneri have been impressive too, winning their opening three Serie A games without too much hassle. The Reds should have just enough to see them off, though.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Milan


Man City are aiming to win the competition / LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Etihad Stadium
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Serdar Gozubuyuk
VAR? Pol van Boekel

As is often the case, RB Leipzig lost a lot of talent in the summer with Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, Marcel Sabitzer and head coach Julian Nagelsmann all moving onto bigger things.

The mass exodus has affected Die Roten Bullen and they have already lost to Mainz and Wolfsburg this season, as well as being thrashed by Bayern Munich.

Things don’t get any easier with a trip to Manchester City to contend with on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s side are eager to end their wait for a Champions League title and will want to get off to a flying start.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 RB Leipzig


Ajax have a dangerous squad / OLAF KRAAK/Getty Images

When is kick off? Wednesday 15 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Estadio Jose Alvalade
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez
VAR? Alejandro Jose Hernandez

Ajax and Sporting both have a string of exciting young players capable of lighting up this Champions League tie.

This is a tough one to call. The Dutch champions have more UCL pedigree but Sporting boast home advantage. A draw is most likely.

Prediction: Sporting 2-2 Ajax