BREAKING: Bye, bye Messi, Ronaldo, splendid performances by Haaland, Mbappe show a new era has begun
Haaland continued his exceptional start to life at Manchester City with a brace and Mbappe did the same
Bye, bye Messi, Ronaldo, splendid performances by Haaland, Mbappe show a new era has begun
The opening night of the 2022/23 Champions League was brilliant, just as we thought it would be.
But it also hit differently.
Goals flew in across the continent as Chelsea suffered a shock defeat at Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic gave European champions Real Madrid a raucous reception, while Jude Bellingham set another record.
The night’s action started dramatically as Dinamo Zagreb upset the 2020/21 European champions
But it was what happened in Seville and Paris that really turned heads with Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe looking sensational.
Haaland continued his exceptional start to life at Manchester City with a brace in their 4-0 win over LaLiga side Sevilla.
Mbappe got a brace of his own, firing in two second-half goals as Paris Saint-Germain edged to a 2-1 win at home to Juventus.
The pair have already set pulses racing but with Haaland aged 22 and Mbappe 23, there’s still so much more to come from them.
Both players notched up some hugely impressive feats with Mbappe’s double seeing him score nine goals in six appearances for PSG this season.
Mbappe is also the youngest player to reach 35 Champions League goals at 23 years and 260 days, beating previous record holder Lionel Messi, who was 23 years and 307 days old.
Overall, Mbappe has 55 goals involvements in the competition (35 goals, 20 assists), which is excellent going considering he’s only made 54 appearances in it.
Stunning stats about Haaland also emerged, who has scored and assisted in every Premier League and Champions League match he’s played in for City.
He’s also become the first player in the history of the competition to score 25 goals in his first 20 appearances.
With Cristiano Ronaldo not even in the Champions League this season, while Lionel Messi cut a largely anonymous figure in comparison to Mbappe and Neymar, the night’s action may just spell a changing of the guard at the top of football.
However, the fact Ronaldo didn’t score any goals in his first 20 Champions League appearances, in contrast to Haaland who already has 25, suggests that the Messi vs Ronaldo era could even be eclipsed.
Coming up on Wednesday
Ajax vs Rangers (18:45)
Frankfurt vs Sporting CP (18:45)
Napoli vs Liverpool (21:00)
Atlético vs Porto (21:00)
Club Brugge vs Leverkusen (21:00)
Barcelona vs Plzeň (21:00)
Inter vs Bayern (21:00)
Tottenham vs Marseille (21:00)