Barcelona draws at Roma, Bayern and Chelsea win openers
The Champions League season is only one match day old, but it will be tough for anyone to better Alessandro Florenzi’s eye-popping strike that gave Roma a 1-1 draw with defending champion Barcelona on Wednesday.
Florenzi launched an audacious 60-yard (meter) lob from near the sideline and watched it sail over Barcelona goalkeeper Andre-Marc ter Stegen to cancel out Luis Suarez’s opening goal.
”It will be something to remember,” Florenzi said. ”It’s not something that happens often.”
Bayer Leverkusen hammered BATE Borisov 4-1 in the night’s other Group E match.
Arsenal slumped to a 2-1 loss at Dinamo Zagreb in a match it finished with 10 men, while its Group F rival Bayern Munich needed second-half goals to beat hosts Olympiakos 3-0.
Chelsea was a 4-0 winner over Maccabi Tel Aviv and took the early lead in Group C after Porto drew 2-2 at Dynamo Kiev.
Zenit St. Petersburg went to the top in Group H after winning 3-2 at Valencia and nine-man AA Ghent’s 1-1 draw with Lyon.
Here is a closer look at each match on Wednesday:
After Suarez headed in Ivan Rakitic’s pass in the 21st, Florenzi’s memorable equalizer in a 1-1 draw came just after the half-hour mark.
Two strides after dribbling past the halfway line on the right flank, Florenzi saw Ter Stegen far out of his goal and let loose a shot from more than 60 meters (yards) over the German’s head that went in off the post.
In Germany, Javier ”Chicharito” Hernandez scored his first goal for Leverkusen as it comfortably beat BATE 4-1.
Admir Mehmedi opened the scoring with the outside of his boot in the fourth, nine minutes before Serbian defender Nemanja Milunovic drew the visitors level with a deflected header.
Hakan Calhanoglu restored Leverkusen’s lead with another deflected goal two minutes after the break, and Hernandez struck in the 59th.
Calhanoglu rounded off the scoring with a penalty in the 76th.
Chelsea set aside its troubles in the Premier League with an easy 4-0 win in Europe.
Willian gave Chelsea the lead in the 15th, his free kick from the left looping past his teammates in the penalty area and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Pedrag Rajkovic.
Oscar doubled the advantage on the stroke of halftime from the penalty spot after Diego Costa was fouled.
Substitute Costa then settled the match in the 58th minute, brilliantly turning in a cross from Cesc Fabregas off the underside of the crossbar before Fabregas added the fourth from close range on 78 minutes.
In Ukraine, Oleh Gusev put Kiev ahead after 13 minutes but a double from Vincent Aboubakar gave Porto the lead – only for Vitali Buylaksy to equalize in the 89th for a 2-2 draw.
While London rival Chelsea got a much-needed win, Arsenal made a dismal start to its European campaign with a 2-1 defeat in Zagreb.
A goal by Josip Pivaric in the 24th and a sending-off for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud after a second yellow card in the 40th swung the game Dinamo’s way.
Chilean forward Junior Fernandes headed Dinamo’s second goal from a corner in the 58th.
Though substitute Theo Walcott pulled a goal back for Arsenal in the 79th, it was too little too late for Arsene Wenger’s side.
In Greece, Thomas Mueller scored twice and substitute Mario Goetze added another for Bayern as Olympiakos fell apart late in a 3-0 win for the visitors that was marred by scuffles in the stands before kickoff.
Mueller spotted goalkeeper Roberto off his line and expertly lobbed the ball home in the 52nd.
Goetze added the second a minute from time with a diagonal shot past Roberto before Muller struck again from close range in injury time.
In brief clashes before game, riot police used batons to confront a small group of Bayern fans.
Hulk scored twice before Axel Witsel got the winner as Zenit beat Valencia 3-2 in a thriller.
Hulk drove in his first goal on the run in the ninth, and bettered that with a ferocious drive from outside the area to stun Mestalla Stadium three minutes before halftime.
Valencia responded after the restart and Joao Cancelo was helped by Yuri Lodygin’s poor goalkeeping to pull one back in the 54th before substitute Andre Gomes briefly equalized at 2-2 in the 73rd.
But three minutes later Witsel scored from long distance to restore the Russian’s advantage for good.
AA Ghent came back from behind with a goal from Danijel Milicevic and survived being down to nine men in the closing stages to earn a 1-1 draw with Lyon.
After midfielder Brecht Dejaegere was sent off for a high tackle in the 41st, the Belgian champion still got the equalizer in the 68th. Thomas Foket was then sent off for a foul in the area three minutes from time, but goalkeeper Matz Sels saved the penalty from Lyon star Alexandre Lacazette.
Lyon looked set for an easy victory when Christophe Jallet dipped in at the near post to head home a corner from veteran Mathieu Valbuena in the 58th when it was already a man up.
AP Sports Writer Andrew Dampf in Rome and Associated Press writer Jack Bezants in London contributed to this report.