The UEFA Champions League got off to a flying start last night and the Spanish, English and Italian newspapers were left particularly satisfied given the showing of their sides. The Portuguese press, meanwhile, were subdued after the defending champions opened with a draw.
Arsenal 1-0 PSV Eindhoven
Struggling to stifle well-organised visitors, Arsène Wenger's side rarely hinted at the sort of sprees that have vivified their Premiership season and they required an own goal from the Brazilian, Alex, to launch their Champions League campaign in satisfactory fashion.
(Daily Telegraph, England)
PSV were successful in throwing sand in the feared attacking engine of Arsenal. The London club did not manage to score themselves ... an own goal from defender Alex right before half-time made PSV lose their first match in this season's Champions League campaign. PSV, however, were not blown away by Arsenal, an option that seemed possible before the match.
(Algemeen Dagblad, Netherlands)
Panathinaikos FC 2-1 Rosenborg BK
Rosenborg did their best, but it was not enough to beat the tango exhibition of Ezequiel González. The 24-year old Argentinian has managed - in just nine months - to become worshipped by the Panathinaikos fans [and] he scored two magnificent goals here.
(To Vima, Greece)
Rosenborg will in hindsight see clearly that this was a great opportunity missed. The Greek league has still not started, and Panathinaikos lacked match sharpness. At this level, there will be few teams that are weaker than yesterday's Panathinaikos team. That is one reason for Rosenborg's bitterness today. The defeat was totally unnecessary.
(Verdens Gang, Norway)
Celtic FC 1-3 FC Barcelona
It is a long time since Celtic were given quite such a runaround as Barcelona inflicted on them at Parkhead last night ... And, yes, Henrik Larsson, a second-half substitute, scored the latter of these efforts. The Swede split Parkhead down the middle. At first they sang his name, but the evening ended with him being booed.
(The Herald, Scotland)
In a few years' time in Glasgow, they will say that they saw Barça. A beautiful Barça that transformed football into a finely tuned, efficient machine. They will say that they saw a great spectacle. They will recount that here, they witnessed a team that smashed an unbeaten run that had lasted three years and one month.
(El Periódico, Spain)
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 AC Milan
Shakhtar seem to love conceding just before the final whistle. As in the past, the new generation of Donetsk defenders keep losing concentration in the dying minutes of the game. But even the slightest mistake can be enough for Milan stars, just like one single shot was enough for Seedorf.
A classy strike from one of their best players. In no other way could Milan have won in Ukraine. Clarence Seedorf scored his third goal in four days and the Rossoneri won after struggling for the whole game, even when Shakhtar were down to ten men after Srna was sent off. These first three points in the Champions League are incredibly important because Shakhtar are a very good side.
(Corriere dello Sport, Italy)
FC Internazionale 2-0 Werder Bremen
Adriano once again made the difference for Inter. The fantastic performances of the Brazilian striker are hiding all the Nerazzurri's problems. Inter played with eleven men against ten from the fifth minute and hardly manage to find spaces in Bremen's defensive wall. But how long Adriano will be enough to win games for?
(Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)
Valérien Ismaël spoilt Werder Bremen's return to the Champions League after an eleven-year wait. The French defender was sent off after only five minute of the match against Internazionale and laid the foundations for the defeat. Andreas Reinke, who was world-class on the night, may have saved the following penalty from Christian Vieri, but was beaten by Adriano.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany)
Valencia CF 2-0 RSC Anderlecht
The Mestalla faithful rediscovered their passion for their little Argentinian idol last night. They truly enjoyed him - the dummy passes, the short dodges, the close control. In short, the magic. After almost eight months on the sidelines nursing one injury after another, Pablo Aimar returned to captivate his admirers. And Valencia, in short, swept Anderlecht aside with authority.
(El País, Spain)
Anderlecht will have to eat some more sandwiches before being able to compete with a team at the level of Valencia in an away match. The Spanish champions proved consistently to be too strong, too fast and too clever yesterday evening.
(Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium)
FC Porto 0-0 PFC CSKA Moskva
Porto started their defence of the Champions League title with a draw against CSKA. The European champions dominated the match but they didn't show the same offensive efficiency and the ability to score of last season. Porto were at a better level than in previous matches but Víctor Fernández still has a lot of work to do, mainly in the midfield, where some players look short of fitness.
(A Bola, Portugal)
It was 0-0, but CSKA nevertheless passed the European baptism of fire. But it is still evident that the red-and-blues need to get a quality playmaker during the winter break. When the Army men start to get tired in the closing stages of game they completely lose their ability to combine in the centre of the pitch.
Paris Saint-Germain FC 0-3 Chelsea FC
PSG wanted a trigger, they took a slap. Too strong for Vahid Halilhodzic's PSG, Chelsea last night turned the Parc into an English garden. For Paris, the crisis is deepening.
(Aujourd'hui - Le Parisien, France)
José Mourinho considers defending a beautiful art. Yet even he would have averted his eyes from this exhibition just a few miles from the Louvre were it not so completely to the benefit of his team. A series of ridiculous defensive errors from Paris Saint-Germain handed an easy victory to the European champion coach.
(The Guardian, England)
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