Exciting Champions Start

Chelsea made a winning start to their quest for their Champions League holy grail with a 2-0 win over Germans Werder Bremen. Michael Essien (24) and Michael Ballack with a thumping penalty saw off opponents who missed some 2nd half chances. Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez rested Steven Gerrard but escaped PSV Eindhoven with a 0-0 draw. Holders Barcelona demolished Levski Sofia 5-0. 

Bayern Munich

German champions Bayern Munich and Serie A side AS Roma started their Champions League campaigns with high scoring victories on Tuesday, respectively beating Spartak Moscow and Shaktar Donetsk 4-0.

Spanish champions Barcelona even went one better, beating Levski Sofia 5-0.

Moscow managed to hold Bayern in their Group B clash in Munich to a goalless draw for the first 45 minutes, but in the second half the home side opened the floodgates, scoring four without reply.

Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro opened the scoring three minutes after the restart after being set up by Willi Sagnol. Three minutes later Roque Santa Cruz added a second.

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger made it three in the 71st minute, before substitute Hassan Salihamidzic put the final nail in the coffin of the Russian side that has now lost 11 matches in a row away in the Champions League.

Bayern coach Felix Magath said he was satisfied with his side's performance. "We did not do too well in the first half, but I told the players that we would use our chances. I am happy that we did that."

The other group game between Sporting Lisbon and Inter Milan ended in a surprise 1-0 victory for the Portuguese side in Lisbon. Inter also had French international Patrick Vieira sent off in the second half.

The only goal of the game was a terrific long range effort from Marco Caneira, who chested down a freekick before unleasing a powerful right-footed shot.

Barcelona had no problems in their Group B match against Champions League newcomers Levski Sofia, scoring twice in the first half and adding three goals in the second. They top the group from Chelsea, who beat German club Werder Bremen 2-0 in London.

The goals for Barcelona were scored by Andres Iniesta (7), Ludovic Giuly (39), Carles Puyol (49), Samuel Eto'o (58) and Ronaldinho (90).

In London Germany captain Michael Ballack scored his first official goal for Chelsea with a converted penalty in the 68th minute. Ghanian midfielder Michael Essien had opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 24th minute.

Werder coach Thomas Schaaf complimented his side. "We did not play a bad match. What we were lacking was the determination in front of goal.

"At this level you cant afford to make mistakes, but we made two mistakes."

In Group C both matches ended in goalless draws, with former champions Liverpool holding PSV Eindhoven, while Galatasaray and Bordeaux also failed to score in Istanbul.

Roma proved far too strong for Shaktar Donetsk in Rome, scoring all four goals in their 4-0 victory in the last 23 minutes. Brazilian Rodrigo Taddei opened the scoring in the 67th minute. Francesco Totti added a second in the 76th minute. Daniele De Rossi (79) and David Pizarro (89) added two more.

The other Group D game saw Valencia score an important 4-2 away win at Olympiakos Piraeus. Former Champions League top scorer Fernando Morientes scored a hattrick for Valencia, with the other goal being scored by Raul Albiol. Michalis Konstantinou and Alberto Castillo found the net for the home side.

Source: BKP

Other news