Liverpool, Barca win as newcomers stun Europe
European heavyweights Liverpool, FC Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan opened their Champions League campaigns with victories on Tuesday.Updated: Sep 17, 2008, 10:44 IST
European heavyweights Liverpool, FC Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan opened their Champions League campaigns with victories on Tuesday.
But the most striking results on the first night of the group stage came from the competition's newcomers on the road, with CFR Cluj upsetting AS Roma 2-1 and Anorthosis Famagusta holding Werder Bremen 0-0.
Chelsea, which lost May's final on penalty kicks, crushed Bordeaux 4-0; five-time champion Liverpool rallied to win 2-1 at Marseille; 2006 winner Barcelona overcame Sporting Lisbon 3-1 and Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan beat Panathinaikos 2-0.
Atletico Madrid ended its 11-year absence with a 3-0 win at 1988 champion PSV Einhoven, while Shakhtar Donetsk won 2-1 despite FC Basel scoring a late goal.
Fernando Torres was back spearheading Liverpool's attack after recovering from injury as Liverpool was given a tougher test than last year's visit to the Stade Velodrome when it left with a 4-0 victory.
Marseille went ahead in the 23rd when Benoit Cheyrou lofted the ball over and Lorik Cana sidefooted past goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
The flares were still being launched when Steven Gerrard struck within three minutes with a rasping shot that looped into the net from 25 meters (yards).
"It was amazing. It was a fantastic goal, it shows the quality he has," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said.
Gerrard put Liverpool ahead in the 31st from the penalty spot at the second attempt after Ronald Zubar had tripped Ryan Babel.