Champions League: Goalkeeper equalizer, Man City, PSG and Barcelona cruise to wins

The UEFA Champions League is back! The group stage of the 2023-24 campaign kicked off Tuesday, with 32 teams vying to win club soccer's ultimate prize.

Each club plays two games (home and away) against the other three teams in their group, with match days scheduled into mid-December. The top two in each group advances to the Round of 16 (February/March), with the final scheduled for June 1 at London's Wembley Stadium.

Reigning champion Manchester City is the odds-on favorite – having also won back-to-back Premier League titles – and their championship defense began Tuesday with a 3-1 win at home against Red Star Belgrade. Elsewhere, FC Barcelona rolled to a 5-0 win over Royal Antwerp.

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's results

All times Eastern, home team listed first

  • AC Milan 0, Newcastle 0

  • RB Leipzig 3, Young Boys 1

  • Paris Saint-Germain 2, Borussia Dortmund 0

  • Barcelona 5, Royal Antwerp 0

  • Feyenoord 2, Celtic 0

  • Lazio 1, Atletico Madrid 1

  • Manchester City 3, Red Star Belgrade 1

  • FC Porto 3, Shakhtar Donetsk 1

Newcastle's Alexander Isak, left, goes for the header with AC Milan's Fikayo Tomori.
Newcastle's Alexander Isak, left, goes for the header with AC Milan's Fikayo Tomori.

Goalkeeper equalizer in final moments for Lazio

Yes, that's right!

Lazio's Ivan Provedel became only the second goalkeeper to score from open play in UEFA Champions League history, when he scored the equalizer on the final play of the match against Atletico Madrid.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Rodri puts Man City in control vs. Red Star Belgrade

Manchester City is playing like the reigning UEFA Champions League (and two-time defending Premier League winners) that they are in the second half against Red Star Belgrade.

Rodri rolled Man City's third goal past Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Omri Glazer, who is having a rough second half.

João Félix brace has Barcelona up 5-0

João Félix made sure FC Barcelona went consecutive games with five goals scored, as Royal Antwerp is feeling the same ignominy that Real Betis did over the weekend in La Liga play. It was Félix's second goal of the game.

This goal came courtesy of an absolute dime from Raphinha.

Achraf Hakimi's brilliant goal doubles PSG's lead

Morocco national team star Achraf Hakimi added to Paris Saint-Germain's lead over Borussia Dortmund with a nifty bit of dribbling before finding the back of the net.

Ray Hudson's broadcast call of the goal is a must-watch.

Julián Álvarez free kick puts Man City into the lead

Julián Álvarez scored his second goal of the game when Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Omri Glazer absolutely whiffed at an attempt to stop the free kick from going into the back of the net.

Man City looks in control after conceding a first-half goal to Red Star Belgrade.

PSG takes 1-0 lead on penalty kick

After a VAR check confirmed a penalty, Kylian Mbappé buried the kick past Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

That penalty kick conversion represented Mbappé's eight goal already this season, and his 41st career UEFA Champions League goal.

Man City answers

It didn't take long for Manchester City to answer after the break, with Julián Álvarez equalizing after Red Star Belgrade took a surprise lead into halftime.

Man City had 22 shots in the first half. That represented the most in a single half without scoring in UEFA Champions League history.

Upset alert in Manchester

Red Star BelgradeCrvena zvezda went ahead 1-0 in first half stoppage time on an Osman Bukari goal, which initially was ruled offside but a VAR replay confirmed the goal.

The goal put Red Star Belgrade up on the reigning UEFA Champions League winners - and back-to-back Premier League champions - Manchester City.

Red Star Belgrade (a.k.a. Crvena zvezda), are the reigning Serbian Super League champions and the club with the most all-time Serbian league titles.

Robert Lewandowski, own goal put Barça up 3-0

The rout is on in Barcelona.

Three minutes after Robert Lewandowski put Barcelona up 2-0, an own goal by Antwerp defender Jelle Bataille made it 3-0. João Félix continuing on his hot start for Barcelona, was credited with the assist on Lewandowski's goal.

Lewandowski's goal was his 100th in UEFA club competitions, joining Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only players with 100 or more goals scored in such competitions.

This could be a long night for Royal Antwerp, the reigning Belgian Pro League and Super Cup champions.

João Félix scores for Barcelona against Royal Antwerp

João Félix is acclimating himself well with the Catalonian side.

After scoring his first goal for Barcelona in the team's 5-0 demolition of Real Betis on Saturday, Félix opening the scoring against Royal Antwerp with a goal in the 11th minute.

Félix played 20 games and netted four goals in all competitions last season for Chelsea.

Barcelona vs. Royal Antwerp: TV channel, live stream, preview

After two consecutive group-stage exists, Barcelona begins this year’s campaign boosted by four straight victories in the Spanish league, when it scored 13 goals in total. New signings João Félix and João Cancelo both scored in the team’s 5-0 rout of Real Betis on Saturday, and coach Xavi showed confidence that the two Portuguese internationals will make the team more competitive heading into the Champions League this season. Antwerp defeated Greek club AEK Athens in a playoff to reach he group stage for the first time.

  • Time: 3 p.m. ET

  • TV channel: Univision

  • Live stream: Paramount+

– Associated Press

New-look PSG faces Dortmund in Champions League opener

After repeated failures, PSG has toned down its ambition to win the Champions League for the first time. However, the French champions hope the revamping of their squad during the offseason will result in a more balanced team less focused on individuals.

PSG has retained its main attacking threat, Kylian Mbappe, who should lead the attack against Dortmund. PSG will be without Marco Asensio and Presnel Kimpembe. Dortmund has been shaky in defense so far this season and has struggled to replace Jude Bellingham, who’s now starring for Real Madrid.

– Associated Press

Shakhtar Donetsk playing its UCL home games in Germany

Captain Taras Stepanenko told The Associated Press on Monday that Shakhtar’s opening Champions League game against Porto on Tuesday is part of his team’s duty to represent Ukraine and show his country’s resilience.

“Our soldiers fight in the battles and we fight in the sports arena. So it’s our duty like citizens of Ukraine,” he said.

For the second straight season, Shakhtar is playing its Champions League games outside of Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Last year, Poland stood in as Shakhtar’s home venue. Now it’s Germany, a country which has welcomed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who fled the fighting.

Just getting to Hamburg took an “absolutely difficult” 10-hour journey, Stepanenko said, mostly by bus because Ukraine’s airports have been closed since the invasion. After winning a Ukrainian league game Saturday, the team drove to Poland from the border city of Lviv, spent about three hours getting through the border, then caught a flight from Poland to Hamburg. It’s technically a home game for Shakhtar, but the away team will get there much faster from Portugal.

– Associated Press

Can Manchester City repeat in Champions League?

History is not on Pep Guardiola’s side as he tries to lead Manchester City to back-to-back Champions League titles this season. Real Madrid is the only club to retain the trophy in the modern era by winning it three times in a row from 2016-18.

“We’re incredibly happy to defend this crown, but this competition doesn’t allow you mistakes,” Guardiola said ahead of City’s opening Group G game against Red Star Belgrade. “The competition gives us a new challenge so (we’ll) at least try.”

Guardiola finally lifted the trophy for a third time in his career after City’s 1-0 win against Inter Milan in Istanbul. He had previously won it with Lionel Messi and Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.

“I’d like to say that for our club to win the Champions League is incredible,” he said. “But in perspective for the Champions League, how many teams have won the Champions League once?

“A lot have won two, three, four, five. In perspective, we did nothing special. Just one.”

The defending English Premier League champions have are in first place domestically, winning their first five games of the new season.

– Associated Press

Newcastle holds dominant AC Milan to scoreless draw

Newcastle marked its return to Europe’s elite with a 0-0 draw at AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, despite being completely dominated at San Siro.

A combination of good saves by Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope and wayward finishing by Milan saw the visitors pick up a point in the club’s first Champions League match in 20 years.

Milan should have put the match to bed in the first half and the seven-time champion will perhaps rue its missed opportunities, with Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund also in Group F.

Milan had 25 attempts on goal to just six for Newcastle but the English side almost snatched a win at the end. Goalkeeper Marco Sportiello pulled off his only save off the match to fingertip Sean Longstaff’s effort over the bar.

The match marked the return of Sandro Tonali to San Siro after he moved to Newcastle from Milan in the offseason. The midfielder was welcomed back by loud cheers as he came out for the warmup and the Milan fans also sung his name and later gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted.

– Associated Press

Christian Pulisic, USMNT players in UEFA Champions League

This season's Champions League features 11 American players, including some of the biggest USMNT stars. Christian Pulisic, one of only two Americans to ever win the tournament, moved to AC Milan from Chelsea this summer and was joined by fellow U.S. World Cup veteran Yunus Musah.

Pulisic and Musah both came off the bench in Milan's 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

Here's all the American players on rosters in this year's Champions League:

  • Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah – AC Milan

  • Diego Kochen – Barcelona

  • Gio Reyna – Borussia Dortmund

  • Cameron Carter-Vickers – Celtic

  • Zack Steffen – Manchester City

  • Sergiño Dest, Ricardo Pepi, Malik Tillman – PSV

  • Sam Vines – Royal Antwerp

  • Brenden Aaronson – Union Berlin

Newcastle fan stabbed in Milan

A Newcastle fan is reportedly in stable condition in hospital after being stabbed in Milan ahead of a Champions League match in the Italian city.

Italian media reports that a 58-year-old man was stabbed three times – once in the back and twice in the arm. The incident happened in the popular, bar-strewn area of Milan called Navigli, shortly after midnight (2200 GMT) on Monday.

It is not known whether it occurred during a clash between rival soccer fans or was a separate incident.

– Associated Press

2023-24 UEFA Champions League group stage draw

The draw for the group stage was held on Aug. 31 in Monaco.

  • Group A: Bayern Munich (Germany), Manchester United (England), Copenhagen (Denmark), Galatasaray (Turkey)

  • Group B: Sevilla (Spain), Arsenal (England), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Lens (France)

  • Group C: Napoli (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Braga (Portugal), Union Berlin (Germany)

  • Group D: Benfica (Portugal), Inter Milan (Italy), Salzburg (Austria), Real Sociedad (Spain)

  • Group E: Feyenoord (Netherlands), Atlético Madrid (Spain), Lazio (Italy), Celtic (Scotland)

  • Group F: Paris Saint-Germain (France), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), AC Milan (Italy), Newcastle (England)

  • Group G: Manchester City (England), Leipzig (Germany), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), Young Boys (Switzerland)

  • Group H: Barcelona (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Royal Antwerp (Belgium).

UEFA Champions League winners list by year

The Champions League was rebranded as such in 1992, formerly known as the European Cup from 1955.

  • 2023: Manchester City (England)

  • 2022: Real Madrid (Spain)

  • 2021: Chelsea (England)

  • 2020: Bayern Munich (Germany)

  • 2019: Liverpool (England)

  • 2018: Real Madrid

  • 2017: Real Madrid

  • 2016: Real Madrid

  • 2015: Barcelona (Spain)

  • 2014: Real Madrid

  • 2013: Bayern Munich

  • 2012: Chelsea

  • 2011: Barcelona

  • 2010: Inter Milan (Italy)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's scores, highlights, biggest moments