Champions League review: English struggles, Taarabt’s revival & a Leeds-born Norwegian

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Sixteen games, 45 targets and two hat-tricks – that the Champions League is back.
The first round of team matches on Wednesday and Tuesday provided plenty of points.
BBC Sport looks back to Europe’s most prestigious cup competition.
The Premier League has supplied three of the four Champions League finalists but will a British club make the 2020 closing in Istanbul?
Of England’s four clubs in the contest Manchester City emerged triumphant as goals from Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan secured a sleek 3-0 win from Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
Tottenham and liverpool – the finalists of season – generated unspectacular starts.
Spurs blew a 2-0 lead to draw, while holders Liverpool lost in Italy.
One of Napoli’s scorers from Liverpool was Spanish Fernando Llorente – that had been a Spurs substitute in last year’s final.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard’s first game as a director in the championship – that he won at 2012 as a participant with Chelsea – attracted frustration as Valencia won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Recall Adel Taarabt?
The Morocco winger was seen on these shores playing having played for Tottenham and Fulham.
Once he played for Benfica in their 2-1 home defeat by RB Leipzig the 30-year-old made his first appearance in the Champions League because 2014.
Winger Rajiv van La Parra turned outside in Red Star Belgrade’s 3-0 defeat – after playing in the Championship Huddersfield from Luton, less than three months.
Meanwhile Cardiff defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine put a goal at Dinamo Zagreb’s 4-0 win over Atalanta.
Because Club Bruges drew ex-Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet maintained a clean sheet.
Erling Braut Haaland appreciated a Champions League introduction he’ll never forget.
Even the Leeds-born striker, son of former Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City shield Alf-Inge, struck a as RB Salzburg thrashed Genk 6-2 in Group E.
The 19-year-old Norway international has come to be the player to score that a Champions League treble.
Haaland believes his group can emulate Ajax, whose side knocked Real Madrid and Juventus out at a surprise run to the final season.
“Everything is possible. We all watched Ajax last year, it would be nice to be the new Ajax,” he said.
What a week for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Having become embroiled into a spat with fellow Germany keeper Manuel Neuer, Ter Stegen saved Marco Reus’ penalty as Borussia Dortmund was held by Barcelona in their Champions League opener to a draw.
Ter Stegen was defeated in playing second fiddle for his Neuer from the national group.
“I really don’t think it is all up to Manuel to convey a comment on my feelings,” Ter Stegen stated after Neuer had indicated his rival should revolve around the national group.
Will his punishment rescue help him get in the Germany number one jersey?
Having masterminded three successive Champions League triumphs for Real Madrid, is Zinedine Zidane near the sack?
Zidane was pretty much untouchable after his side won the competition in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
But could the end be spelt by a dispiriting 3-0 conquer Paris St-Germain?
“They were superior to people in whatever they did, and also in intensity, which disturbs me ,” said Zidane after Wednesday’s defeat.
“They were good and created opportunities, but what worries me is that we played without intensity.”
Zidane’s words don’t seem like a boss confident of turning things round.

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