Champions League round-up: Last season’s semi-finalists Ajax start campaign with win while Memphis Depay’s penalty salvages a point for Lyon at home to Zenit
- Memphis Depay’s second-half penalty salvaged a point for Lyon at home to Zenit
- Last year’s surprise package Ajax cruised to a 3-0 win against Lille in Group H
- Erling Braut Håland scored a superb hat-trick as Red Bull Salzburg beat Genk 6-2
- Red Bull Leipzig continued their excellent start to the season by beating Benfica
Ajax, who stunned Real Madrid and Juventus in last year’s Champions League, started this season with a comfortable home win against Lille on Tuesday night.
Forward Quincy Promes opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before second-half goals by Edson Alvarez and Nicolas Tagliafico meant the Eredivisie champions cruised to three points.
Ajax now stand at the top of Group H alongside Valencia, who beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Edson Alvarez celebrates scoring Ajax’s second goal to set them on their way to three points
The Ajax players and fans celebrate Nicolas Tagliafico’s goal at the Amsterdam Arena
Elsewhere, the game with by far the most goals was in Austria, as Red Bull Salzburg put on a show with a thumping 6-2 victory against Genk.
The hosts were 5-1 up by half-time, with Yorkshire-born Norwegian international Erling Braut Håland scoring a first-half hat-trick and Hwang Hee-chan and Dominik Szoboszlai giving Salzburg a dream Champions League start. Jhon Lumi notched Genk’s first goal.
Haland’s hat-trick makes him the third-youngest hat-trick scorer in Champions League history – the 19-year-old is only behind Raul and Wayne Rooney.
Erling Braut Håland stole the show in Salzburg with an unbelievable first-half hat-trick
Haland stands on the the advertising hoardings to celebrate his second goal with the fans
The second-half was a much more even contest with one goal apiece: Mbwana Samatta narrowed the deficit to 5-2 before Andreas Ulmer sealed a four-goal win and top-spot on goal difference for the Austrians in Group E.
They’re level in first place with Napoli, who beat defending champions Liverpool 2-0 in Naples.
In the early kick-off, Memphis Depay’s second-half penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Lyon at home against Zenit St. Petersburg.
Zenit took the lead through a goal from Serdar Azmoun in the 41st minute before Depay was tripped on the edge of the area by Magomed Ozdoev, who had just come on as a replacement for the injured Azmoun – the Dutch winger blasted his 50th-minute penalty into the bottom-left of the goal, leaving goalkeeper Andrey Lunyov no chance.
Lyon’s Memphis Depay strikes the penalty which saved a point for the Ligue 1 side against Zenit
Depay, formerly of Manchester United, celebrates his equaliser at the Groupama Stadium
It was a frustrating night for Lyon, who had gone close with a header by Marcelo in the first half, and could have won the game in the second if Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s shot hadn’t gone narrowly wide.
Group G is widely considered the most open of this year’s Champions League, and also includes Benfica and Leipzig.
The German giants continued their impressive start to the season under Julian Nagelsmann as they won on the road against the Portuguese giants 2-1.
All the goals came in the second-half as Timo Werner grabbed a double and, despite Haris Seferovic’s late goal making the finale nervy, Leipzig held on for a crucial win and first place in Group G.
Zenit had taken the lead in the first half through striker Sardar Azmoun’s 41st minute strike
Timo Werner nets his second goal as Red Bull Leipzig win impressively on the road at Benfica