Champions League group stages kicked off in style with current holders Barcelona faced AC Milan at Nou Camp in Group H. The match didn’t start the way Pep Guardiola would have liked; his Barcelona side went a goal down within a few minutes from the start when Milan forward Alexandre Pato scored the opener. But Barcelona hit back with Lionel Messi being instrumental again in all of their attempts. Messi struck the post on 36th minute with a brilliant free kick and also teed up Pedro for the equalizer. Barcelona got a foothold on the game after they scored their first goal and it seemed only a matter of time when they will score next. David Villa’s free kick on 50th minute gave Barcelona the lead and Pedro and Messi both came close to adding the third which would have sealed the game for them, but it wasn’t to be. Milan struck back deep into injury time when Thiago Silva headed home from a Clarence Seedorf corner to give the Italians a point. In the other game of Group H saw Champions League new boys Plazen draw 1-1 with BATE.
In Group E, Chelsea faced Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge. It was a highly entertaining match which finished 2-0 in favor of the Blues. Goals from David Luiz and Juan Mata sealed the game for Andre Villas Boas’s side. Though Fernando Torres was unable to score he was lively during the whole game and provided assists for both the goals. The match also saw former Chelsea player Michel Ballack return to Stamford Bridge and he almost got into the score sheet if not of Cech. In other Group E encounter Spanish side Valencia were held for a goal less draw with Genk at the Cristal Arena in Belgium.
In Group F, Arsenal faced Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park in Germany. Arsenal were able to draw first blood when Captain Robin Van Persie scored by pouncing onto a mistake by Sebastian Kehl. But Dortmund pressed hard for the equalizer and were playing better football. Dourtmund’s relentless pressure finally paid off when Perisic struck home on 88th minute to give them a point which they thoroughly deserve. In the same group Marsellie also grabbed a win against Olympiakos in Greece. Midfielder Lucho Gonzalez scored the solitary goal of the match which gave the French side victory in a very tricky group.
In Group G Europa League winners Porto came from behind to beat Shakhtar Donetsk. Luiz Adriano scored first for the Ukrainian side only after 13 minutes. Porto hitman Hulk missed a penalty but compensated for the earlier mistake by scoring a goal on 28th minute. Shakhtar were reduced to 9 men when the game ended and Porto used their numbers advantage well to get a 2-1 victory. Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Dmytro Chygrynskiy were sent off for the Ukrainians. In another game of this group Russian powerhouses Zenit St Petersburg blew a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 against APOEL.