UCL: Leicester’s dream debut, Tottenham’s lacklustre return and City convincing.

by LIAM RICHNER AND MACAULAY DALEY

About two or three minutes after Leicester lifted the Premier League trophy, fans began to dream about their side competing in the Champions League for the first time. 

The Foxes defied the odds to win England’s top division last season, and as a result, went into this years European competition as a Pot One side and were drawn a favourable group which included Porto, Copenhagen and tonight’s opponents Club Brugge.

Not many would have expected such a dominant performance by Claudio Ranieri’s team, as the debutants won 3-0 in Belgium.

Marc Albrighton gave Leicester an early lead, before a brace from Riyad Mahrez, one of which a superb free kick, sealed the all important three points.

Like most Premier League teams last season, there was a sense of complacency from the Brugge players.

They underestimated the quality that the Foxes have to their disposal and were undone like many last term. Jamie Vardy’s pace caused nightmares for the two centre halves, with Mahrez’s twinkle toes and tricks fooling the full backs on either wing.

All three goals came in the form of a defensive mistake from the home side, who nearly went ahead on the night through Jose Izquierdo. But the striker lashed his shot wide in the third minute.

For the first time this campaign, we saw the Leicester side that won the league. That Champions mentality, everyone working for one another.

It was the biggest of occasions and Leicester City truly delivered.

They next face Porto on what will be a historical and memorable night at the King Power in two weeks time, with the Portuguese outfit drawing at home to Copenhagen this evening.

GROUP G

CLUB BRUGGE 0-3 LEICESTER CITY

PORTO 1-1 COPENHAGEN.

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Tottenham’s first Champions League appearance for six years ended in a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Monaco at Wembley.

In front of a record home attendance of 85,011, Mauricio Pochettino’s men performed well under par in their opening Group E match.

Heung-Min Son had a shot cleared off the line as Spurs made the stronger start.

But the North Londoners found themselves behind in the 15th minute. Erik Lamela gave the ball away in midfield, and Bernardo Silva strode forward and fired home a fine left foot finish from just outside the area.

108541828_monaco_sport-large_trans++ShZqzYf2SlGHY-jAmg3B7Kuy4c3nijA7mGWi5y5sWfo.jpg
Bernard Silva opens the scoring at Wembley. (Image Credit: telegraph.co.uk)

In the 31st minute, Monaco shocked Wembley once again as they doubled their lead. With Spurs failing to clear a cross into the area, Thomas Lemar smashed the loose ball into the roof of the net from close range.

With half-time approaching the home side grabbed a goal back, Toby Alderweireld powering in a header from Lamela’s corner.

Despite having the momentum firmly in their favour at the start of the second period, Spurs couldn’t find a second goal, with their best chance falling to Harry Kane who fired straight at Monaco goalkeeper Daniel Subasic from 12 yards out.

Fans and pundits alike are wondering what could have been, if the match was played at White Hart Lane, with some questioning whether Wembley creates the same atmosphere.

Fortunately, CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen drew 2-2 in Germany.

GROUP E

TOTTENHAM 1-2 MONACO

BAYER LEVERKUSEN 2-2 CSKA MOSCOW

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 22.50.25.png

 

Manchester City comfortably breezed past Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0, with Sergio Aguero netting a fine hattrick at the Etihad.

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Sergio Aguero has scored two hattricks already this season. (Image Credit: skysports.com)

After the game was postponed last night, both teams had a chance to rethink strategies, especially after the result in Barcelona.

Kelechi Iheanacho added a fourth in stoppage time, as the current Premier League leaders continued their 100% to the campaign in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola’s side never needed to break out of third gear, with Gladbach’s defence struggling to cope with the pace and tricky of City’s forward play.

Ikay Gundogan made his first start for the home side since his summer transfer from Borussia Dortmund, and the midfielder seemed to instantly click with his teammates.

This group already looks to be shaping up the way we thought it would, with heavyweights Barcelona and City ready to lock horns for top spot.

Celtic and Gladbach may be set for a Europa League spot shootout.

GROUP C

MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH

BARCELONA 7-0 CELTIC (Tues 13th)

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 22.53.38.png

OTHER RESULTS

GROUP F

LEGIA WARSAW 0-6 BORUSSIA DORTMUND

REAL MADRID 2-1 SPORTING CP

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 22.50.34.png

GROUP H

LYON 3-0 DINAMO ZAGREB

JUVENTUS 0-0 SEVILLA

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