Roma opened their Champions League Group E campaign in style with a 5-1 mauling of Russian side CSKA Moscow at the Stadio Olimpico.
Gervinho set up Juan Manuel Iturbe’s opener and then scored twice himself in the first half, sandwiching a goal from Maicon after the Brazilian full-back overcame an injury scare in the warm-up. Sergey Ignashevich’s own goal extended the margin further and Ahmed Musa’s consolation was of no consequence.
Roma had by now taken their foot off the gas and their visitors finally got themselves on the scoresheet when Nigeria winger Musa ran on to Doumbia’s pass, benefited from a favourable ricochet and, off balance, shovelled a shot past De Sanctis. It was the first goal conceded by Roma this season but did little to spoil a resoundingly successful start to their European adventure.
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Athletic Bilbao 0, Shakhtar Donetsk 0
Shakhtar Donetsk battled to a 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao as both sides kicked off their Champions League Group H Champions League campaigns at the San Mames Stadium.
Mircea Lucescu’s stubborn side refused to give an inch to their Spanish hosts and also posed questions on the counter to remind Bilbao how tricky it can be at this level. Los Leones, who are back in the group stages for the first time since 1998-99, toiled for long periods against the Ukrainian champions and made a mess of what opportunities did come their way.
A perfect example of that was presented as early as the third minute, when Mikel Rico snatched at a shot after good work from Etxebarria Benat found him in space 12 yards from goal. The 29-year-old looked rusty as he misjudged how much time he had and poked the ball goalwards before he really had it under control. Donetsk goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov, given the nod ahead of Anton Kanibolotskiy, was relieved to watch it sail harmlessly wide after his defence was cut open with alarming ease.
Once the Ukrainian champions, who have won all eight of their matches so far this season, settled down they started asking questions themselves.
Maribor 1, Sporting Lisbon 1
Luka Zahovic salvaged a last-gasp 1-1 draw for Maribor in their opening Group G Champions League clash with Sporting Lisbon.
Zahovic, who was born in Portugal, headed home in stoppage time to cancel out a superb strike from Nani in the 79th minute. The result, Sporting’s third successive draw, may be seen as a missed opportunity by both sides given they face tough clashes against Chelsea and Schalke in future Group G games.
Porto 6, BATE Borisov 0
Yacine Brahimi’s hat-trick fired Porto to a new club-record Champions League victory in a 6-0 demolition of BATE Borisov at the Dragao Stadium.
Porto captain Jackson Martinez hit the target to back up Algeria midfielder Brahimi’s impressive treble as the hosts romped to the landslide Group H win. Adrian Lopez and Vincent Aboubakar rounded off the rout, with the Belarusian side hopelessly outclassed.