The 38,167 spectators present last night at the Stade Bollaert-Delélis experienced an evening that they will not soon forget. At the end of a huge match, the Lensois achieved a historic feat by overthrowing Arsenal to win their first Champions League match in more than twenty years. The evening started off badly, however, with a bad back pass from Adrien Thomasson in the 14th minute, well anticipated by Saka. The Englishman was able to calmly serve Gabriel Jesus, who himself did not need to be asked to cross his shot to perfection and crucify Brice Samba and the Lensois supporters.
But the Sang et Or did not let themselves be defeated, and Thomasson was the first, since after missing a first volley in the 23rd minute, he placed his second opportunity in the back of the net. With a surgical curled recovery, the former Strasbourg player warded off fate and equalized in the 25th minute, honoring Wahi’s magnificent acrobatic deviation to serve him. The evening continued to deteriorate for Arsenal with Bukayo Saka leaving with a muscle injury before half-time, replaced by Fabio Vieira.
Faithful to their ambitious game, responding perfectly to the English in the intensity and carried by a Brice Samba of the great evenings, the Lensois delivered a successful score, which even became perfect when Elye Wahi capsized the stadium in the 69th minute. On a perfect back serve from Frankowski, Wahi showed great lucidity coupled with great technical mastery to cover the ball, sending an unstoppable half-volley into David Raya’s small left net. Taking advantage of the spaces on the sides, the Lensois pistons and attackers made misery for the Arsenal full-backs throughout the match, and the repeated crosses ended up paying off. Then the Sang et Or turned their backs to achieve this prestigious success, pushed by an entire stadium which had been waiting for a star-studded evening for more than two decades.
Manchester United collapses
In the other Group B match, PSV Eindhoven, although dominant, had to wait until the last minute to snatch the equalizer and a precious point at home against Sevilla FC (2-2). In Pool A, Manchester United experienced a nightmare evening at the Old Trafford Theater of Dreams. The Red Devils, clumsy in construction and abandoned by a desperate defense, lost at home against Galatasaray (2-3) despite a double from Rasmus Hojlund. After their defeat against Bayern (4-3), they no longer have the right to make mistakes if they want to go to the round of 16. Bayern was also scared in Copenhagen, but the Bavarians managed to overthrow the Danes at the end of the match, thanks in particular to the liberating goal from Frenchman Mathys Tel in the 83rd (1-2).
Real Madrid and Inter impress
In Group C, the away teams also shone. Real Madrid dominated Naples at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (2-3). The Neapolitans showed themselves to be fighters but were overtaken in the game by the Merengues who mastered their subject. Braga, missing the point in the first half in Berlin, ended up overthrowing the Union despite a fragile defense, thanks to a goal from Castro in the 94th (2-3). The Portuguese are back in Naples in the standings, with three points each behind Real who have six.
In Group D, Inter showed their collective rigor and asphyxiated Benfica in the second half to win 1-0 thanks to a goal from Marcus Thuram in the 62nd minute. For its part, RB Salzburg hosted Real Sociedad and the Austrians were much less solid. Already led 2-0 at half-time by the Basques, dominating and even flamboyant in the game, Salzburg never managed to react and lost at home, after winning by the same score of 2-0 at Benfica during the first day. Inter and Real Sociedad are joint leaders with four points, Benfica is last with two defeats and already in bad shape.
Paris can take a decisive advantage
Wednesday at 9 p.m., it will be PSG’s turn to play their second meeting in this Champions League. The Parisians started their campaign perfectly with a convincing success against Dortmund (2-0). This time they will travel to Newcastle, and already have the opportunity to take the break at the top of their group if successful. The Magpies brought home a good point from San Siro two weeks ago (0-0). Since this match, Newcastle have beaten Sheffield (8-0) then Burnley (2-0) in the Premier League, and even claimed the scalp of Manchester City in the League Cup last Wednesday (1-0). For its part, PSG outclassed OM at the Parc des Princes (4-0) before conceding a draw at Clermont (0-0).
The Parisians will have to do without Nuno Mendes (hamstring surgery), Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles tendon), Marco Asensio (foot injury) but also Kang-In Lee, who is playing in the Asian Games with Korea from South. On the English side, a hard blow with the relapse of central defender Sven Botman, injured in the knee. Added to this is last-minute uncertainty surrounding Sandro Tonali, who was absent from training today (Tuesday). Joelinton is also expected to miss out, while Harvey Barnes and Joe Willock are long-term injured and will also miss this match. Young Elliot Anderson, product of the Magpies academy, could take advantage of all these absences to start again, like this weekend against Burnley (2-0). In the other Group F match, Borussia Dortmund, already with its back to the wall, will host AC Milan who must also take points.
Wednesday, Manchester City and the Spanish clubs on track
On Wednesday, the clash of the evening (apart from PSG’s Pool F) will pit RB Leipzig against Manchester City at 9 p.m. The two teams won their first match and faced each other in the round of 16 last season, for a great success for the Citizens. At the same time, FC Barcelona will travel to Porto, for another meeting between two teams who won their first match. At 6:45 p.m., Atletico Madrid will host Feyenoord, at the top of Pool E after their success against Celtic (2-0). The Scots will host Lazio at 9 p.m., who remain in a draw against the Colchoneros. At 6:45 p.m., the little thumbs of the Barça group will meet during the Antwerp – Shakhtar Donetsk match. At 9 p.m., it will be those from the Manchester City pool who will face each other in Serbia for Red Star Belgrade – Young Boys Bern.
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What is the 2022-2023 Champions League schedule?
The group stage of the Football Champions League will be played from Tuesday September 19, 2023 to Wednesday December 13, 2023. As for the final, it has been set for June 1, 2024.
- Day 1: September 19-20, 2023
- Day 2: October 3-4, 2023
- Day 3: October 24-25, 2023
- Day 4: November 7-8, 2023
- Day 5: November 28-29, 2023
- Day 6: December 12-13, 2023
- Round of 16: February 13-14 and 20-21 and March 5-6 and 12-13, 2024
- Quarter-finals: April 9-10 and 16-17, 2024
- Semi-finals: April 30-1er May and May 7-8, 2024
- Final: 1er June 2024
On which TV channel to watch the Champions League in France?
The battle for TV rights continued to rage before this Champions League season. UEFA has awarded the French TV rights for the “Big Ears Cup” to beIN Sports and Canal+, which will broadcast the Champions League. RMC Sport will co-broadcast with Canal the two best Champions League posters until 2024 and beIN SPORTS will offer all of the remaining matches.