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Florenzi and newcomers star: The best of matchday one

Alessandro Florenzi from the touchline: need we say more? Actually, yes, as our pick of the action highlights spectacular debuts, some surprises and an honest Thomas Müller.

The best of matchday one ©Getty Images

Player: Alessandro Florenzi (Roma)
Here's the thing. It was Lionel Messi's 100th UEFA Champions League game. And the headlines ended up being about someone else. Admittedly, Messi was the width of the crossbar away from giving Barcelona victory at Roma, but it was Florenzi's night.

Roma were one down and struggling around the half-hour mark when the midfielder-turned-right-back picked up the ball inside home territory. Florenzi advanced to the right touchline just inside the Barcelona half, looked up, and just before the ball crossed the touchline let fly with a shot that flew in past a stunned Marc-André ter Stegen for a 1-1 Group E draw. The standing ovation in the Stadio Olimpico continued for several minutes.

Florenzi, 24, told UEFA.com: "[It was] craziness and a bit of heart that allowed me to score this beautiful goal. It was practically a last resort because Edin [Džeko] was being marked by two defenders and I said, 'I'll try it' and I managed to get it to land under the bar and scored a great goal."

MD1 Alessandro Florenzi (Roma)
MD1 Alessandro Florenzi (Roma)

Team: Gent
There were a healthy amount of surprises this week – Dinamo Zagreb beating Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven overcoming Manchester United and Zenit winning at Valencia. But Gent made quite the UEFA Champions League debut, having waited a mere 115 years for their first Belgian title. Down to ten men before the break, Gent fell behind against Lyon just before the hour. Ten minutes later Danijel Milicevic equalised, but late on Thomas Foket became the second Gent player to be dismissed – only for goalkeeper Mats Sels to save Alexandre Lacazette's ensuing OL penalty and the nine men to hold on for a Group H draw.

The club's subsequent tweet said it all ...

Debuts
Aside from Gent's promising start, several players making club bows in the competition had good nights. The very first goal of the 2015/16 group stage was scored by Ángel Di María four minutes into his European debut for Paris Saint-Germain as they saw off Malmö 2-0, while in Bayer Leverkusen's 4-1 dispatching of BATE Borisov, their third goal came from a link-up between new signings Kevin Kampl and Javier Hernández. And then Yevhen Konoplyanka, a summer arrival at Sevilla, came off the bench in the 83rd minute against Borussia Mönchengladbach and within seconds had sealed a 3-0 victory.

Number: 16
It had been nearly 16 years since Dinamo Zagreb last won a UEFA Champions League game, but they made sure that run did not stretch to 16 matches by edging Arsenal 2-1 in Group F. The Gunners now have to work hard if they are to get past the group stage for the 16th season running.

Quote: "Let us say that it was a cross gone astray. I must be honest!"
With 11 goals already this term, Thomas Müller can afford full disclosure about his opener in Bayern München's 3-0 victory at Olympicos.

Record update: Cristiano Ronaldo
He usually sets a record or two if Messi does not, so just quickly: Ronaldo's hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk made him the first player to hit 80 UEFA Champions League goals, three clear of his Barcelona rival; and his two penalties means he overtook Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luís Figo with a new competition high of 11 spot kicks scored.

Ronaldo's achievement meant he topped your vote in our new Player of the Week poll.

Photo: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
We're guessing Buffon was happy with Juventus winning 2-1 at Manchester City ...

©AFP/Getty Images

Goal: Your choice!
Diego Costa, Memphis Depay, Alessandro Florenzi, Hulk or Álvaro Morata: who will win your vote for Goal of the Week?

Diego Costa
Diego Costa
Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay
Alessandro Florenzi
Alessandro Florenzi
Hulk
Hulk
Álvaro Morata
Álvaro Morata