Benfica opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory over group stage new boys Astana in Lisbon.
Astana - a club only founded six years ago -- became the first Kazakh side to reach the group stages after beating Cypriot side APOEL in last month's play-off round and refused to be overawed at the Estadio da Luz.
They provided resilient opposition in the first half and striker Aleksei Schetkin struck a post from six yards out within seconds of the re-start.
But second-half goals from Nicolas...
ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- "First of all, we feel we are representing our country in Europe, and we are proud to do that," FC Astana club president Sayan Khamitzanov said in a news conference the week before his team's UEFA Champions League group stage debut against Benfica. "After that, we are representing our city."
Astana is a disorientating place, but the fastest way to root yourself is by taking the elevator up Bayterek ("tall poplar tree" in Kazakh). At the top of the 97-meter (318 feet) tower,...
Manchester City have been handed a tough Champions League group stage draw against Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach.
City, who also dealt with tough draws in the past four seasons of the Champions League, were selected in Group D with last season's finalists and the Europa League champions.
Holders Barcelona, meanwhile, are in Group E alongside Roma, who finished second in Serie A last season, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov.
Barcelona lifted the trophy for the fifth time in their...