Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United will propel Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side towards Champions League success, according to former Red Devil Louis Saha.

Ronaldo has arrived back at Old Trafford, ending a 12-year absence from United after spells with Juventus and Real Madrid, with whom he won the continental competition four times.

Saha was in his final bow with Alex Ferguson's side at the time of Ronaldo's first Champions League triumph, the Portugal forward scoring eight times en route to victory in the 2007-08 campaign.

Returning as a 36-year-old goal poacher, the former Madrid star equalled Iker Casillas' appearance record in Europe against Young Boys in his 177th match, and Saha believes Ronaldo can drive Solskjaer's side to success.

"I think so, yes, I think it [Ronaldo to United] is a game changer," Saha told Stats Perform when asked if United could win the Champions League.

"I do think that the Champions League is the hardest competition. Yes, the Premier League is a marathon and you have five to six clubs who can actually win it.

"But the Champions League in a way that it works when you have groups, you will definitely have to win [against] the bigger clubs or the biggest clubs that's for sure."

Saha, who was speaking after United's 2-1 defeat to Young Boys, is convinced Solskjaer has a squad that is built to achieve at the highest level.

"United has the balance that they didn't over the years to win the Champions League," he said. "We had maybe a less quality squad when we won the Champions League.

"We have seen it with Chelsea, I don't think they had a great squad but it's about the team and about the team spirit and how you want to win it more than others.

"The ability to not make any mistakes as they have done [against Young Boys], this is the type of challenge the Champions League will provide to any good side who wants to go win the Champions League.

"So that's the formula, game by game this team can improve and definitely challenge for the victory [Champions League trophy]."

Despite surrendering a one-goal lead against Young Boys on Tuesday, Ronaldo created another record with his opener – the longest gap between goals for the same club in the competition's history (12 years and 132 days).

The Swiss side also became the 36th different club the forward has scored against as he extended his goal count to 135 goals in 177 games, 15 ahead of second-placed Lionel Messi in the all-time scoring list.

With Ronaldo leading the line, Saha envisages continuous success for United for three reasons as they look to challenge domestically and in Europe.

"The first one is because the guy is very obsessed in front of the goal," he said.

"It will bring this kind of like obsession and demanding from his players around. The second one is his stats, he is a player who's going to score goals for fun.

"He's already on three goals in two games. Let's say that it's a guarantee. If he plays you will have 25 to 30 goals, maybe not in the Premier League, but combined it's almost kind of a guarantee.

"At the same time the actual impact mentally on other teams. You go there and you have [Raphael] Varane, [Jadon] Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, combined with the already very talented squad.

"I think he gives a different aura to the squad, it does bring definitely United forward in those aspects so it's a huge change for the title [race]. [They are] definitely up there with Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea I would say."

Chelsea and England defender Reece James has revealed he had his Champions League winners' medal and Euro 2020 runners-up medal stolen during a burglary at his home.

The break-in happened while the 21-year-old was playing for the Blues in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Zenit.

James played a full part in Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Manchester City in last season's final and was used once for England in their run to the European Championship final, where they lost to Italy.

He took to social media on Thursday to appeal for help finding the culprits, who took a safe that also contained his Super Cup winners' medal.

"These medals were won representing Chelsea and England – honours that can never be taken away from me whether or not I have the physical medals to prove it," James posted alongside four CCTV clips of the incident.

"Nevertheless, I am appealing to all my Chelsea and England fans to help identify and turn in these low life individuals who will never be able to rest easy as the evidence is mounting against them.

"The police, my advisers and Chelsea FC (and many others) are all behind me as we have firm leads on who the perpetrators are. We are closing in on them. 

"Luckily, no one was present during the break in but I want to let all of you know I am safe and well. 

"I really do appreciate having the platform to tell you all about my misfortune and I hope together we can catch these individuals and deliver justice where it is due."

Academy product James has featured regularly for Chelsea over the past two seasons and has already made four appearances this campaign under Thomas Tuchel.

Cristiano Ronaldo was destined to be one of the best footballers in the world from the outset, according to former Manchester United team-mate Louis Saha.

The pair crossed paths during Saha's four-year stint at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2008, just as Ronaldo burst onto the scene following his arrival from Sporting CP.

The Portugal captain would go on to score 118 times in 292 appearances for United before sensationally returning for a second spell last month.

Ronaldo hit the ground running with a brace against Newcastle United – the only team he has a Premier League hat-trick against – in his first game back at the club last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 Champions League defeat at Young Boys on Tuesday.

Saha said he recognised Ronaldo was a special talent soon after he first joined United.

"I saw it straight away," Saha told Stats Perform. "When you realise that the guy at this young age can do what he was able to do after a few games you realise that the guy is just an animal of work as well outside of the field.

"He is always obsessed about his game and how to improve straightaway.

"Maybe after a few months, he was already very confident in claiming that he was the best or he would be the best player in the world.

"So all those things were a big sign that the guy has something special in terms of skill, but [also] in terms of mentality and confidence.  All this make me fairly quickly believe that he had massive potential to be a top star.

"I'm not surprised from the moment he left United, I'm not surprised that he keeps doing it at this level because when you have the talent and you manage then to work harder than anyone who is a bit laborious, that's a fantastic combo."

However, it has not all been straightforward since Ronaldo's return, with 10-man United surprise losers to Young Boys on a landmark 177th Champions League appearance for the forward as he equalled Iker Casillas' record.

Ronaldo scored against his 36th different club in the competition on Tuesday, with 12 years and 132 days the biggest gap between Champions League goals for the same club in the competition's history.

But as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side failed to defend their one-goal lead, Ronaldo could be seen animatedly issuing instructions alongside his manager and Saha is interested to see how their new relationship will work.

"I think I will say that it could be strange for Ole in some way, more than for Cristiano because I think we have seen it all when he moved to [Real] Madrid and then to Juventus and improved as a superstar," he continued.

"So now to actually manage a player like that you played with, it must be a bit strange but at the same time, he's a very smart lad and at the same time, Cristiano is here to win.

"There is no conflict there. It's just about how to actually get the result they both want.

"I think he has the luxury to get to, let's say, the finished product in his hand. It's brilliant as a manager to be in that position and to [have] one of the best players in the world.

"So I don't think that is it any difficulty for him, just the players around will need to adapt. They need to play a certain way to optimise Cristiano Ronaldo, [he] is not 25 anymore. You have to play to a certain strategy."

Nicolas Anelka fired a warning that darker days could lie ahead after Paris Saint-Germain fell flat against Club Brugge despite fielding Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in the starting line-up.

The disappointment of a 1-1 draw in Belgium was compounded by an ankle injury sustained by Mbappe that forced the France forward off early in the second half.

PSG were out-shot 16-9 by Club Brugge, with Messi having three attempts but proving unable to mark his 150th Champions League appearance with what would have been a 121st goal in the competition.

Messi had never previously played against a Belgian side in the competition, scoring against teams from all 17 other nations he has faced. The closest he came was when he struck the crossbar in the 29th minute.

Neymar did not take a shot, while Mbappe had only one attempt before being substituted.

"It is the PSG that we do not want to see," Anelka said, speaking to French broadcaster RMC Sport.

"Nothing. There was nothing, except for the first 15 minutes. But apart from that, there was no intensity. We did not see anything offensively, it will be complicated."

The star attacking trio may take time to become a cohesive threat, given playing together is so very new, but head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be expected to return PSG to winning ways.

Manchester City visit Paris on September 28, and Anelka is already worried about the Parisians' prospects of finishing in the top two in Group A.

"If they play like that, it will not be possible," said former PSG and City striker Anelka.

The result on Wednesday evening means Messi has gone four consecutive Champions League games without enjoying a win (D2 L2). Only between March 2006 and February 2007 has he gone longer without a victory in the competition, then experiencing a run of five with Barcelona around the outset of his career.

Pochettino saw the performance of his team rather differently to Anelka's viewpoint.

"The problem today wasn't our three attackers," Pochettino said. "We just had to be more solid in both penalty areas but I'm happy with the defensive performance of our attackers."

The PSG boss defended Messi's performance, saying of the former Barcelona captain: "When you don't win, people try to put the focus on the less positive aspects.

"But I'm happy with his performance in terms of his spirit and attitude but also in terms of his adaptation to the team. It is clear that none of us is happy today as here at PSG we want to win every game and then also play well."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Divock Origi will be remembered as a club legend, lauding the forward following Wednesday's thrilling Champions League victory over Milan.

Origi has often taken a backseat to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but the Belgian started and impressed in Liverpool's 3-2 win against Milan at Anfield midweek.

In his first start since January, Origi teed up Salah's equaliser as Liverpool kicked off their Group B opener with maximum points on Merseyside, where Jordan Henderson settled the contest.

Klopp hailed Origi, who only started six matches last season after Liverpool braced for the 26-year-old's exit in 2021-22.

"Divock is a great guy, that's how it is, and in 10 years' time when we look back he will be a Liverpool legend, but he is too young to be already seen as a legend now so he has to play football," Klopp told reporters.

"To be 100 per cent honest, of course I thought he would maybe leave in the summer, but the football world is a crazy place and people obviously forgot how good he is.

"I said it, it is really difficult to get into this team. That's just how it is and I have to decide about different positions, who I bring on, how I want to react before a game. That's why Div was not in, he did nothing wrong. He trains, he gives everything and sometimes you still don't make it into the squad.

"That really can happen, especially when everybody is fit. But for tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well. He was not injured, he had cramps, that's normal and so now let's see. It's just nice, I'm really happy I could give him the opportunity and that he used it like he did."

Liverpool have won their opening home game in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns (D1), last losing such a match in October 2007 (1-0 against Marseille).

Under Klopp, Liverpool have only lost one of their 13 group-stage games in the Champions League at Anfield (W10 D2) – 2-0 against Atalanta last season.

Liverpool have averaged 2.5 goals per home game in the group stage since the German took charge (33 goals).

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose heaped praise on "extraordinary" teenage sensation Jude Bellingham following the team's 2-1 Champions League victory at Besiktas.

Bellingham opened the scoring against Turkish champions Besiktas in the 20th minute on Wednesday, before setting up Erling Haaland just prior to half-time as Dortmund kicked off their Group C campaign with three points.

England international Bellingham (18 years, 78 days) became the youngest ever player to score in consecutive Champions League games, surpassing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe (18 years, 85 days in March 2017).

The 18-year-old Bellingham also became the youngest Englishman to score away from home in the Champions League.

"Jude is just a great guy. In every single way," Rose said during his post-match news conference.

"His mentality, the willingness to work for the team, the intensity with which he plays football, the will to win and of course the solutions he finds on the football pitch.

"The way he assists the second goal and scores the first himself is extraordinary. That's why we're glad to have such a boy with us."

Dortmund have maintained their 100 percent winning record against Turkish opposition in the Champions League, winning all five matches by an aggregate scoreline of 15-3 – their best 100 per cent record against teams from a specific nation in the competition.

Since making his Champions League debut in September 2019, no player has scored more non-penalty goals in the competition than Haaland (18 – level with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski).

Following his goal midweek, Haaland has now scored against nine of the 10 opponents he has faced in the Champions League, only failing to find the back of the net against Manchester City.

"It was a very difficult game for us," Rose added. "The atmosphere was great here. Besiktas are a very good team. The first 20 minutes they played with more intensity than we did. This caused us problems. We changed the system and the goal helped us to control the game a bit better.

"After that we scored the second goal just before the break and then we played well in the second half. We couldn’t manage to score the third goal and Besiktas put a lot of pressure on us in the end. A great performance. A great team. So that’s why we are very happy that we won here."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed club-record signing Jack Grealish following his memorable Champions League debut, while lauding the ruthlessness of his team in their 6-3 rout of RB Leipzig.

Grealish – who arrived from Aston Villa in a reported £100million deal during the previous transfer window – scored in City's victory over visiting Leipzig in Manchester on Wednesday.

The England international teed up Nathan Ake for City's 16th-minute opener before scoring a goal of his own approaching the hour-mark midweek.

Grealish became the first Englishman to both score and assist on their Champions League debut since Manchester United great Wayne Rooney against Fenerbahce in September 2004.

"Hopefully it can be the first of many," Guardiola said of Grealish post-match. "I have the feeling that every day he is playing better, and I am pretty sure he will be better in the future.

"His contribution was again high, good. I am delighted with his game."

Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for Leipzig, but Premier League champions City were not to be denied on a wild European night.

Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and substitute Gabriel Jesus were also on target for City, who benefited from Nordi Mukiele's own goal following Ake's opener.

City have won 50 of their 91 Champions League games (D16 L25) – becoming the second fastest team to 50 wins in the tournament's history after Real Madrid in 2003 (50 wins in 88 games).

"Of course, I am delighted and happy and thank you to these incredible players we have. It was a really tough game," said Guardiola, who took charge of his 300th match as City manager across all competitions (W219 D36 L45) and the 750th fixture of his career (W547 D113 L90).

"The first game at home it was important to win and we scored six goals. Seventeen goals in the last four games is nice to give to them. Now rest and prepare for Southampton. Nine goals in one game so it is nice for all the people watching.

"A team like RB Leipzig never gives up. They have a clear idea. They attack inside, they put a lot of players inside. They don't have the problem of losing the ball because when they lose the ball they make quick transitions.

"When we have the ball they are there to press you. At the same time when you can regain the ball, pass back and switch play a little bit, you always have a chance to run and score a goal.

"I think the game was tight. We were fortunate that when they scored we were able to score immediately.

"I saw the game against Bayern Munich, they made it 1-2 and Bayern Munich suffered because of the counter-attack. It is an interesting team.

"They have played like this since Ralf Rangnick arrived. They really play. It is one of the best teams in Germany. That is why I am incredibly satisfied with the players for the first victory in the group stage."

Stefano Pioli insisted Milan learnt a "valuable lesson" following their entertaining 3-2 defeat to Liverpool upon the club's return to the Champions League.

Milan were featuring in the Champions League for the first time since 2014 and the seven-time winners threatened an upset at Anfield, where the visitors surprisingly claimed a 2-1 half-time lead.

Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz both scored within two minutes of each other on the stroke of half-time to stun Liverpool, who had Mohamed Salah's penalty saved by Mike Maignan following Fiyako Tomori's ninth-minute own goal.

But Salah redeemed himself with an equaliser three minutes into the second half before Jordan Henderson's first Champions League goal in seven years settled the Group B thriller on Merseyside.

Despite leaving England empty-handed, Milan head coach Pioli – whose Rossoneri have won their opening three Serie A games this season – was relatively upbeat post-match.

"This was a valuable lesson that will help us going forward. The team was motivated, we expected Liverpool to start strong, but were a bit too static and couldn't get past their first press. When you don't have the ball, you run into danger," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a very good game of football, it's a pity we lost the game, because a strong start here would've been very important.

"I leave Anfield aware this team can grow more and we still need that extra step up in terms of details, because those are what make the difference in the Champions League.

"We lost because on a set play we cleared the ball to the edge of the box and that is not what we ought to be doing."

Rebic became the seventh Croatian to score on his Champions League debut and the first since Miroslav Orsic for Dinamo Zagreb in September 2019.

Meanwhile, team-mate Diaz (22 years and 43 days) is the youngest player to score on his Champions League bow for Milan since Yoann Gourcuff in September 2006 (20 years and 64 days against AEK Athens).

"Liverpool deserve credit for their intensity and quality, above all in the first 25 minutes," Pioli said. "We had been able to turn it around and the real regrets are the two goals we conceded in the second half. Along with Liverpool's quality, we also made mistakes on those two goals.

"Hopefully, in future we'll face teams with slightly less quality and won't concede in those situations."

Milan are winless in their past nine European away games against English opposition (D4 L5), since a 1-0 victory against Manchester United in February 2005.

Pioli – whose Milan visit rivals Juventus on Sunday – added: "What disappoints me and we must work on is that we can do better, because we allowed Liverpool some give-and-go situations that we usually defend better against.

"We could've created a lot more problems for the Liverpool forwards and made it more difficult for them."

Diego Simeone hopes Antoine Griezmann will soon respond to his critics after Atletico Madrid were held to a goalless draw with Porto in the Champions League.

Atletico failed to win their opening game for the third consecutive season and are now winless in four home matches in Europe's premier club competition, their joint-longest streak without a victory.

Griezmann was introduced as a second-half substitute amid boos in search of a winner but failed to provide attacking impetus as he did not manage to record a single touch in Porto's box.

Following an underwhelming second debut against Espanyol following his return from Barcelona on loan, the pressure is now on the France forward, who already had to win supporters over on his comeback after his move to Camp Nou.

But Simeone is backing Griezmann, whose 21 goals for Atletico in the Champions League are nine more than any of their previous players in history, to prove his doubters wrong.

"Let's hope that he [Griezmann] gets better, that he can respond to all the people who criticise him at this time," Atletico head coach Simeone said to Movistar.

"He has a challenge ahead of him as a result of what happened in the past.

"They [the media] are making a movie and a morbid situation that clearly generates for us only the importance of having recovered a magnificent footballer whom we hope to recover."

Wednesday's result means LaLiga champions Atletico have now just won two of their last 10 European fixtures, but Simeone insisted he will drive his side towards improvements.

"The team has improvement ahead, we have work," he continued.

"We will aim for that, to find what makes the team better so that it maintains continuity in the game for as many minutes as possible.

"The system is a way of looking for variants so that the team can find solutions to the match. We have players who can play in different positions.

"We always did, last year we played various formations. We play with all systems."

Mauricio Pochettino insisted Lionel Messi will take time to settle as Paris Saint-Germain await more information on Kylian Mbappe's ankle injury following their 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League.

Pochettino unleashed Messi, Neymar and Mbappe together for the first time, with the latter teeing up Ander Herrera's fourth goal in four games in all competitions – as many as he had scored in his previous 70 PSG matches.

However, Hans Vanaken's seventh Champions League goal for Brugge stunned the star-studded Ligue 1 outfit, who failed to recover, now having won their European opener in just one of their past four campaigns.

To make matters worse, Mbappe was forced off in the second half after a challenge by former team-mate Stanley N'Soki, and Pochettino could not reveal the extent of his injury post-match.

"Mbappe twisted his ankle, he already had problems with both ankles," Pochettino told RMC Sport. "We will see tomorrow [Thursday] if we can have a more precise update."

Even with Mbappe stricken, PSG should have had enough to defeat Brugge, instead turning in an underwhelming attacking performance – although Messi hit the crossbar with one of three shots and also created a trio of opportunities.

"We need time to work for them [Messi, Neymar and Mbappe] to build an understanding," Pochettino told reporters.

"That's been clear and we've said that in recent days. We still have to create a team.

"We didn't have a good evening. We have to stay calm, keep working and take the time we need. Things will get better."

He added: "Nobody in the team can be happy with their performance and nobody can be happy with this result."

A visibly delighted Jack Grealish revelled in how Manchester City's thrilling 6-3 win over RB Leipzig "topped off" his eagerly awaited Champions League debut. 

Grealish became City's club-record signing in a reported £100million move from Aston Villa in the previous transfer window, a deal that came about in part due to his desire to play in Europe's premier competition. 

The England international marked the occasion with a goal and an assist, becoming the first Englishman since Wayne Rooney for Manchester United against Fenerbahce in 2004 to do both on his Champions League bow. 

His performance helped City make it 18 games unbeaten in group-stage fixtures, while they also became the second quickest to 50 wins in the tournament's history, reaching the landmark in 91 matches, three more than Real Madrid. 

Talking to BT Sport after the game, an enthused Grealish spoke about how the famous Champions League anthem also got his pulses racing. 

"I loved it," Grealish said. "I had been waiting a while and the past few days I couldn't wait for this game. It was a great night. 

"It had everything. In the end, we're delighted to get the win against a good team, full of energy, full of young players. I'm delighted personally to get a goal and an assist. 

"I was delighted [to play]. When the game kicked off, I was like, 'I've played in the Champions League now!' Before, with the music and everything, it was so nice and the game topped it off. 

"I went to check the result from the other game [Club Brugge 1-1 PSG] and it shows anything can happen in the Champions League. It's why it's such a wonderful competition." 

During the game, television cameras picked up on Grealish receiving animated instructions from City boss Pep Guardiola. 

Grealish revealed his enthusiastic boss was telling him how to aid the team defensively, but the forward insists he has no issues with such an approach and is keen to listen to Guardiola's demands given his success in the game. 

"That was just defensive work," he said of Guardiola's intense instructions. "I won't go too much into it because he [Guardiola] might want the same tactics for the weekend. 

"That's what the manager is like, he's always wanting more defensively and offensively. He's someone I'm going to listen to after everything he's done in the game. He's obviously just handing out useful information." 

Eden Hazard did not make it onto the pitch in Real Madrid's win over Inter and Carlo Ancelotti explained why he sent match-winner Rodrygo on ahead of the Belgium winger. 

Madrid had to withstand a barrage of pressure in the first half, with Thibaut Courtois doing well to deny Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez in the Champions League Group D encounter. 

Rodrygo replaced Lucas Vazquez in the 65th minute with Los Blancos getting more of a foothold in the game and the Brazilian popped up with a late winner in a 1-0 success. 

Asked why Hazard, who played 66 minutes in the 5-2 LaLiga win against Celta Vigo at the weekend, did not feature in Milan, Ancelotti said: "I thought about putting him on in the second half, but Inter closed the centre of the pitch well. 

"I wanted to open up the game from the wings, which is why I put Rodrygo on." 

Rodrygo is yet to start a game under Ancelotti, but he has now scored in two of his three Champions League appearances against Inter - both of his strikes representing a winning goal,

Ancelotti has attempted to stop the 20-year-old worrying about the number of minutes he gets and instead get him focused on performing at the highest level when he is selected. 

"I told him it's not important how many minutes he plays, but how he plays them," Ancelotti told Movistar+.

"He helped [Dani] Carvajal a lot and then in front of goal he is very cool and scores goals. 

"With his introduction we played more on the wing and found the solution. I liked the game because he had to suffer and be compact. The team not only has quality, but it also has commitment." 

Rodrygo said: "Of course, I always want to play. When I'm on the pitch, I can do something for the team. 

"I want to play, but I respect the coach's decisions and I'm going to work hard to be able to be there. At Real Madrid it's always difficult." 

Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool "got carried away by our own football" as they let a lead slip against Milan before recovering to win 3-2 in their Champions League opener.

An own goal from Fikayo Tomori gave Liverpool the lead in the ninth minute at Anfield before Mohamed Salah saw a penalty saved by Mike Maignan.

Two goals in the space of 110 seconds turned the game on its head, however, with Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz putting Milan, playing their first Champions League game since 2014, 2-1 up at half-time.

However, Salah atoned for his penalty miss three minutes after the restart and a superb long-range effort from Jordan Henderson, his first goal in the competition for 2,485 days, settled matters for Liverpool to send them top of Group B.

Klopp made four changes from the Premier League win over Leeds United, with Joe Gomez starting in defence and Divock Origi up front.

And he felt the alterations had an impact on Liverpool losing control of the match for a brief period.

He told BT Sport: "We started incredibly well. We played a super, super game. An intense game but football-wise as well. We played in all the spaces we had to play and didn't give them anything until... I'm not sure exactly. We got punished for it in the last few minutes of the first half but it started earlier.

"We got carried away by our own football. We didn't keep it simple anymore, offensively and defensively we were not organised anymore.

"When we are organised, Fabinho is incredible and he can pick up all the challenges we need him for. When the spaces are too big, even he cannot solve it anymore.

"They played in between and scored two goals. But it did not feel like we cannot come back. It was clear that we had to immediately get back to how we started and then we scored wonderful goals, to be honest. Both were incredible.

"It is deserved but we had 10 minutes where Milan nearly changed the whole tie.

"It is the football I want to see in most moments. We are experienced in the competition, or should be. It was a little bit the changes as well that we just weren't compact anymore.

"Now we won I can say that the changes was the right thing to do because playing every three days is just not possible with the same guys. The guys who came on did incredibly well.

"That is our pick from pot four. AC Milan in a really good moment. It is a tough group. That is why it is important we won this game. It does not decide anything but it gave us a winning start."

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may have accomplished a lot in the Champions League, but as Ajax thrashed Sporting CP on Wednesday it was Sebastien Haller who wrote his name into the history books. 

Haller emulated a feat only previously achieved by Marco van Basten by scoring four goals on his Champions League debut, powering Ajax to a 5-1 success in the Group C encounter at Estadio Jose Alvalade. 

Van Basten, a Netherlands and Ajax icon, struck four times when Milan defeated Gothenburg 4-0 at San Siro in the inaugural Champions League season of 1992-93. 

Haller's first in Lisbon came after just 68 seconds – the fourth time Ajax have scored a goal in the opening two minutes of the competition since the start of 2019-20, which is two more than any other team. 

The Frenchman then became the first player in Champions League history to score a double in their first nine minutes of action in the competition when he tucked the ball home from close range.

After scoring the first with his head and the second with his right foot, Haller completed a perfect hat-trick in the 63rd minute when he converted from Antony's delivery with his left.

And with Haller's fourth, Ajax registered five in a single Champions League game for just the third time. Their two previous hauls of at least five goals came back in 1995. 

Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were unleashed together for the first time but Paris Saint-Germain had to settle for 1-1 Champions League draw at Club Brugge.

Mauricio Pochettino started with his formidable attacking trio at Jan Breydel Stadion on Wednesday, with Mbappe teeing up Ander Herrera for the opener after a mazy run on the left flank.

Many may have expected Brugge to crumble, however, they responded through Hans Vanaken's fifth goal in eight games in the competition.

Mbappe was forced off in the second half with a slight foot problem as PSG, despite their embarrassment of attacking riches, failed to kick-off their Group A campaign with a win.

The visitors started brightly, Mbappe dancing past Clinton Mata before finding Herrera, who opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a first-time left-footed strike into the bottom-left corner.

Mbappe should have added a goal of his own after being rolled through by Messi but his right-footed drive was beaten away by Simon Mignolet.

Brugge then stunned the star-studded away side, with Eduard Sobol driving down the left flank before cutting back to the penalty spot, where Vanaken powered past Keylor Navas for his seventh goal in the Champions League - the most in his club's history.

Messi looked to respond immediately but his left-footed strike smashed against the crossbar before Vanaken and Charles de Ketelaere were both denied by smart Navas saves.

Brugge almost took the lead after the break through Jack Hendry but Presnel Kimpembe produced an important last-ditch block, with Mbappe limping off moments later following a challenge from Stanley N'Soki.

Noa Lang acrobatically volleyed wide in another fright for PSG before substitute Nuno Mendes found Messi, who spurned a glorious opportunity to win the game as he blasted over.

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