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Champions League Recap-MatchDay 1

It was an interesting beginning to the 2008-2009 Champions League campaign with Romanian upstarts CFR Cluj grabbing the headlines as they stunned Italian giants Roma with a deserved 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma now face a must win game in Match Day 2 away to Bordeaux who were thrashed 4-0 by Chelsea.

Another shock took place in Glasgow where unheralded Danish side Aalborg held Celtic to a scoreless draw. This was a terrible result for Celtic who do not travel well in the Champions League as they must go to  Spain and get at least a point from the game against Villarreal if they are to have any hope of progressing. In the other game in this group holders Manchester United and Villarreal played to a scoreless draw at Old Trafford  ending United’s 12-game winning streak at Old Trafford in the competition.

In group D a pair of goals from Sergio Aguero helped Atletico Madrid surprise PSV Eindhoven 3-0. In the other match in this group a pair of goals from Steven Gerrard led Liverpool to a 2-1 win in France over Marseille.

Barcelona have struggled in La Liga this year but they had no problem disposing Iberian neighbors Sporting Lisbon 3-1 at the Nou Camp. In the other game in this group it took two moments of Brazilian magic to help give Shakhtar Donetsk a deserved 2-1 victory away to Basle. Basle and Sporting play each other in Match Day 2 in a critical game for both teams.

Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan were not impressive in their 2-0 win at Panathinaikos in Group B, but they did manage to hold on for all three points. The win puts Inter in top spot on this group as Werder Bremen failed to break their opening-day Champions League jinx as they were held to a goalless draw by Group B rivals Anorthosis Famagusta.

Minnows BATE did not fair as well as CFR Cluj or Aalborg as they went down 2-0 to Real Madrid.  Juventus also made a winning start in the same group, but needed a late Alessandro Del Piero free-kick to sink UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg 1-0.

In Group F, Lyon came back to score twice in the last 17 minutes to deny Fiorentina all three points in a thrilling match at the Stade Gerland.

Italy striker Alberto Gilardino put the visitors two goals ahead by the interval after directing home headers at the start and end of the first half. In the other match in this group Bayern Munich retuned to the Champions League with a 1-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest.

In Group G it took a very late goal from William Galas to give Arsenal a point away to Dynamo Kyiv. In the other game Porto made surprisingly easy work of Fenerbahce 3-1.

Champions League match day two is September 30 and October 1st with some teams hoping that their champions league dreams are not over by early October.

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