Liverpool entered the UEFA Champions League history books after hitting seven goals in Maribor, whilst Tottenham Hotspur left the Bernabeu with a point.
Liverpool had been left frustrated by drawing both their opening fixtures, but they sprung into life in Slovenia by recording the biggest ever away win by an English team in the top-tier European competition. Roberto Firminho and Mo Salah both scored twice and Philippe Coutinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexander Trent-Arnold were also on target.
“I was told about the record after the game and I didn’t know,” said head coach Jurgen Klopp after the match. “The wonderful history of this club can feel like a backpack at times so it is nice to write our own good piece of the history. It will be difficult to beat that record. It is quite rare to win 7-0 but it showed we did unbelievably well.”
In the other match in Group E, Spartak Moscow thrashed Sevilla 5-1. The Russian side are now second to Liverpool in the standings due to their inferior goal difference, with both sides on five points. The Spaniards are third, but just a single point behind.
Tottenham Hotspur’s transformation into one of the leading club sides in Europe continued apace when they held reigning European champions Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital. A Raphael Varane own-goal gave the visitors the lead, but the hosts drew level before half-time when Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot.
“A point at the Bernabeu, you would take that every day of the week. It shows how far we have come as a team,” said Spurs’ in-form striker Harry Kane. “We are happy. Of course they are going to have chances but we played well and made it tough for them. It puts us in a great position and shows we can handle it at this level.”
It looks as though both Tottenham and Real will make the last 16, even at this early stage, after Borussia Dortmund could only draw against Apoel Nicosia. The German side are already six points adrift of the two pace-setters, who are joint-top of the group.
Manchester City’s good form continued, as they recorded their tenth-straight victory with a 2-1 success against Serie A leaders Napoli at the Etihad Stadium. In a pulsating first-half, the Blues took a two-goal lead through Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, and £35million goalkeeper Ederson also made headlines when he saved a Dries Mertens penalty.
“Today we won against an incredible team and to do that you have to make an incredible performance. If we hadn’t played at a very high level, we wouldn’t have won that game,” said coach Pep Guardiola. “They are one of the best teams I have ever faced, which is why I am so proud. I am pretty sure they are one of the best teams in Europe at this moment.”
Shakhtar Donetsk are now in second position after they came from behind to beat Feyenoord with ten-men, three points behind City and three ahead of Napoli.
Monaco were the surprise package of last season’s Champions League when they reached the semi-final, but that already looks a long time ago. The French champions lost 2-1 at home to leaders Besiktas, leaving them bottom of the group. In the other match, RB Leipzig beat FC Porto by the odd goal in five to move into second position.