David Moyes began his Champions League campaign as Manchester United manager with victory against Bayer Leverkusen on a night Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal for the club.
Rooney’s early volley opened the scoring but Simon Holfes levelled via a Michael Carrick deflection.
Robin van Persie restored United’s lead before Rooney pounced on a defensive lapse to coolly finish for his brace.
Antonio Valencia added the fourth but then Omer Toprak halved the deficit.
Bayern Munich also got their European title defence off to a winning start as they recorded a straightforward 3-0 victory at home to CSKA Moscow.
A win for the hosts never looked in doubt and they found themselves ahead within the opening five minutes as the talented David Alaba fired a free-kick in from a central position, while Mario Mandzukic added a second with a header just before half-time.
Arjen Robben wrapped up the three points 22 minutes from time after a lovely assist by Alaba, thus securing a win in Pep Guardiola’s first UEFA Champions League outing in charge of the German club.
Guardiola’s men strolled to a similarly comfortable 2-0 win over Hannover at the weekend and the coach made only one change to that team as Dante replaced Daniel Van Buyten at centre-back.
The Russians also came into the game fresh from a domestic victory over Rostov, but the win came at a cost as Alan Dzagoev and Zoran Tosic both picked up injuries, meaning Aleksandrs Cauna and Steven Zuber took their respective places.
Manchester City got their Champions League campaign off to a confident start as they beat Czech side Viktoria Plzen 3-0 thanks to strikes by Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
After a nervous first half, Manuel Pellegrini’s side went ahead when Dzeko finished a break after 48 minutes.
Within 10 minutes City were 3-0 up as Toure curled in from 25 yards and then Aguero fired in after a smart turn.
Plzen came closest when Tomas Horava hit the post from a corner.
Aguero also hit the post in the first half, while Dzeko and Toure should both have headed in, but it was a welcome victory for City who recorded their first win in seven Champions League games.
In Greece, Thiago Motta’s second-half brace helped Paris Saint-Germain to an impressive 4-1 win away to Olympiacos at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Vladimir Weiss cancelled out Edinson Cavani’s opener with a fine individual effort in the first half, before Motta headed home from two Ezequiel Lavezzi corners to put the visitors in control.
Young debutant Marquinhos added a fourth in the remaining few minutes, in what was eventually a convincing win for Laurent Blanc’s side in their UEFA Champions League opener.
Olympiacos made three changes from the side that beat Xanthi at the weekend, with Javier Saviola, Kostas Manolas and Leandro Salino making way for Giannis Maniatis, Alejandro Dominguez and Dimitrios Siovas.
The Ligue 1 outfit handed a debut to 19-year-old Marquinhos, who was drafted in for the injured Alex.
Javier Pastore was ruled out with a foot injury, while Cavani was welcomed back to the starting line-up having been named on the bench for the weekend win over Bordeaux.
Jorge Jesus’ UEFA Champions League dream got off to a solid start as Benfica beat Anderlecht 2-0 in Group C on Tuesday.
First-half goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao gave the home side an early advantage that they were not prepared to relinquish, and they now find themselves comfortably off the mark in a tough group.
With Paris-Saint Germain and Olympiacos still to come, Anderlecht now face a tough task to bounce back after struggling against their hosts.
For Jesus, who watched his men fall to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2012, the result represented an ideal home start.
Despite a number of injuries, the 59-year-old named a strong line-up, with 19-year-old Lazar Markovic, who was heavily linked with Chelsea in the close-season, leading their attack.
Meanwhile, Anderlecht manager John van den Brom also opted to showcase youth in his side, with 16-year-old Youri Tielemans named on the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to an opening-day UEFA Champions League triumph as they beat Galatasaray 6-1 in Istanbul.
The Portugal international scored a second-half hat-trick to seal an emphatic win, with Isco and a Karim Benzema double completing the three points.
Isco opened the scoring after controlling a perfect pass from Angel di Maria before netting his fourth goal in nine Champions League starts.
Benzema added a second early in the second half after more good work from Di Maria, the France international emphatically firing past Fernando Muslera to end the game as a contest.
Ronaldo’s quick double came just before Benzema added his second from close range, while Umut Bulut added a late consolation for the visitors before Ronaldo sealed the win following a mazy run.
Five players – including Wesley Sneijder and Muslera – returned to the Galatasaray starting line-up having been rested for the draw with Antalyaspor on Friday, with Fatih Terim partnering Burak Yilmaz and Didier Drogba in attack.
Carlo Ancelotti also made changes to his side from the 2-2 draw with Villarreal, recalling experienced goalkeeper Iker Casillas while Di Maria replaced Gareth Bale.
Unfortunately for Casillas, his game came to a premature end when he clashed with Sergio Ramos. The Spain goalkeeper tried to carry on but had to be replaced by Diego Lopez in the 14th minute with a back injury.
Lopez was called upon just before the half-hour mark as Melo got to a left-wing cross in front of his marker. His header looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Lopez to dive to his left to keep it out.
Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Copenhagen after dominating much of their opening UEFA Champions League encounter in Denmark.
Nicolai Jorgensen gave the hosts the lead in the 15th minute in the Group B clash before Fabio Quagliarella levelled the scores 10 minutes into the second half.
It was scant reward for a Juventus side that enjoyed much more of the ball and created far better chances, only for wasteful finishing to deny Antonio Conte’s side.
Stale Solbakken made one change from the side that drew 1-1 with Esbjerg at the weekend, Igor Vetokele making way for Daniel Braaten.
Conte made three changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Inter, with Angelo Ogbonna, Federico Peluso and Quagliarella coming in for Andrea Barzagli, Kwadwo Asamoah and Mirko Vucinic.
The Italian champions had the first effort of note in the fifth minute, Carlos Tevez meeting Andrea Pirlo’s cleverly-taken corner but firing wide of the right-hand post from an angle.
RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports
The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports.
He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered.
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents.
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said.
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development.
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.
24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship
The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including; the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran 10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday.
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record. The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster. The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.
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