Real Madrid couldn’t halt their losing streak in the Champions League, and no one seems able to stop Bayern Munich’s winning run.
Madrid’s 3-2 loss to a depleted Shakhtar Donetsk team was the most surprising result of Wednesday’s opening group games — while Bayern delivered the most impressive performance with a 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid.
It was a third straight loss in the competition for Real Madrid — their worst run in 34 years. For defending champion Bayern, it was a 12th straight Champions League victory.
Wins for Liverpool and Manchester City capped a good round for English clubs, and Atalanta again showed their free-scoring style to win 4-0 at overmatched newcomer Midtjylland.
Real Madrid have been unconvincing, especially at home, in the Champions League since lifting a record-extending 13th European title three seasons ago.
Yet Shakhtar was missing several starters after a COVID-19 outbreak at the club. The Ukrainian champion still led 3-0 at halftime, exposing a Madrid defense missing injured captain Sergio Ramos.
Goals from Tete and Manor Solomon either side of an own goal by Madrid defender Raphael Varane came in a 13-minute spell before halftime.
Madrid hit back with Luka Modric’s long-range shot in the 54th and minutes later substitute Vinícius Júnior, who entered and ran direct from the touchline to steal possession and score.
Madrid have now won just one of their last seven home games in the Champions League, including a 2-1 first-leg loss to Manchester City in the round of 16 in February.
This one was played at Madrid’s empty training ground while the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is renovated. Also in Group B, an Inter team also affected by a virus outbreak, drew 2-2 with Monchengladbach.
The champion in Lisbon two months ago, Bayern carried over their dominant European form in a 4-0 dismantling of Atlético. Kingsley Coman, scorer of the title-winning goal against Paris Saint-Germain,
The game went ahead after a further round of testing of Bayern players on Wednesday, one day after forward Serge Gnabry’s COVID-19 infection was revealed. Also in Group A, Salzburg was held 2-2 at home by Lokomotiv Moscow.
Man City started a competition it was originally banned from by UEFA with a 3-1 win at home Porto. City trailed early, then leveled from Sergio Aguero’s penalty kick awarded for a foul against Porto’s veteran captain Pepe. Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres secured the win midway through the second half.
Liverpool and Ajax have a combined 10 European titles yet had not faced each other in Amsterdam since 1966.
A 1-0 win for Liverpool was decided by Sadio Mane’s shot in the 35th forcing an own goal from defender Nicolás Tagliafico.
The English champion handled the absence of injured Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, and some anxious moments with back-up goalkeeper Adrian.
Liverpool moved midfielder Fabinho into central defense and he made a spectacular goal-line clearance to deny Dusan Tadic.