Manchester United tops PSG, 10-man Barcelona gets needed victory on first Champions League matchday (video)

Doug McIntyre
·5 min read

The 2020-21 UEFA Champions League season finally kicked off on Tuesday, a full month later than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was worth the wait. As we’ve come to expect with Europe’s top club competition, there was no shortage of drama. Here’s the full roundup of Tuesday’s action.

Man United tops PSG in a marquee meeting that doesn’t disappoint

The highest-profile match of the day was played in France, where these two star-studded titans took part in immensely entertaining contest that United won 2-1 thanks to Marcus Rashford’s late goal:

The affair was reminiscent of the clubs’ memorable round of 16 encounter two years ago. For a group stage game, this one wasn’t far behind.

United took a first-half lead in controversial fashion, Bruno Fernandes scoring from the penalty spot after PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas saved his first attempt from 12 yards. The kick was retaken after the video assistant referee determined that Navas was off his line.

Luck would go against the Red Devils later, though, when Anthony Martial headed the ball into his own net off a Neymar corner kick:

The visitors, though, would have the last laugh. Rashford’s winner was set up by French World Cup star Paul Pogba, who notably began the night on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s bench.

Barcelona, Lionel Messi get a badly needed victory

It’s been an interesting couple months for Barcelona and Messi, who wanted to leave the Blaugrana after a humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarterfinals. Messi ended up staying, but Barca’s form heading into its meeting with Hungarian side Ferencvaros hadn’t been good, with Ronald Koeman’s team earning just one point from its last two La Liga games.

Barca made no mistake against an overmatched foe on Tuesday, though, despite playing down a man for the final 22 minutes. Messi scored the opener from the penalty spot en route to the eventual 5-1 win:

American teenager Sergiño Dest made his second consecutive start for Koeman and once again acquitted himself well, going the full 90 minutes at left back and becoming one of a record five U.S. players to appear in the Champions League in a single day.

It wasn’t all good news at the Nou Camp, though. The visitors’ goal came from a penalty after longtime center back Gerard Piqué was sent off.

Juventus rolls without Cristiano Ronaldo; Club Brugge upsets Zenit

No Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem. In one of Tuesday’s two early games, Álvaro Morata scored twice in the second half to give Juve a 2-0 win over Dynamo Kiev.

The visitors were without their superstar forward and American midfielder Weston McKennie, who both remained in Italy after contracting COVID-19.

In the other early match, 19-year-old Brugge forward Charles De Ketelaere scored in the third minute of stoppage time to help his team claim all three points at Zenit St. Petersburg:

American keeper Ethan Horvath — who had kept three clean sheets in three previous Champions League appearances — was spectacular in his first action for the Belgian side in more than a year, even if he was credited with an own goal on the hosts’ lone tally:

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea held by Sevilla

Pulisic earned his second start in a row since returning from the torn hamstring that kept him on the sidelines at the beginning of Chelsea’s season, but the American couldn’t help the Blues earn more than a point as the hosts and Spanish side Sevilla played to a scoreless draw in London.

Christian Pulisic and Chelsea settled for a scoreless draw at home to Sevilla in its Champions League opener. (Darren Walsh/Getty Images)
Christian Pulisic and Chelsea settled for a scoreless draw at home to Sevilla in its Champions League opener. (Darren Walsh/Getty Images)

Lazio crushes Borussia Dortmund

Erling Haaland — who else? — cut Lazio’s lead in half when he scored BVB’s only goal in the second half, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Italian side rode strikes from Ciro Immobile, Marwin Hitz and Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro on the way to a 3-1 triumph.

Seventeen-year-old U.S. national team prospect Gio Reyna played the final 45 minutes for Dortmund and set up Haaland’s strike with a seeing-eye pass through traffic:

RB Leipzig wins; Rennes, Krasnodar play to a stalemate

Leipzig, last year’s surprise semifinalist, rode a pair of goals from former New York City FC fullback Angeliño to beat İstanbul Basaksehir 2-0.

In France, Rennes’ second-half opener by Serhou Guirassy was cancelled out moments later by this rocket by Krasnodar’s Cristian Ramirez:

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