When it comes to football, the Champions League is without question Europe’s premier club competition and it is one that returned earlier this week, as 32 of the continent’s top sides bid to reign supreme come next May.
At this very early stage the tournament can neither be won or lost, something that Manchester City will at least take solace from after their somewhat shock defeat to Lyon at the Etihad. However, what can be handed out is the accolade of scoring one of the best goals from the opening matchday.
And without further ado here are the very best goals from the opening set of Champions League fixtures
Mauro Icardi – Inter Milan vs Tottenham
With Tottenham ahead against their Italian opponents and looking to kill off the game by scoring a late second, the North London outfit were punished after failing to take their chances against their Serie A counterparts.
That’s because with just five minutes left on the clock, the home side found themselves level and what a strike it was. Argentine forward Mauro Icardi had little joy while lurking in the area during the previous 84 minutes of the game, therefore he decided to move further out.
His decision paid off as he was left unmarked and in the perfect position to connect with Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross and it is fair to say he could not have hit the ball any better. From fully 20 yards his shot soared into the bottom corner past the hapless Michel Vorm in the Tottenham goal.
Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona vs PSV
Staying in the same Champions League group, our second entry on this list takes us to the Camp Nou as Barcelona made light work of Dutch side PSV. Lionel Messi may have earned the majority of the plaudits after his sensational hat-trick, but it was his teammate who bagged the best strike.
French forward Ousmane Dembele is now, after starting his second season with the club, finally bedding into his Catalan surroundings, while also paying off the hefty transfer fee that was paid to Borussia Dortmund last year.
With the score at 1-0, Barcelona were coasting to a home win and Dembele’s strike made sure of all three points. With his back to goal, he dummied a PSV defender and while charging towards goal he simply bent the ball home from all of 25 yards, a truly sumptuous finish.
Renato Sanches – Benfica vs Bayern Munich
Football history is full of comebacks, as this story testifies it. The teenager who played a part in Portugal’s Euro 2016 win two years ago has seen his career trajectory somewhat stall since then, as a his loan move to Swansea last season ended with the South Wales outfit being relegated from the Premier League.
Thankfully for Sanches though, he can worry about performing in the Champions League rather than the Championship as he has returned to his parent club Bayern Munich for this campaign. At the same time this week saw another homecoming of sorts for Sanches as the German giants faced Benfica, against all the Betdsi odds.
And it was almost written in the stars that his return to the Estadio da Luz would result in a goal for the 21-year-old. With Bayern already ahead, a neat build up and eventual cross from James Rodriguez saw the one-time wonderkid slot home with a neat close range volley.