Sports Desk, Oct 4 (EFE).- Premier League powerhouses Arsenal and Manchester United both lost while a Jude Bellingham-inspired Real Madrid bested Napoli in a five-goal thriller in Italy during the second round of group matches in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
United, who have endured their worst start to a Premier League season since the 1980s and lost to Bayern Munich in the opening game of Group A, continued their torrid patch of form with a chaotic 3-2 defeat at home to Galatasaray.
Two goals from Rasmus Hojlund looked to have set Man United up for a much-needed win but the Old Trafford side soon collapsed.
First Kerem Akturkoglu equalized with 20 minutes to play before an error from goalkeeper Andre Onana led to Casemiro conceding a penalty and being sent off.
Although Galatasaray’s Mauro Icardi missed the penalty, the Turkish side were soon in front thanks to the Argentine striker, whose clever finish sealed a famous win and piled more pressure on manager Erik Ten Hag, whose United team are rooted to the bottom of the group.
In Group A’s other match, leaders Bayern Munich came from behind against Copenhagen to win 2-1 in Denmark thanks to second half goals from youngsters Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel as the German champions continued their perfect start to their European campaign.
In Group B, Lens marked their return to Europe’s elite tournament after more than 20 years with an impressive 2-1 win against a lackluster Arsenal.
Last season’s Premier League runners up took the lead when Gabriel Jesus scored in the 14th minute after an assist from Bukayo Saka, who later had to leave the pitch with an injury.
Lens, backed by a passionate home crowd that was keen to make the most of their return to Europe’s top competition, were soon level thanks to a brilliant strike from Adrien Thomasson after an error from Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya.
With both teams vying for the winning goal in what was a hugely entertaining match, Przemyslaw Frankowski crossed from the right-wing in the 69th minute for Elye Wahi to fire in a superb first-time shot.
Lens were able to hold on for the remaining 20 minutes as Arsenal pushed forward but were unable to find an equalizer.
In Group C, Real Madrid won a hard-fought victory over the Italian champions Napoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples.
As so often this season, Jude Bellingham, who signed from Borussia Dortmund over the summer, was Real’s star player.
The English midfielder first played in Vinicius Jr with a deft touch in the 27th minute to cancel out Leo Ostigard’s 19th minute opener for Napoli.
Minutes later, Bellingham picked up the ball near the halfway line before surging at the heart of the Napoli defense before coolly finishing.
A questionable penalty given after intervention by the VAR for a handball by Nacho gave Napoli a route back into the match shortly after the break, with Piotr Zielinski equalizing from the penalty spot.
With the match finely poised, Real re-took the lead with 12 minutes remaining when Federico Valverde smashed in a shot from distance that cannoned off the bar onto goalkeeper Alex Meret and into the goal. EFE