Jude Bellingham produced an inspired individual performance as he scored one goal and set up the other to help Borussia Dortmund to a 2-1 win in Besiktas in their first match in Group C of the Champions League.
The 18-year-old English midfielder put the visitors ahead with a fine shot in the 20th minute and left his marker flat-footed to put forward Erling Haaland on the edge of the break for a second time. Francisco Montero pulled one back for the hosts in injury time.
Besiktas dominated the opening stages when Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel landed a shot from Michy Batshuayi, but his opposite number, Ersin Destanoglu, was the busier of the two for the remainder of the match. Destanoglu was powerless as Dortmund took the lead as Bellingham capped off an elegant play with a first clinical shot through the goalkeeper’s legs after Thomas Meunier volleyed a long cross pass into the youngster’s stride.
Haaland then missed a babysitter when he threw an empty goal from close range and Destanoglu twice denied Marco Reus before Bellingham produced another moment of impressive individual skill to fuel Haaland. The teenager dazzled his marker on the left flank and sped past despite being thrown before he squared the ball to Haaland, who was left with the simple task of putting it into an empty net from six meters.
Dortmund missed several chances after the break as Destanoglu denied the Bellingham livewire after hitting two scores with a dizzying run and the keeper also kept a close-range shot from Haaland out midway through the second half. The visitors committed wasted spikes in the final stages when Meunier shot straight at Destanoglu before substitute Ansgar Knauff shaved the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Besiktas took the opportunity to score a consolation when Montero beat Kobel with a header after Miralem Pjanic threw a perfect one-inch free kick into the heart of the penalty area.
Sheriff Tiraspol enjoyed a dream debut in the Champions League when Moldova’s first group stage representatives surprised Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-0 win at Sheriff Stadion. The Ukrainian team dominated possession, but the hosts seized their chances when they arrived, Adama Traoré led a volley in the 16th minute before Momo Yansane headed home midway through the second half. Sheriff, from the unrecognized breakaway state of Transnistria, went through four qualifying rounds to reach this stage. His surprising victory over a Shakhtar team competing in the group stage for the fifth consecutive season left the Sheriff at the top of Group D ahead of the Internationalcollide with Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi was named in the Paris saint germain side for the first time for the first match of Group A in Club Bruges starting at 8 pm BST. The Argentine forward, who arrived on a two-year contract from Barcelona during the closing season, has played just half an hour as a substitute in the second half in a Ligue 1 match in Reims last month. Messi’s inclusion also marked the first time he will play alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism