Spain took the honours on the opening night of the UEFA Champions League as Real Madrid beat Manchester City 3-2 in a thriller while there was a spectacular debut for Málaga.
City were the visitors to Madrid in the most highly anticipated game of the first matchday and although the hosts had the better of the chances, Edin Džeko opened the scoring midway through the second half. Marcelo soon equalised but five minutes from time Aleksandar Kolarov seemed to have won it for City, only for Karim Benzema to immediately make it 2-2 and Cristiano Ronaldo to seal victory as time ran out. In the other Group D opener there was also a late goal, Robert Lewandowski striking with three minutes left to give Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win at home to Ajax.
It is only Málaga’s second European campaign and their first in this competition yet it took just three minutes against Zenit St Petersburg for Isco to claim the earliest goal of the UEFA Champions League season, and ten minutes later Javier Saviola had another. Isco produced another fine finish in the second half to clinch a 3-0 Group C home victory and make himself the early tournament top scorer. By contrast, the other Group C game between AC Milan and Anderlecht was goalless.
Montpellier were also making their UEFA Champions League bow and nine minutes in Younès Belhanda chipped in a penalty to put the home team ahead against Arsenal. By the time another nine minutes had elapsed, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho had scored to earn a 2-1 Group B triumph for Arsenal. Schalke were also 2-1 away winners in that section, at Olympiacos.
There was a bit of history for Zlatan Ibrahimović in Group A as his 19th-minute penalty for Paris Saint-Germain at home to Dynamo Kiev made him the first player to score for six different clubs in the Champions League. PSG went on to win 4-1 while Porto prevailed 2-0 at Dinamo Zagreb.
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Porto
Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 Dynamo Kyiv
Montpellier 1-2 Arsenal
Olympiacos 1-2 Schalke
Málaga 3-0 Zenit St Petersburg
AC Milan 0-0 Anderlecht
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Ajax
Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City