Roma crumbled to a shock 2-1 home defeat against Romanian minnows Cluj on the opening night of the UEFA Champions League group stage, while Inter secured a 2-0 win at Panathinaikos.
ROMA 1-2 CFR CLUJ
Romanian outfit CFR Cluj grabbed the headlines on the opening night of Champions League group stage action as they stunned Serie A runners-up Roma with a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Cluj sit in a lowly seventh place in the Romanian Liga 1 but their debut in Europe's premier club competition could not have been better as they came from behind to stun Luciano Spalletti's troops in the Group A clash. Christian Panucci fired the Romans ahead after 17 minutes but Cluj, coached by Italian Maurizio Trombetta, refused to succumb to the expected defeat and levelled through Juan Culio 10 minutes later before the Argentinian midfielder volleyed home a brilliant winner in the second half to secure a stunning three points.
Summer Inter target Frank Lampard opened the scoring as Chelsea began their Group A campaign with an emphatic 4-0 home win over French Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux. Lampard headed home early on for last year's European Cup runners-up while Joe Cole, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka were all on target in a comfortable victory for the Premier League side.
PANATHINAIKOS 0-2 INTER
Serie A champions Inter started their quest for Champions League glory with a 2-0 win at Panathinaikos in Group B. Jose Mourinho's side went ahead on the half-hour mark after some brilliant work from Zlatan Ibrahimovic was finished off by Amantino Mancini but they were forced to defend for long periods as the home side searched in vain for an equaliser. The closest the Greeks came was when Bryce Moon hit the crossbar shortly before half-time. However, Adriano sealed the win with just five minutes remaining with his first touch of the game after a through ball from Ibrahimovic.
In the other game in Group B, Werder Bremen failed to break their opening-day Champions League jinx as they were held to a goalless draw by Anorthosis Famagusta. Last year's German Bundesliga runners-up spurned chance after chance at the Weser Stadion as the Cypriots, making their debut appearance in the group stage, clung on for a desperate point.
TUESDAY'S OTHER MATCHES
Barcelona kicked off their Group C campaign with a 3-1 victory over Iberian neighbours Sporting Lisbon at the Camp Nou. Goals from Rafael Marquez and Samuel Eto'o had put Barca in control, and although Sporting threatened to put the cat among the pigeons by pulling a goal back through Antonio Tonel, Xavi's late strike ended any chance of shock comeback.
Two moments of Brazilian magic secured Shakhtar Donetsk a deserved 2-1 victory in their opening Group C match against Basle. Fernandinho set the ball rolling for the Ukrainian champions with a stunning free-kick after 25 minutes while fellow Brazilian Jadson doubled the advantage from another set-piece on the stroke of half-time. Christian Gross' Basle grabbed a late consolation strike through David Abraham.
A Sergio Aguero brace helped Atletico Madrid hit the ground running as a terrific performance from the Argentina forward saw his side defeat PSV Eindhoven 3-0 in Group D. Aguero gave the Spanish team the best possible start in the ninth minute and doubled his tally towards the end of the first half before Nuno Maniche killed the game off nine minutes after the break.
Steven Gerrard ensured Liverpool got their Champions League campaign off to the best possible start with both goals in a 2-1 win at Marseille. The French giants actually took the lead through a fine goal from Lorik Cana after 23 minutes but Gerrard curled home a sensational equaliser three minutes later before putting the visitors ahead from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE REVIEW:
[Tuesday 16 Sep] - [Wednesday 17 Sep]