Champions League takeaways: Mbappe shines as PSG hold on vs. Juventus, Benzema injured and Man City win

The Champions League’s first matchday is halfway over after eight matches on Tuesday. The contests brought 23 goals, numerous golazos, some concerning results, one worrying superstar injury and much more. PSG won the match of the day, beating Juventus 2-1 thanks to a Kylian Mbappe double, while Chelsea lost in the early slate, 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb. Manchester City, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Benfica were also winners on the day, while Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donestk are certainly the story of the night after their unexpected victory at RB Leipzig.

Here are the scores, what you need to see, and what you need to know:

Schedule and scores

Dinamo Zagreb 1, Chelsea 0
Borussia Dortmund 3, FC Copenhagen 0
RB Salzburg 1, Milan 1
Real Madrid 3, Celtic 0
Shakhtar Donetsk 4, RB Leipzig 1
PSG 2, Juventus 1
Manchester City 4, Sevilla 0
Benfica 2, Maccabi Haifa 0

PSG start hot … fade down the stretch

PSG managed a 2-1 win over Juve that was more uncomfortable than it should have been. If it were not for Kylian Mbappe’s selfish shot early in the second half, the game would probably have been done and dusted. But instead of playing a wide-open Neymar at the back post, he went for his hat trick and missed.

It was all part of a second half where PSG were at times outplayed by Juve, who got back into the match thanks to a header goal from American Weston McKennie. While PSG had 15 shots, Juve had 13 and had their chances to take a point from the match.

Despite Mbappe’s poor judgment in that instance, it doesn’t minimize what he did in the first half. He scored twice by the 22nd minute, producing enough to help his team start off the group stage with a victory.

Here’s his first goal off a naughty assist from Neymar:

All eyes on Karim Benzema as Real Madrid win

Reigning champions Real Madrid were 3-0 winners at Celtic, scoring all of them in the second half. While they were expected to beat the Scottish champions, the victory was soured by the injury to Karim Benzema. The French superstar striker was withdrawn after 30 minutes with what looked like a knee injury. It didn’t appear to be contact related, and he did walk off under his own power before heading straight to the locker room.

It remains to be seen as to how severe it is, but regardless, it’s a concern for Carlo Ancelotti. Eden Hazard came on to replace Benzema and ended up scoring his first Champions League goal for the club.

Erling Haaland does what he does

It was more of the same for Erling Haaland. Life in Manchester is going even better than expected as he’s now got 12 goals in his first eight games for Man City. He scored twice at Sevilla on Tuesday in an easy 4-0 victory, and he’s continuing to show why he is the most prolific striker in Europe at the moment.

He’s scored in five straight games in all competitions, three of which were games where he scored multiple goals.

USMNT stars McKennie and Reyna show up

While Chrisitan Pulisic remains nothing but a bench player for Chelsea, both McKennie and Dortmund’s Gio Reyna stepped up. Neither started, but both came on and quickly made an impact. With Juve down 2-0, McKennie came on at the break and gave his team a lifeline with this fine header goal:

Meanwhile, Reyna became the first American to have two assists in the same UCL game, grabbing one in either half in Dortmund’s victory over FC Copenhagen after coming on in the 23rd minute for an injured Thorgan Hazard.

Displaced Shakhtar Donetsk stands strong

Ah, the feel-good story of the day. Just two weeks after the Ukrainian league finally returned for the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion, Shakhtar Donestk pulled off an incredible 4-1 win at RB Leipzig on what was a historic night.

For obvious reasons, this isn’t the Brazilian-heavy Shakhtar team of past seasons, and as internationals have left the team, the roster features all but three Ukrainian players now. It’s hard to separate out the sporting consequences of competing in the Champions League with the real world challenges that these players and their nation continue to endure, but for at least 90 minutes they offered, at the very least, a distraction and a way to feel good.

They will be playing their home UCL matches in Poland, and they’ve done enough after 90 minutes to believe they can make the group stage. Afterwards, the club’s social media team showed off their national pride:

Golazo of the day

It’s not even close. There were some great goals from Mbappe, Phil Foden and others, but Alex Grimaldo’s stellar strike for Benfica from outside the box was the goal of the day. It had so much movement on it even Roberto Carlos would be like, “wow.”

Take a look at this one in all its glory:

Three teams that should be worried

Seville: Sure, it was Man City, but the defense made it even easier with poor positioning. With an alarming start in La Liga as well, Julen Lopetegui must be feeling the heat.
RB Leipzig: What in the world was that? Sure, Shakhtar were inspired, but RB Leipzig were stuck in second gear all night. A concerning trend.
Chelsea: Three straight road defeats. Remember when their defense was unbreakable? They’ve conceded in six straight games.

Three teams that should be thrilled

Shakhtar Donetsk: What’s not to love? Inspiring performance that will add to their belief and make their fans smile.
RB Salzburg: Good point against AC Milan in the end. The match could have gone either way, but they were sharp defensively as the visitors recorded 66% possession. They’ll take that point all day.
Dinamo Zagreb: Chelsea defended very well and scored a brilliant goal on the counter. In a tricky group, they are in first and fully believe they can escape it.

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