Champions League roundup: Real Madrid stunned, Bayern routs Atleti, Liverpool and Man City win (video)

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A day after the UEFA Champions League kicked off its 2020-21 season with a breathless slate of matches, 16 other European teams — including reigning champion Bayern Munich and record 13-time winner Read Madrid — kicked off their campaigns.

Here’s the full roundup of Wednesday’s action.

Real Madrid’s furious comeback falls short in 3-2 loss

This was not the way Zinedine Zidane envisioned his side’s start to the Champions League. Yet there was Zidane, who led Real to consecutive European titles from 2016-18, staring into the middle distance in Madrid with his team trailing Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 on first-half strikes by Tetê and Manor Solomon and an own goal by Raphaël Varane.

It marked the first time in almost 20 years that Real had conceded three times at home in the first half of of a Champions League match.

Some lax defending lead to the opener, and Varane’s gaffe was the last in a comedy of errors that preceded it. But Donetsk most definitely deserved its third from Solomon, who began the pretty passing play inside his own half before arriving the box to finish it off:

Presumably having been read the riot act at halftime, Real looked like a different team after the break. So when Luka Modric pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half, it seemed possible that the comeback was on:

That feeling only increased after Brazilian winger Vinícius Júnior came off the bench, immediately dispossessed a Shakhtar defender and fired home to make it 3-2:

And sure enough, it looked for all the world like Real Madrid had found its equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time when, through a sea of bodies, Federico Valverde fired a low shot that found its way inside the post.

But unfortunately for Zidane and Co., the center referee determined Vinícius was standing in an offside position and interfering with goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin’s view after being alerted to the possible infraction by his video assistant.

Shakhtar was missing 10 first-team players as well due to COVID-19, which compounds the embarrassment for Real Madrid.

Bayern Munich rocks Atletico Madrid

The most anticipated contest of the day for neutrals, it was all one-way traffic in Munich as Bayern ran out 4-0 winners on goals by Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso and two by Kingsley Coman. Tolisso’s strike may have been the best of the day:

The lopsided scoreline doesn’t lie. The champs were superior in every way to a very good Atleti side, which must be relieved that their toughest match of the group stage is now behind them.

Liverpool ekes past Ajax in Amsterdam

Liverpool was far from convincing in its Champions League opener. Still, three points are three points, and Jurgen Klopp’s side heads back to Merseyside with all of them thanks to a spectacular first-half mistake by Ajax’s Nicolás Tagliafico:

Considering that Klopp’s team is still reeling from the loss of playmaker Thiago Alcântara and heart-and-soul central defender Virgil van Dijk to injury — van Dijk could be out for the season — it’s hard to be too critical of the visitors performance at Johan Cruyff Arena.

Two second-half goals propel Manchester City past Porto

It was also winning start for the other English team in action Wednesday, as Man City overcame a 1-0 first-half deficit thanks a 20th-minute penalty by Sergio Agüero and second-half tallies from İlkay Gündoğan and Ferran Torres.

Gündoğan’s goal, off a picture perfect free kick, was a worthy game-winner:

Jesse Marsch’s Salzburg held by Lokomotiv Moscow

In Wednesday’s other early game, FC Salzburg had to settle for a disappointing draw at home against easily the weakest of its three Group A foes. (Bayern and Atletico Madrid are the other two.)

Eder gave the Russians the lead after just 19 minutes, but Salzburg stormed back with a pair of strikes just before and after the intermission, including this blast by veteran Zlatko Junuzović:

Vitali Lisakovich got the visitors level with a quarter-hour to go, though, and it ended 2-2.

The Austrians were one of the feel-good stories of the group stage last season, when they narrowly missed out on advancing to the knockout phase from a foursome that included Liverpool and Napoli. But Salzburg, which is led by second-year American manager Marsch, will now probably have to steal a result against one of the big boys in order to survive the group.

Atalanta rolls; late lead changes in Milan and Athens

The Italians’ all-out attacking game is much-loved by neutrals, and Atalanta didn’t disappoint by crushing tourney debutant Midtjylland 4-0 in Denmark.

There were late goals aplenty elsewhere. Jonas Hoffman gave Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach a 2-1 lead at Inter Milan, but Romelu Lukaku netted his second of the match in stoppage time to preserve a point for the hosts.

Finally, in Greece’s iconic capital, a stoppage-time header by Ahmed Hassan stunned Marseille and gave Olympiakos an important opening day triumph.

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