Roberto Firmino’s last-gasp strike gave Paris Saint-Germain in a thrilling encounter on the opening night of the UEFA Champions League group stage after Lionel Messi’s latest hat-trick handed Barcelona a winning start.
There were dramatic late goals around Europe, including for Inter Milan against Tottenham Hotspur, and winning starts for several of the leading contenders, with Atletico Madrid battling back to beat Monaco.
But the heavyweight encounter of the evening was at Anfield and the Group ‘C’ men final match between last season’s beaten finalists and the ambitious.
Liverpool was rewarded for their excellent start as they found themselves two goals up after 36 minutes, Daniel Sturridge getting the opener before James Milner netted a penalty.
But the French champions pulled one back before the interval through Thomas Meunier – the goal allowed to stand despite Edinson Cavani being offside in the buildup.
PSG next face Red Star Belgrade, who marked their return to the big time with a 0-0 draw against Napoli.
Messi’s superb free-kick
Uefa have introduced a handful of earlier kick-offs in every Champions League midweek this season, and it was still light at the Camp Nou as Barcelona kicked off against PSV Eindhoven with a 4-0 win.
Messi has made clear his determination to go all the way in Europe this season and the Argentine duly scored the first-half free-kick.
Barca ran away with the game in the second half, with Ousmane Dembele scoring a stunner.
(Lionel Messi 31, 77, 87, Ousmane Dembele 74)
PSV Eindhoven 0
inter Milan 2
(Mauro Icardi 85, Matias Vecino 90+2)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
(Christian Eriksen 53)
(Daniel Sturridge 30, James Milner 36, Roberto Firmino 90+1)
Paris Saint-Germain 2
(Thomas Meunier 40, Kylian Mbappe 83)
From Online Sources