Chelsea recovered from an early Eden Hazard penalty miss to open their Champions League campaign...
Chelsea recovered from an early Eden Hazard penalty miss to open their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Willian, Oscar with a penalty, Diego Costa – on as a substitute after being omitted as one of six changes following the loss at Everton – and Cesc Fabregas scored as the Blues opened Group G with three points at Stamford Bridge.
It was their their first home win of the season and second in all after a miserable start to the campaign which has sparked suggestions of a crisis.
Ghanaian left back Baba Rahman had an interesting debut and is clearly a very gifted athlete, possessing great pace and strength.
He is a tremendous asset going forward and unlike Azpilicueta, who tends to cut inside and slow down the play, Rahman was always willing to burst past Eden Hazard and provide an option on the overlap.
He started a bit nervously in defence, jumping into tackles and overcommitting, but eventually settled into a good attacking showing, bar a couple of wayward deliveries. But most of the danger came down his side as he was often up the pitch and out of position. He would have to play a more disciplined role if he starts against Arsenal.
Bayern Munich kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win at Olympiacos to take charge of Group F.
Thomas Muller scored a stunner for the visitors to open the scoring, before substitute Mario Gotze made the game safe in the 88th minute.
Two minutes into injury-time, Muller rubber-stamped the Bavarian's dominance, firing home from the penalty spot for his second of the game.
Pep Guardiola's side are now big favourites to win the group following Arsenal’s defeat in Zagreb.
The Gunners got their campaign underway in the worst possible fashion, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb.
Olivier Giroud was sent off on a miserable night in Croatia for Arsene Wenger's men, as they fell to the fourth seed in Group F.
An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal put Dinamo in front in the 24th minute, before Chile's Junior Fernandes headed home from a corner to double the hosts lead.
Theo Walcott scored late on to offer hope, but on a dismal night in eastern Europe, Wenger's side were very much second best.
Bayern's Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen top Group E after thrashing BATE Borisov at 4-1 at the BayArena.
A second-half brace from Hakan Calhanoglu plus goals from former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez and winger Admir Mehmedi handed them a comfortable victory against the Belarussians, who had gone in level at the break.
Roger Schmidt's side head to holders Barcelona who played a 1-1 draw next. Luis Suarez gave the Catalans a 21st-minute lead but Roma equalised eight minutes later with a wonder goal from defender Alessandro Florenzi.
Florenzi drilled a right-footed shot from just over the halfway line and the ball cannoned into the back of the net off a post.
Barca had plenty of chances to move back in front and were unlucky not to do so in the 78th minute when Lionel Messi, making his 100th Champions League appearance, saw his left-footed shot from the right side of the area hit the crossbar.
Roma held on for a point to deny their former coach Luis Enrique a perfect start to the competition.
Dynamo Kiev drew 2-2 with Porto to hand Chelsea command of Group G.
In Group H, Zenit won a topsy-turvy game 3-2 at Valencia to become the early pacesetters.
A double from Hulk sent the hosts in to boos from their fans, but a second-half comeback had them level with fifteen minutes to go. However, Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel hadn’t read the script, and he powered home the winner for the Russian side.
In Belgium Lyon had led against Gent thanks to Christian Jallet, but an equaliser from Danijel Milicevic was enough to secure the hosts a point.
Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 BATE Borisov
Roma 1-1 Barcelona
Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 Arsenal
Olympiacos 0-3 Bayern Munich
Chelsea 4-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Dynamo Kiev 2-2 Porto
Gent 1-1 Lyon
Valencia 2-3 Zenit St Petersburg