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9/20 Champions League Week One Recap


by Evan Sobol

It’s that time of year again- the Champions League is back! Last week marked the first week of the group stage and featured a variety of results, including a surprising victory by a Premier League hopeful.

Tottenham Hotspur, has been one of the Premier League’s strongest clubs the past few seasons. They have consistently finished among the top four clubs, but have not been very successful in the Champions League. Last season they finished third in their group, behind French side Monaco and German club Bayer Leverkusen. The Spurs got off to a much different start this season with a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Forward Heung-Min Son, got the Spurs off to a hot start after scoring in the fourth minute. The South Korea international scored from close range into the far post after beating the Dortmund defense up the field. It was his second goal in all competitions this season. Dortmund quickly answered in minute 11, with a long range goal from outside the penalty area by striker Andriy Yarmolenko. The ball curled into the upper left corner of the net, beating the keeper.

Harry Kane retook the lead for Tottenham just four minutes later in almost the same spot Son scored from. The England international gained possession at midfield, finishing with a strike past the keeper. Kane completed his brace in minute 60 when he scored from close range with a low strike into the far post. It was his ninth goal in all competitions so far for the Spurs this season.

Dortmund could not make use of their advantage in possession. They held the ball for 64 percent of the game and recorded over twice as many passes than Tottenham, but could not find the net. They recorded just two shots on goal. The departure of young star forward Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona over the summer, could have had a negative impact on their finishing. He recorded two goals and six assists for Dortmund in last year’s Champions League.

Tottenham looks to continue their success when they face Apoel Nicosia next week. Apoel will be coming off a 3-0 loss to defending champions Real Madrid. Borussia Dortmund looks to earn their first points of the tournament next week when they host Madrid on Tuesday.

The rest of the results were filled with lopsided shutout victories. Paris Saint-Germain dominated Scottish club Celtic 5-0. Their new-look attack was too much for Celtic to handle. New transfers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe scored a goal each, and fellow forward Edinson Cavani scored twice. They look like a dangerous club going forward. The rest of the Premier League had strong season debuts with Manchester United winning 3-0 against Basel and Manchester City thrashing Feyenoord 4-0. Liverpool earned a 2-2 draw against Spanish side Sevilla.

Next week’s most interesting matchups include defensive powerhouse Atletico Madrid hosting Premier League champion Chelsea, and PSG hosting Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich.