Champions League: PSG held on Messi’s first start while Haller hits four for Ajax

Sport

Lionel Messi failed to provide Paris Saint-Germain with any sparkle as their potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in their Champions League opener.

Making his first start for the Ligue 1 team, the Argentinian forward hit the woodwork but was otherwise far from his brilliant best alongside the hugely disappointing Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, who set up Ander Herrera for PSG’s first-half opener before being replaced injured after the break. Brugge, who levelled before half-time through Hans Vanaken, were more aggressive and had the best chances against a PSG side lacking quality and defensive focus. The result left PSG and Brugge trailing Group A leaders Manchester City by two points after the Premier League champions beat RB Leipzig 6-3.

The Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo struck an 89th-minute winner to snatch a 1-0 victory away to Internazionale, punishing the wasteful Italians for missing a string of chances. The Brazilian met a clever volleyed pass from fellow replacement Eduardo Camavinga and volleyed home in the dying minutes as Carlo Ancelotti’s side triumphed against their major rivals for top spot in Group D. It was a painful conclusion to a game the Italian side had dominated for large stretches but the hosts could not find a way past on-form goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who produced several crucial saves.

Real are second in the group behind Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspol, who stunned Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-0 win on their tournament debut through goals from Adama Traoré and Momo Yansane. They travel to Madrid next.

Sébastien Haller scored four goals as Ajax picked apart Sporting for a one-sided 5-1 victory in Group C. The former West Ham striker, who Ajax forgot to register for European club competition last season in an embarrassing administrative botch-up, netted twice in the opening 10 minutes. He completed his hat-trick early in the second half before adding another goal just after the hour mark in Lisbon. Steven Berghuis added to the tally while Paulinho got the home team’s consolation.

Jude Bellingham produced an inspired individual performance as he scored one goal and set up the other to help Borussia Dortmund to a 2-1 win at Besiktas in their Champions League Group C opener. The 18-year-old England midfielder fired the visitors ahead with a fine finish in the 20th minute and left his marker flat-footed to set up striker Erling Haaland for the second on the stroke of half-time. Francisco Montero pulled one back for the home side deep into stoppage time.

Atlético Madrid drew 0-0 at home to Porto in a cagey Group B game in which the Spaniards were spared defeat by a VAR review that overturned a late goal from Mehdi Taremi. The Porto striker had bundled the ball into the net from the floor in the 80th minute after a mix up between Renan Lodi and goalkeeper Jan Oblak but the goal was ruled out as the Iranian forward had handled the ball as he slid to the ground. Chancel Mbemba was shown a straight red card deep in injury time for hauling down Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suárez fizzed the resulting free-kick inches over the bar.