Paris Saint Germain's Italian Carlo Ancelotti, left, congratulates Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Michel Euler/AP/Press Association Images
Champions League

Champions League round-up: Paris lay down a marker on return to the big time

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Alex and Javier Pastore were on the scoresheet for Carlo Ancelotti’s outfit in the French capital.

AWAY FROM A thrilling defeat for Manchester City in Madrid and a winning start for Arsenal on French soil, it was busy night of European football.

Paris Saint-Germain’s return to the Champions League after an absence of eight years went better than their Qatari owners could have imagined, with goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Alex and Javier Pastore helping see off Dynamo Kiev 4-1 here.

Ibrahimovic gave the French capital outfit the lead from the penalty spot in the 19th minute of this Group A encounter, and Thiago Silva then marked his long-anticipated debut with a goal just before the half-hour mark.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side put the game to bed before the interval thanks to a thumping effort from their other Brazilian centre-back Alex, although Miguel Veloso pulled one back for Dynamo late on. But there was still time for Pastore to add a fourth and underlining PSG’s status as favourites to win a group that is, on paper, one of the easiest in the competition.

Aided by Argentina veteran Javier Saviola, Spain’s Malaga made a winning start to their maiden Champions League campaign beating Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg 3-0 at their Rosaleda stadium. Malaga are a new force on the Spanish scene having qualified for the competition for the first time after coming fourth in La Liga but been beset by financial difficulties in recent months and lost several stars such as Santiago Cazorla, who joined Arsenal.

However, tonight, all of those recent tribulations were set aside as they raced into an early two-goal lead in their Group C encounter. With just three minutes on the clock, local boy and Spain under-23 international Alarcon Isco strode into the area before unleashing a curling right-footed effort into the corner of the net as Malaga made a rip-roaring start.

Former Barcelona star Saviola, who joined from Benfica in the summer at the age of 31, netted the second 10 minutes later, the Argentine wizard firing home after Jesus Gamez found him with a cross from the right. In between the two goals, Zenit suffered a dose of misfortune when recent big money signing Brazilian international Hulk blasted a 20-yarder against the crossbar after five minutes.

Group C whipping boys Anderlecht held seven-time champions AC Milan to a scoreless draw in a game that will heap further pressure on the hosts’ coach Massimiliano Allegri.

After two home defeats and one away win in three Serie A games, the pressure was on Allegri to deliver a win that would get Milan’s European campaign up and running. But it was whistles that rang out around a less than half-empty San Siro stadium at the end of a match in which the hosts failed to take by the scruff of the neck having been dominated in the early exchanges.

  • Robert Lewandowski’s late goal gave Borussia Dortmund a crucial 1-0 victory at home over Ajax Amsterdam in their Group D opener.

After Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer had stopped Mats Hummels’ spot kick in the 58th minute, Lewandowsi provided the German champions with the winner in the 87th minute. Dortmund could hardly afford a slip-up with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid waiting to be played while Amsterdam would have been happy with gaining an away point.

Check out the full results here>

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