Champions League: Newcastle defeats PSG; Barcelona and Manchester City maintain perfect records
Newcastle United secures a resounding 4-1 victory against PSG in the Champions League, marking a significant triumph for the club.
The second Matchday of the UEFA Champions League season has concluded with eight games taking place across Europe on Wednesday. Here, we highlight the five most significant takeaways from the matches.
Newcastle United, who returned to the Champions League after a 20-year wait, secured a memorable victory in their first home match back in the competition. The Magpies defeated Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 4-1 at St. James's Park, marking their greatest triumph since beating Juventus in 2002 and even surpassing their victory over Barcelona in 1997.
This win is arguably even bigger considering that PSG arrived in Tyneside with Kylian Mbappé, one of the best players in the world, leading their front line. However, Newcastle dominated the match from the start, with Miguel Almirón scoring the opening goal after just 17 minutes. Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff added two more goals to secure a comfortable victory and send the home supporters into a frenzy.
Despite PSG pulling one goal back through Lucas Hernández, it was Newcastle who had the final say with defender Fabian Schär scoring in stoppage time. This victory not only marked Newcastle's biggest home win ever in the Champions League but also served as a statement that they are a force to be reckoned with. Currently, they sit at the top of the Group of Death.
For PSG, although they suffered a defeat on Wednesday, they are still in second place in Group F. However, the overall situation is not as positive for the French club, as they currently sit fifth in France's top division after significant investment in new players over the summer. With the departure of Neymar and Lionel Messi, along with a new coach, Luis Enrique, PSG is undergoing a period of adjustment. There is still time for them to turn things around, but there are concerns about their chances of progressing to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
PSG's next two group matches against AC Milan, a seven-time champion, will provide further insight into the capabilities of this new-look PSG squad.
Barcelona's performance in the Champions League has been impressive so far. After a 5-0 victory over Royal Antwerp in their opener, they secured a well-earned shutout win against Porto on Wednesday. Ferran Torres scored the only goal of the match just before halftime. Despite Gavi receiving a second yellow card near the end of the game, Barcelona remains unbeaten in 10 games this season, with a 6-0-2 record in La Liga. It appears that under the guidance of Xavi Hernández, Barcelona is on track to return to the knockout stage for the first time since 2021.
Manchester City, the reigning trophy holder, has managed to win both of their first two games in the Champions League, despite not looking particularly convincing. In their match against Leipzig, Loïs Openda canceled out Phil Foden's opener, but City sealed the victory with two late goals from substitutes Julian Alvarez and Jérémy Doku.
The highly anticipated match between Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan turned out to be disappointing in terms of execution. Although both teams had numerous attempts on goal, only five shots were on target. Christian Pulisic, who returned to the Westfalenstadion where he started his career, had one of AC Milan's best chances but failed to convert.
Overall, the second Matchday of the UEFA Champions League season provided thrilling matches and surprising results. It is still early in the competition, and there is plenty of time for teams to make adjustments and improve their performances. The upcoming matches will undoubtedly provide further excitement and determine the fate of the teams in this prestigious tournament.