We should relish results that jolt the toxic Ronaldo and Messi fanfare | Barney Ronay

Young Boys and Brugge gave a reminder of football’s sharp edges against stars mangled through a corporate machine

When talking about Young Boys of Berne, who are always funny, and always funny in exactly the same way, it is important to remember that Young Boys are in on the joke. In fact it was their joke in the first place, the club’s name coined in 1898 as a wry dig at Old Boys of Berne, the chief footballing power in the city.

Needless to say the same goes for the other half of everyone’s favourite midweek football gag, the Wankdorf Stadium, home of Young Boys which is itself a nod to Old Boys’ legendary Stadion Masturbatorix in the northern suburb of Frig.

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Lyon see off Rangers in Europa League to spoil landmark for Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard’s 50th European tie as Rangers boss ended in disappointment, as Lyon earned a 2-0 victory at Ibrox in their Europa League Group A opener.

The Cameroon forward Karl Toko-Ekambi fired in a terrific opener for the French side after 22 minutes, before Rangers captain James Tavernier put through his own goal trying to stop a close-range shot from Islam Slimani. The hosts created plenty of chances but could not claw their way back into the match.

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Napoli rally to deny Leicester Europa League win before fans clash in stands

Everything was looking rosy for Leicester, leaving aside the fact that they had been largely outplayed. Fine goals by Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes gave them a two-goal lead over Napoli, their main rivals in Group C and the joint favourites to win the tournament outright. But late goals by the outstanding Victor Osimhen earned a share of the points, which was the least the classy visitors deserved.

Leicester’s frustration deepened when Wilfred Ndidi was sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence. Worse followed in the stands after the final whistle when a smattering of home fans clashed with Napoli supporters, with police and stewards breaking up skirmishes while bottles were hurled by people on both sides. Uefa is sure to investigate. Here is a snap judgement: it was a pathetic sight at the end of an exhilarating contest on the pitch.

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Celtic floored by Real Betis’ four-goal fightback in Europa League opener

Celtic conceded four goals in 21 minutes on their return to Seville as they let slip an early two-goal lead against Real Betis in their Europa League Group G opener.

Ange Postecoglou’s side deservedly led 2-0 after half an hour, through Albian Ajeti’s goal and a penalty from Josip Juranovic, but the match turned in dramatic fashion just after the half-hour mark. Juan Miranda pulled one back before Juanmi struck in the 34th minute to leave the match level at the break.

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How West Ham shed dysfunction to deliver on their promise of Europe

Post-Upton Park relegation battles, rancour and running track will not matter when they face Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League

Something strange is happening at West Ham. After years of dysfunction, they have started making so many sensible decisions you want to check if they are the same club who once thought trusting Avram Grant to save them from relegation was a smart move.

The change in the atmosphere around the London Stadium is remarkable. This time last year West Ham’s fans were up in arms after Grady Diangana’s move to West Brom. Even the club captain, Mark Noble, voiced his displeasure and, coming off the back of a troubled campaign, it seemed the relationship between West Ham’s board and the fanbase was broken beyond repair.

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Liverpool produce the goods on Champions League tribute night | Barney Ronay

Jürgen Klopp will have mixed feelings after a wild, ragged win over Milan that showcased all the best – and worst – of his team

“Proper Champions League”. You said it, Jürgen. At times in the second half at Anfield, as the red and cream shapes spun and surged, exchanging darts and overloads, as the crowd generated that rolling surge of heat and noise under the low white lights, this felt like a kind of tribute night, a nostalgia spectacular, Those Famous European Nights redux.

Part of the PR puff behind the European Super League – a wheeze the owners of these teams were so keen to embrace – was the sense these autumn games are a trudge, a schlep, cold product. Well, nobody seems to have told the players. Instead this was a wild, ragged, strangely dreamy night of early group stage Champions League football, as Liverpool went from 1-0 up to 2-1 down to 3-2 up in the space of 22 minutes either side of half-time.

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Jack Grealish settles Manchester City nerves in nine-goal Leipzig thriller

This was a curious Manchester City display studded with lax marking and concentration. Pep Guardiola’s side ended by returning an 18th unbeaten group game – 14 of them victories – but he will surely upbraid his charges for the slipshod fare they produced.

With Paris Saint-German up next, City cannot afford a repeat against Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and co, who will surely watch the film of this and smell blood. Guardiola’s men were able to react each time they conceded but are bound to find it trickier against Mauricio Pochettino’s aristocrats.

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Liverpool 3-2 Milan: Champions League – as it happened

A wild Group B opener at Anfield ended with Liverpool coming from behind to beat Milan thanks to Jordan Henderson’s half-volleyed winner

3 mins: And a chance! Robertson fizzes in a cross from the left, and Origi touches it wide at the near post. Henderson, notably, was bombing into the centre-forward position there.

2 mins: A strong start for the home side, and Keita has the night’s first shot, a 20-yard left-footer. It’s not a very good one, and Kjaer blocks.

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Champions League: Jude Bellingham inspires Dortmund to win at Besiktas

  • English teenager scores one and creates one in 2-1 victory
  • Sheriff shock Shakhtar; Messi makes first PSG start

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 at Besiktas in their Champions League Group C opener.

The 18-year-old England midfielder fired the visitors ahead with a fine finish in the 20th minute and left his marker flat-footed to set up striker Erling Haaland for the second on the stroke of half-time. Francisco Montero pulled one back for the home side deep into stoppage time.

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Champions League: Liverpool prepare for Milan in opener of ‘proper group’

Jürgen Klopp expects Group B, which also features Atlético Madrid and Porto, to be ‘exciting from the first second’

With Milan in town, surprisingly for the first time at Anfield, it was understandable that Istanbul cropped up several times during Jürgen Klopp’s press conference on Tuesday but also something of a diversion from the task in the Liverpool manager’s hand. Group B, complete with champions, history and above all pedigree, allows little time to reminisce.

Liverpool and Milan have never met outside a Champions League final and a contest between two clubs crowned European champions 13 times in total seems a fitting way to open a group of rare stature and intrigue.

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Champions League: Juventus see off Malmö and penalties galore at Sevilla

  • Robin Gosens strikes late to earn Atalanta 2-2 draw at Villarreal
  • Dinamo Kyiv v Benfica and Lille v Wolfsburg end goalless

Juventus laid down a marker for the Champions League this season with a 3-0 win at Malmö. Juve took the lead somewhat against the run of play through Alex Sandro’s 23rd-minute header. Paulo Dybala added another from the penalty spot just before the break, but there was still time for Álvaro Morata to fire in a third. The title holders, Chelsea, opened their Group H campaign with a 1-0 win against Zenit St Petersburg.

In Group F, Villarreal and Atalanta drew 2-2 at El Madrigal. Remo Freuler gave the Italians the lead in the sixth minute, but Manuel Trigueros hauled the Yellow Submarine level shortly before half-time. Villarreal – who beat Manchester United on penalties in last season’s Europa League final – equalised through Arnaut Danjuma in the 73rd minute. Robin Gosens, though, struck late to earn Atalanta a point. In the earlier Group F game, Young Boys pulled off a shock 2-1 home win against 10-man Manchester United

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Romelu Lukaku gets champions Chelsea off to perfect start against Zenit

Romelu Lukaku had been the subject of suffocating attention from a well-organised and robust Zenit St Petersburg central defensive three. Everywhere he turned, it felt as though a door was slammed in his face and, as this tie entered its final stretch, the visitors had to be starting to think they had him and Chelsea under control.

But it takes only one second for Lukaku to break free. It takes him only one move or moment to mete out the harshest punishment. It is the reason why Chelsea dug so deep to re-sign him over the summer and it was the reason why they were able to make a winning start to their Champions League defence.

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Chelsea 1-0 Zenit St Petersburg: Champions League – as it happened

Romelu Lukaku’s second-half header was the difference as Chelsea began their European title defence with a win

9 min: Zenit relieve the pressure with a very tidy move forward. They worked their way from back to front very well until Azmoun miscontrolled at the edge of the Chelsea area.

6 min: Lukaku gets involved for the first time, receiving the ball at the edge of the D and trying to lay it back for Jorginho. It’s intercepted. But Chelsea seem to have found their stride and have penned Zenit into their own half for the last two or three minutes.

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Barcelona 0-3 Bayern, Malmö 0-3 Juventus: Champions League – as it happened

Bayern Munich did a number on Barcelona again, while Juventus rediscovered winning ways in Sweden

In the first of six extra minutes in Seville, US international Brenden Aaronson has just warmed the home keeper Yassine Bounou’s fingertips with a fine rising shot. So close to snatching all three points in this very strange Group G encounter.

Now Lamela rises highest in the Salzburg box and sends a powerful header this far wide of the top-left corner. The ten-men hosts look the most likely. They should already be dust, mind you: in the first half, they conceded three penalty kicks, but Salzburg could only convert one: Karim Adeyemi missed the first, Luka Sucic scored the second, and then Sucic missed the third. What a ridiculous game football can be.

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Guardiola believes Champions League final loss can drive Manchester City

  • ‘Every year we have the feeling that we can do better’
  • City host RB Leipzig in Group A opener on Wednesday

Pep Guardiola believes the hurt of losing May’s Champions League final will fuel Manchester City as they open this season’s campaign at home to RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

City were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea in Porto and Guardiola, who has spoken regarding how the quarter-final loss to Lyon in the 2019-20 competition was a pain that lingered, feels that disappointment could help his team.

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