UEFA Champions League updates: 7-13 September

Our live blog has all the build-up to the first UEFA Champions League games on Tuesday and Wednesday

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09/09/2015
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Barcelona, UEFA Super Cup winners in thrilling fashion last month, are aiming to become the first side to successfully defend the UEFA Champions League trophy

Welcome to UEFA.com's UEFA Champions League blog for the 2015/16 season, your one-stop shop for news, updates and comment about the 32 clubs preparing for the start of the group stage next week.

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Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (pictured) is in danger of missing the Blaugrana's Group E opener away to Roma on Wednesday after suffering a calf injury. The Chile No1 has been ruled out of Saturday's Liga encounter with Atlético Madrid, with Marc-André ter Stegen set to deputise at the Vicente Calderón. Ter Stegen is Luis Enrique's first choice for European games, meaning Jordi Masip could get the nod on the bench in Rome should Bravo fail to recover.

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Wayne Rooney dominates the back pages in England today after becoming the national team's all-time leading scorer with 50 goals, overtaking former Manchester United midfielder Sir Bobby Charlton. Sir Bobby, now 77, led the tributes.

"I cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don't hold this record. However, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record," he said. "On behalf of myself and everyone at Manchester United I would like to say 'Congratulations Wayne, this is a very proud moment for you and your family'."

Sir Bobby will present Rooney with a special golden boot before England's UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier against Estonia at Wembley in October.

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Benfica forward Jonas has signed a new contract until June 2018. The 31-year-old former Valencia striker was a key element in the team that lifted the 2014/15 Portuguese Liga title, scoring 20 goals in 27 matches, and has already scored three goals in three matches in the competition in 2015/16.

"I am very happy," he said. "It was easy for me to accept this contract renewal. I always wanted to stay at Benfica and now I got that wish granted. The goal, now, is to win more trophies with the club."

Pontus Wernbloom has agreed a new CSKA Moskva deal until 2018. The 29-year-old, who arrived  in 2012 from AZ Alkmaar, has won two league titles and one Russian Cup with the Army Men. CSKA will face Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United in UEFA Champions League Group B and start their campaign on Tuesday in Germany.

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Zenit coach André Villas-Boas has announced that he will step down at the end of 2015. "The club had made me an offer at the end of last season, I have refused and at the end of the season I will leave the club," he told the club's website. "But in any case we will continue to work hard, we need to score points, to catch up with those ahead of us, to try to perform successfully in the Champions League."

New Real Madrid signing Danilo has suffered an injury to the sole of his foot. Although the Merengues have not specified how long the player will be out for, the full-back is doubtful for next week's opener against FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier has confirmed that 2014/15 Ligue 1 top scorer Alexandre Lacazette is available on Saturday as OL host LOSC Lille in Ligue 1, putting him in contention to face Gent on Wednesday. The France striker missed the 4-0 win at Caen suffering from back pains.

Fournier added that no player will be rested against LOSC, though he is not yet sure if new signing Sergi Darder is fit enough to take over from the injured Nabil Fekir. "This game is important. We haven't performed as expected at home so far [one draw and one loss]. We must use this game to become dominant again."


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Paris coach Laurent Blanc will rest Zlatan Ibrahimović will be rested against Bordeaux on Friday. Blanc said the forward came back "not at his best condition of health" from international debut with Sweden. "I can confirm, Zlatan won't play, but he will be back at his best against Malmö," said Blanc ahead of Tuesday's visit of Ibrahimović's first club. Javier Pastore will also be rested against Bordeaux due to calf and knee problems.

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Bayern Munich’s new signing Kingsley Coman could make his Bundesliga debut on Saturday against FC Augsburg. "I can play right away," said the France Under-21 midfielder on his official presentation in Munich. "I am in good shape. And if they say I should play, then I will be ready."

With fellow wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry both injured, the 19-year-old former Juventus player may well make his bow. "I prefer playing on the left wing, but on the right is also OK," he added.

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Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is eager for a first taste of UEFA Champions League football as the Bianconeri head to Manchester City next week. "I could make my Champions League debut so it will be a special day," the 21-year-old told the club's TV channel. "I will just try to stay focused."

A summer signing from Palermo, Dybala scored in the Italian Super Cup and in Juve's 2-1 Serie A defeat at AS Roma, but he knows the City game will pose a different challenge. "I still haven't played a Champions League game so I cannot say what kind of differences there are, but I expect a different kind of pace from the domestic league," he noted. "Hopefully everything will be fine."

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Thomas Vermaelen has been speaking to Barcelona's TV channel ahead of Saturday's Liga trip to Atlético Madrid and their UEFA Champions Leagie opener at Roma on Wednesday. "We won the treble last season and we know it won’t be easy to do it again, but we’ll try to," he said. "I want to play as many games as possible - I want to improve as a player."

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It's the longest journey in UEFA Champions League history and Benfica are ready to welcome debutants Astana ...

David de Gea has signed a new four-year deal to stay at Manchester United. The Spain goalkeeper, who joined in 2011, said: "I am delighted to be starting this new chapter in my United career. I have always enjoyed playing with these great players in front of our fantastic fans. Manchester United is a special club and Old Trafford is an ideal place for me to continue to develop my career. I'm looking forward to putting a difficult summer behind me and concentrating on working hard to improve and help my team-mates to be successful."

Here is Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on David de Gea's new four-year deal: "I am absolutely delighted David has signed a new contract. He is one of the best goalkeepers in world football. I am very pleased that he will be part of the team for many years to come."

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There is a goalkeeping blow for Chelsea as manager José Mourinho has confirmed that Thibaut Courtois will be "out for quite a long time" after suffering a knee injury in training. Mourinho said: "Courtois was injured in training, he needs surgery on his right knee and he will be out for quite a long time."

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More injury news from the Premier League as Manuel Pellegrini has said that Fabian Delph will be out for around six weeks after damaging his hamstring in the opening seconds of England's 2-0 win against Switzerland on Tuesday. The City manager said: "I don't know how long it will be, we'll see. I think at this moment it will be a month and a half."

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Juventus begin the UEFA Champions League at Manchester City on Tuesday but before that the Bianconeri need to get off the mark in Serie A. For the first time they have lost their opening two games and on Saturday take on surprise leaders Chievo Verona. "We need our first three points,", Massimiliano Allegri said during Friday's press conference in Vinovo. "Chievo are doing very well, so it will a difficult game. At Juve, transistional years are not allowed, so we need to raise our game to be on course in all competitions in March."

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema has mixed feelings about returning to his native France on 21 October to meet former club-mate and good friend Ángel Di María with Paris Saint-Germain. "He is just a great person and great player," said Benzema told Le Parisien. "He is cool, funny and teasing."

As to his footballing skills Benzema remembered "a Clásico we lost 4-3 but where he delivered me a two assists. He was awesome". However, Benzema admits Di María "can help Paris a lot". "He is an experienced player who knows everything about the top level," Benzema said.

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The UEFA Club Financial Control Body Investigatory Chamber has confirmed the lifting of a number of restrictions imposed on Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

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Roma coach Rudi Garcia talked to Radio RMC about the club's targets for the current European season: "Our aim is to reach the round of 16, at the least. We are in the same group as the European champions, Barcelona [who visit on Wednesday], it won't be easy but we want to get second place behind them."

The coach also underlined captain Francesco Totti's importance to the team, even at 38: "He does not want any special treatment, he's unbelievable on the pitch and off it; he's very humble and he is still a very important player for us, so my personal aim is to win a trophy with him, with my captain."

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Astana were the first of the group stage hopefuls in domestic action on Friday and they were involved in a thrilling 3-2 success at Ordabsy. Tanat Nuserbayev grabbed a 90th-minute winner for the ten-man visitors who had trailed early on and led 2-1. Stanimir Stoilov's men were in trouble when Edin Junuzović (62) levelled and Yeldos Akhmetov was sent off two minutes later but Nuserbayev had the final say.

Dinamo Zagreb moved five points clear at the Croatian summit as they sauntered past hosts Lokomotiva Zagreb 4-0. Ángelo Henríquez (pictured) scored in either half with Junior Fernandes and Leonardo Sigali also on target after the break.

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Shakhtar Donetsk recorded their biggest win of the season as they cruised to a 5-0 triumph at Metalist. Alex Teixeira (pictured) scored twice to take his tally to seven in six league games this term. Yaroslav Rakitskiy (35) and Olexandr Kucher (53) also struck before the hosts had Dmytro Ryzhuk dismissed in conceding a penalty that Teixeira converted for his second. Olexandr Gladkiy (80) rounded off the win.

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Mönchengladbach's dreadful start to the Bundesliga campaign continued as they lost 3-0 at home to Hamburg, leaving Lucien Favre's men without a point after four games and bottom of the table. Pierre-Michelle Lasogga scored twice in the first half before Nicolae Müller (52) wrapped up a comfortable victory for the visitors.

"We are losing patience too quickly and our game is too complicated," said Favre. "But I said before the start of the season that this will be an extremely difficult season for us." To make matters worse, captain Martin Stranzl was carried off in his comeback match with a suspected fractured cheekbone.

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Sevilla are still searching for their first Liga win of the 2015/16 campaign following a 1-1 draw at Levante. Steven N'Zonzi scored Sevilla's first league goal in the 12th minute but they were forced to settle for a share of the points when Víctor Camarasa (58) levelled.

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Paris failed to equal Bordeaux's French top-flight record of 14 consecutive Ligue 1 victories as they were held 2-2 at home by the record-holders. Bordeaux were the last team to resist Laurent Blanc's side, beating them 3-2 at home on 15 March, and they proved a thorn in their side again when Wahbi Khazri (79) equalised just two minutes after Henri Saivet had been sent off. Edinson Cavani's first-half double for the champions had sandwiched Saivet's header.

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Benfica swept Belenenses aside 6-0 to record their third win in their opening four Liga games. Kostas Mitroglou and Jonas claimed two goals each with Nicolás Gaitán and Talisca completing the scoring after 63 minutes. Rui Vitória's charges have now scored 13 goals in their three home league victories ahead of Tuesday's visit of Astana.

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After suffering their fourth Bundesliga defeat in as many opening games on Friday, Mönchengladbach have been dealt a fresh blow with the news that defender Martin Stranzl has been ruled out for 6-8 with a fractured cheekbone.

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Two Steven Naismith goals had Chelsea on the back foot at Everton until Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matić halved the deficit five minutes before half-time.

Bayern playmaker Mario Götze is not being risked ahead of their UEFA Champions League opener against Olympiacos on Wednesday.

There is also a minor injury concern for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. The Premier League club host Juventus in Group D on Tuesday. 

Chelsea slipped to their third defeat in five Premier League games courtesy of a 3-1 loss at Everton. Nemanja Matić had given the visitors hope on 36 minutes, scoring after two goals from substitute Steven Naismith. Everton's Scottish forward had the final say, however, completing his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining to leave José Mourinho's side languishing in 15th.

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Cristiano Ronaldo shattered yet more records as Real Madrid dispatched Espanyol 6-0, the Portuguese forward helping himself to five to surpass Raúl González's haul of 228 Real Madrid goals in the Liga. Ronaldo also became only the second player to score five away from home in consecutive seasons (Telmo Zarra, 1943). Karim Benzema got the other, meanwhile, as Madrid made it two wins from three.

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Manchester City lost Sergio Agüero to an early injury, yet still maintained their 100% start with a last-gasp 1-0 win at Crystal Palace. The 18-year-old forward Kelechi Iheanacho was the match-winner, coming off the bench to score his first Premier League goal. Elsewhere, Arsenal moved into second, goals in each half from Theo Walcott and Oliver Giroud enough to see off Stoke City 2-0.

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Bayern München required late goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller to beat Augsburg after going in behind at the break. Lewandowski kick-started the comeback with 13 minutes left and Müller did the rest from the spot with full time looming.

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Anthony Martial enjoyed a dream Manchester United debut, coming off the bench to seal a 3-1 victory over Liverpool. Daley Blind and an Ander Herrera penalty had put United in control, but a wonderful acrobatic effort from Christian Benteke ensured a nervy finale. Martial restored order, however, with a clinical side-footed finish after a mazy run.

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Valencia are off and running in the Spanish Liga after a last-minute Paco Alcácer goal gave them a 1-0 win at Sporting de Gijón, their first of the season. 

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Lukas Podolski scored his second Galatasaray goal and Selçuk İnan was sent off late on as Cimbom were held 1-1 by Mersin, meaning they have won just one of their opening four league games. On Tuesday, Galatasaray open their 2015/16 UEFA Champions League campaign against Atlético in Istanbul.

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Blow for Sevilla ahead of their matchday one fixture against Mönchengladbach as goalkeeper Beto has been ruled out for between 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.

Barcelona have confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen suffered a calf injury in his left leg during their 2-1 victory at Atlético on Saturday. The centre-back is now a doubt for Wednesday's Group E tie at Roma.

Last season's runners-up Juventus kick off for campaign with a visit to Manchester City on Tuesday. Missing out on the Group D tie in England will be Claudio Marchisio, who reported an adductor muscle problem in his right thigh. He will remain behind in Turin to undergo further tests.

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CSKA Moskva have announced the appointment of former BATE coach Viktor Goncharenko as Leonid Slutski's assistant. The 38-year-old led BATE to five Belarusian titles in a successful spell between 2007 and 2013, before leaving to coach Russian side Kuban Krasnodar.

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimović appears fit to face his old side Malmö in Group A on Tuesday after taking full part in a pair of training sessions on Sunday. The Malmo native suffered an abdominal injury while on international duty with Sweden on Tuesday and was rested for Paris's 2-2 draw with Bordeaux on Friday.

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