Matchday 2 of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League did not disappoint on Wednesday. From Munich where Robert Lewandowski continues to set ridiculous goal-scoring records to Portugal where Barcelona’s season took another battering after Lionel Messi’s exit but the biggest game has to be the one at Old Trafford where under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed his team to win.
Ronaldo saves under-pressure Solskjaer
After a surprise 2-1 loss to Young Boys on matchday 1, Solskjaer was under pressure after two consecutive losses and it took a 95th-minute winner from Cristiano Ronaldo to eke out a 2-1 win. The Europa League champions wasted at least three gilt-edged chances in the first half but they finally took the lead through Paco Alcacer early in the second half. However, Alex Telles’ excellent volley hauled United level on the hour. The frustration then turned to joy in the 95th minute as Geronimo Rulli failed to parry Ronaldo’s shot, which ended in the net to give Solskjaer the needed win and three points.
In the other game in the group, Atalanta won 1-0 over Young Boys courtesy of a 68th minute goal from Matteo Pessina. Atalanta lead the group with four points and their next match is an away trip to Old Trafford on October 20.
In Group E, Barcelona have zero points after two matches, which ensures Ronald Koeman’s head will continue on the chopping block. The 3-0 matchday 1 loss to Bayern Munich was not so surprising but their 3-0 capitulation away to Benfica will rankle the rank and file in Catalonia. A brace from Darwin Nunez and one from Rafa Silva condemned Barcelona to their worst start to a Champions League campaign in 16 years. They will seek to get off the mark on matchday 3 when they host Dynamo Kiev.
In Group H, Chelsea lost their first UCL away match in 18 months with a 1-0 loss away at Juventus. The defending champions had more ball possession but were listless all night. Federico Chiesa was Juventus’ bright spot and he got the only goal 11 seconds after the restart of the second half. Chelsea had half chances through Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz but Juventus defended stoutly to go top of the group with six points from their first two matches.
Bayern Munich 5-0 Dynamo Kiev
Benfica 3-0 Barcelona
Atalanta 1-0 Young Boys
Man. United 2-1 Villarreal
FC Salzburg 2-1 Lille
Wolfsburg 1-1 Sevilla
Zenit St. Petersburg 4-0 Malmoe FF
Juventus 1-0 Chelsea