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The Daily Bee: The Champions League Begins

Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich began their respective campaigns in the Champions League

FC Barcelona v Bayern München: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Good morning, Fear the Wall.

The 2021-22 Champions League group stage officially kicked off yesterday. While Borussia Dortmund will have to wait until this evening to begin their quest for grand prize, two of the four Bundesliga clubs involved started their own campaigns, along with a host of other European clubs.

The match day started in the early evening with Manchester United’s “fairytale” Cristiano Ronaldo reunion tour crashing back to reality. I was getting really sick of the nonstop Ronaldo mania after they beat Newcastle this weekend, so watching them fall to a Swiss team 2-1 made me feel much better. Young Boys managed to pull ahead in the final minute of stoppage time after a disastrously errant back pass from Jesse Lingard gave them a free game-winning goal.

After Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a red card early int he match, Jadon Sancho was subbed off for Diogo Dalot.

The Marquee matchup was a rematch of the infamous “8-2” quarterfinal back in 2020, with Bayern Munich facing off against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Barca never posed much of a threat, looking more interested in avoiding a repeat of their 2020 humiliation than actually going forth and winning the match. The Bavarians easily dispatched them 3-0.

Just like the rest of the footballing world, I was mostly focused on the Bayern-Barcelona game, and was only tangentially aware that Wolfsburg were playing against Lille. The game was characterized first and foremost by a red card to Wolfsburg center back John Brooks, after which Wolfsburg’s priority basically became to hold on to dear life until the final whistle. It was one of the most lopsided 0-0 draws I’ve ever seen. Lille would outshoot Wolfsburg 17-2 by the final whistle, but the Wolves would escape with a point.

Today, BVB face Besiktas in the Black-and-Yellows’ first match in the group stage. The game begins at 12:45 PM EST.

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