Barcelona and Arsenal stars lead emphatic wins: Champions League team of the week

Bayern Munich also represented in XI after the victory over Manchester United

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The Uefa Champions League group stage got underway this week and there were several statement wins from traditional heavyweights to lay down some early markers.

The action began on Tuesday evening with an early game at the San Siro, where Newcastle United marked their return to the tournament after a 20-year absence with a gutsy goalless draw against AC Milan. Also with an early kick off, RB Leipzig eased past Young Boys 3-1 in Bern, Switzerland.

Five-time winners Barcelona, aiming to return to the top table after two successive group-stage exits, got their campaign up and running in style, outclassing debutants Royal Antwerp 5-0. Holders Manchester City were also too strong for their opponents but needed a second-half fightback to beat Red Star Belgrade 3-1 at the Etihad.

Paris Saint-Germain were comfortable 2-0 winners over Borussia Dortmund, while Galeno-inspired Porto claimed a 3-1 win at Shakhtar Donetsk, who are playing their home games in Hamburg, Germany.

Celtic endured a miserable evening in the Netherlands, where Feyenoord eased to a 2-0 victory after the Scottish champions were reduced to nine men. The biggest drama of the night took place in Rome as Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scored a superb last-minute equaliser against Atletico Madrid.

On Wednesday night, Real Madrid made hard work of their 1-0 win over Union Berlin as Jude Bellingham scored yet another injury-time winner, while Galatasaray fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with 10-man Copenhagen.

Arsenal returned to the Champions League in fine style with a 4-0 thrashing of PSV Einhodven, Napoli edged out Braga 2-1, Salzburg claimed a 2-0 win at Benfica, and there were 1-1 draws between Real Sociedad and Inter Milan, and Sevilla and Lens.

The blockbuster match of the round took place at the Allianz Arena, where Bayern Munich defeated Manchester United 4-3 in a match the Germans dominated in all but the scoreline.

Assessing the performances of the opening round of fixtures, we have selected our Champions League team of the week in the photo gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 8:19 AM