Berlin, Sept. 15 (BNA) Romelu Lukaku gave Chelsea a successful start to defending their Champions League title on Wednesday, while 10-man Manchester United suffered a last-gasp defeat by Young Boys 2-1 despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening match.
Lukaku headed back at Stamford Bridge, scoring his fourth goal since joining the Blues in the summer from Italian champions Inter Milan.
Ronaldo scored his third goal in two matches since his return from Juventus, but the red card for Aaron Wan-Pesica and a fatal mistake from Jesse Lingard allowed their Swiss opponents to win a famous victory.
Barcelona began its European career after losing Lionel Messi 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich. Robert Lewandowski earned a double after Thomas Muller’s opening goal for Bayern who beat Barcelona 8-2 on their way to the 2020 title.
Germany defender Antonio Rudiger ignited Chelsea with a solo shot from his own half before firing into the net.
Lukaku headed the winning goal from captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass in the 69th minute at Stamford Bridge but the hosts were lucky when Artem Dziuba missed the equalizer for Zenit.
“The first step is done,” Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel told BT Sport. “Winning is good for our faith. We are not finished but we are in a good position to improve.
Chelsea have three points in Group H, but Juventus, ex-Ronaldo, leads the standings thanks to a 3-0 victory over Malmo with first-half goals from Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata.
In Bern, Ronaldo equaled Iker Casillas’ appearance record in the 177th game and scored a record 135th goal in the elite event against Bruno Fernandes in the 13th minute.
But United sent off Aaron Wan-Besica in the 35th minute for stepping on Christopher Martins Pereira’s ankle.
The hosts equalized in the 68th minute when Nicholas Mommy Ngamalio scored a cross from Mishak Elia, and Jordan Sepacho scored the winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, after a terrible pass from Lingard.
“This is football,” United captain Harry Maguire said. “People make mistakes – we don’t blame Jesse. I’m sure everyone on this pitch today made a mistake. I’m sure Jesse would choose himself.”
“Being United in the Champions League is unique for our club,” said Young Boys coach David Wagner, who also beat United in 2017 while in charge of Huddersfield.
Switzerland tops Group F after European champions Villarreal and Atalanta tied 2-2 in the other match.
Barcelona are facing difficult times after Messi’s departure and amid their financial problems, they suffered a good defeat against Bayern Munich.
Muller scored his seventh overall goal against Barcelona with a deflected shot in the 34th minute, and Lewandowski improved his Champions League tally to 75, thanks to the rebounding efforts of Jamal Musila and Serge Gnabry, respectively, against the post.
Bayern won their opening 18 games in a row and were unbeaten in 19 away matches in the Champions League.
“Winning 3-0 here at the start is a very important signal,” Mueller told Amazon Prime Video.
Dynamo Kiev drew 0-0 with Benfica in the other Group E match, while French champions Lille and 10-man Wolfsburg achieved the same result in Group G.
That group also saw Sevilla and Salzburg draw 1-1 in an unusual match with four penalties – of which the Austrians missed two of their three – and Sevilla striker Youssef al-Nusayri was sent off for diving for a fifth.