The UEFA Champions League returned on Tuesday and Wednesday with group openers for all eight groups. As usual African players made the headlines especially on Wednesday night.
Algeria international, Riyad Mahrez, was on good form for the English Premier League champions, Leicester City, he scored twice as the Foxes beat Club Brugge, in their first group game.
His manager reserved praise for the player after the game, ‘‘It was good because he scored twice, including a fantastic free-kick, and he worked so hard,’‘ Ranieri said. ‘‘Now we have to stay calm and put our mind to the next match ion Saturday,’‘ he added.
Leicester have had a difficult start to the defense of their title, having won only once in four games. With the brace, Mahrez’ goal tally this season comes to three.
Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Group C opener was pushed back a day due to torrential rain and when they finally kicked off at the Etihad on Wednesday night, Argentine Sergio Aguero lit up the stage.
His hat-trick helped Pep Guardiola’s side to a 4-0 win and the perfect start to European campaign. But Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho completed the rout.
The Super Eagles forward was on target last week in the Manchester derby as he scored the winner for Pep Guardiola’s side to go two up against Manchester United. A late goal by Ibrahimovic could not help matters as City left Old Trafford with maximum points.
In other results
Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-1 to Monaco in their first match in Group E at Wembley.
Elsewhere in the group Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow drew 2-2.
Defending champions Real Madrid got their title defence off to a nervous but winning start beating Sporting 2-1.
Bruno Cesar opened up the scoring, Cristiano Ronaldo levelled against his childhood club in the 89th minute before Morata snatched the three points in stoppage time.
Also in Group F Borussia Dortmund Borussia Dortmund thrashed Legia Warsaw 6-0 .
Champions League regulars FC Porto were held to a 1-1 draw by FC Copenhagen to complete Group G’s first round of matches.
Over in Turin, two-time European champions Juventus played out a goalless draw with three-time reigning Europa League winners, Sevilla, in Group H.
Lyon enjoyed a memorable Champions League opener in their new stadium – they comfortably saw off the challenge of Dynamo Zagreb 3-0.