After a one-week break, the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League group stage resumed with a thrilling Matchday 2 featuring eight games. Here are the key takeaways:
- Bellingham’s Brilliant Goal: Jude Bellingham, Real Madrid’s 20-year-old sensation, continued his impressive start with the club by scoring his eighth goal in a remarkable fashion against Napoli. His slaloming run past defenders and precise finish with his right foot put Real ahead 2-1. However, a late soft penalty denied him a potential game-winning goal, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
- Saka Injury Overshadows Arsenal’s Defeat: Arsenal started well against Lens, taking an early lead, but things unraveled as the French side came back to win 2-1. The match was marred by Bukayo Saka’s non-contact injury, which forced him off after just 34 minutes. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suggested the injury might be serious, adding to their woes.
- Manchester United Stunned at Home: Galatasaray shocked Manchester United with a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford. The Turkish team scored three goals, with the final two coming in the last 20 minutes. This defeat followed another shocking home loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League. United legend Peter Schmeichel expressed his disappointment, calling the performance “not acceptable.”
- Bayern Tested in Copenhagen: Bayern Munich faced a tough challenge in Copenhagen, where FC Copenhagen took an early lead through Lukas Lerager. However, Bayern rallied with goals from Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel in the final half-hour, securing a hard-fought victory and maintaining a perfect start in the Champions League.
- Union Berlin’s Late Heartbreak: Union Berlin, playing their debut Champions League campaign, faced a devastating loss to Braga. After squandering a two-goal lead earned by Sheraldo Becker’s brace, Union Berlin pushed for a late winner. However, Braga’s André Castro sealed the game with a stoppage-time goal, leaving Union Berlin with another late heartbreak.
The Champions League action on Matchday 2 delivered excitement, surprises, and some unfortunate injuries, setting the stage for more thrilling encounters in the competition.