Stars shine in strong Champions League start for big guns
dpa Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7:55 am TWN
BERLIN - Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani each scored twice, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were in the goals for the French side and Robert Lewandowski was on the spot for Bayern Munich.
It was a good Champions League night for some of Europe's top goalgetters as leading teams Barcelona, PSG, Bayern, Manchester United and Chelsea got off to strong starts in the first group-stage matches.
An impressive Messi got his two as Barcelona downed last season's losing finalists Juventus in Group D, moving to 99 goals in UEFA club competitions. Next up will be Sporting Lisbon, who earned a 3-2 win at Olympiakos.
"There's a lot still to do but it was an important win," Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said.
"Whenever Messi gets the ball you get the feeling that he's going to do something for us. The goal just before the break was crucial."
In Glasgow, Messi's former team-mate Neymar and fellow new signing Mbappe made their marks for PSG with first-half goals in a perfect CL start for the record signings. Cavani helped himself to two including a first-half penalty in the 5-0 rout of Celtic.
"There is a good understanding between us in attack, but it's easier to play with great players, it's always fun. It makes everyone's work easier," Neymar told beIN SPORTS.
Cavani is meanwhile now the top scorer in European competition in PSG's history, with 22 goals in 37 appearances, two ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was unhappy with his side's performance, saying his team played like "under-12s" for a spell in the first half.
But Rodgers said he did not want to be "too tough" on his players as they were up against "the potential champions."
He added: "With all due respect, where these guys are at it's not just one or two levels, it's three or four levels beyond us."
Next up for PSG are Bayern Munich, who defeated Anderlecht 3-0 but struggled at times against a Belgian side down to 10 men early in the game.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti said: "We went one up very early, maybe that's why we didn't play at the highest intensity.
"It wasn't a top performance but a display that was sufficient at this stage. Anderlecht dropped very deep. Overall I'm pleased."
Chelsea helped themselves to a 6-0 win over Azerbaijan newcomers Qarabag in Group C where tougher opponents await in Roma and Atletico Madrid, who settled for a goalless draw.
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