As the 17 September start of the UEFA Champions League group stage draws near, UEFA.com looks back at some of the competition's most outstanding opening-day fixtures.
Rangers FC 2-2 Olympique de Marseille (1992/93)
Rangers welcomed Marseille to Ibrox for their first game in the rebranded UEFA Champions League. Goals from Alen Bokšić and Rudi Völler – the latter capitalising on a defensive mix-up – put the French title winners in command with an hour played in Glasgow. Gary McSwegan's clever header reduced the deficit before Walter Smith's side restored parity, Mark Hateley pouncing from close range to salvage a point for the hosts.
Newcastle United FC 3-2 FC Barcelona (1997/98)
Tournament debutants Newcastle did not take long to make an impression on the competition, recording a memorable victory against Louis van Gaal's team. Colombia forward Faustino Asprilla was the star of the show, opening the scoring from the penalty spot before extending the Magpies' lead with two fine headers. Luis Enrique and Luís Figo replied for the Camp Nou outfit, but Newcastle were not to be denied.
Manchester United FC 3-3 FC Barcelona (1998/99)
Barcelona were the visitors to Old Trafford as Manchester United started a UEFA Champions League campaign that would culminate in a dramatic final victory against FC Bayern München. The Red Devils raced out of the traps against the Blaugrana, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes scoring on 16 and 24 minutes respectively.
Brazilians Sonny Anderson and Giovanni brought Barcelona level after the interval, before David Beckham edged the hosts in front once more. The Spanish side dug deep, however, with Luis Enrique converting from the penalty spot after Nicky Butt had handled.
Galatasaray AŞ 3-2 AS Monaco FC (2000/01)
Fans at the Ali Sami Yen were treated to a thrilling match as Galatasaray began their campaign win a win. Jardel put Cimbom ahead from close range and playmaker Gheorghe Hagi arrowed a delightful drive into the top corner of Stéphane Porato's net. Les Rouge et Blanc fought back through goals from Bruno Irles and Marco Simone, before both sides were reduced to ten men. A draw looked the most likely result until a cross from the left found Galatasaray forward Capone, who stooped to plant a powerful header past Porato.
Hamburger SV 4-4 Juventus (2000/01)
Winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1983, Hamburg made their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League 17 years later. Igor Tudor and Anthony Yeboah traded early goals, before Filippo Inzaghi put the Old Lady in command with two typically instinctive finishes. Seemingly down and out, HSV mounted a stirring comeback, Mehdi Mahdavikia reducing the arrears and goalkeeper Jörg Butt converting from the spot to make it 3-3. Hamburg appeared to be on the brink of an astonishing victory when Niko Kovač bundled in from close range, but Inzaghi had other ideas, completing his hat-trick with a late penalty.
Juventus 3-2 Celtic FC (2001/02)
There was also late penalty drama as Juventus edged the first of two dramatic meetings with Celtic in the first group stage. There was no portent of the fireworks to come as a pair of David Trezeguet goals put the Bianconeri 2-0 up. Stiliyan Petrov pulled one back for the Bhoys and it appeared Henrik Larsson had secured a point for Martin O'Neill's side when he stroked in a penalty four minutes from time. Nicola Amoruso then entered the fray and landed the decisive blow after being brought down in the area in the 90th minute.
FC Bayern München 2-3 RC Deportivo La Coruña (2002/03)
Winners two years earlier, Bayern failed to win any of their group games in 2002/03. Roy Makaay's memorable hat-trick started their miserable run. Two lethal finishes in the first period had sent the Spanish visitors into a surprise 2-0 lead, but Bayern battled back to equalise through Hasan Salihamidžić and Giovane Elber. Deportivo were not to be denied, however, as Makaay streaked clear to slot past Oliver Kahn. The Dutchman obviously made an impression on the Bundesliga club – they broke their transfer record to sign him the following summer.
Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 Real Madrid CF (2006/07)
A year after Madrid opened their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Stade de Gerland, it was deja vu for Fabio Capello's men. Coming off the back of three successive quarter-finals, Lyon were a force to be reckoned with and showed their class with a clinical dispatching of the nine-time champions. Fred lobbed the opener over Iker Casillas on 11 minutes, with Tiago prodding in a second after the half-hour mark.
FC Barcelona 2-2 AC Milan (2011/12)
Holders Barcelona were given immediate warning that retaining their title would be no mean feat when Pato raced through to score the fastest ever matchday one goal. If the start was dramatic, the end proved equally so, as, after Pedro Rodríguez and David Villa had put the hosts ahead, Thiago Silva popped up in the 92nd minute to head the equaliser in the first of the heavyweights' four meetings that season.
Real Madrid CF 3-2 Manchester City FC (2012/13)
Though Madrid eventually succumbed to Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals, it appeared fate was on their side during the first game of the 2012/13 edition. Aleksandar Kolarov put the Citizens ahead for the second time on 85 minutes with the third of five second-half goals. Somehow the Merengues battled back and Karim Benzema equalised, setting the scene for Cristiano Ronaldo to drill in a last-gasp winner.
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