Champions League: Winners and Losers from Tuesday's Action on Matchday 1

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterSeptember 16, 2014

Champions League: Winners and Losers from Tuesday's Action on Matchday 1

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    Goals were scored at all eight grounds on Tuesday as the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League group stage kicked off in style.

    The day's action happened to showcase a club's 1,000th goal in European competition, and the man who scored it was in desperate need of a goal to silence his critics. Another striker broke a Champions League duck that had lasted more than five years.

    There were ugly moments as well, including an early own goal and another anonymous performance from a big-name player.

    Individually, they were among the winners and losers from the first half of Matchday 1. Over the next few slides, we'll elaborate on them and highlight some others.

Winner: Karim Benzema, Who Scored Real Madrid's 1,000th European Goal

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    In the buildup to Tuesday's Champions League match between Real Madrid and Basel, Madrid icon and reserves manager Zinedine Zidane remarked that Karim Benzema needed to start scoring on a regular basis for the European champions.

    "He's the main striker at Real Madrid, but he has not scored recently," the Frenchman told RMC Sport (h/t "The critics will always be there."

    Benzema responded to Zidane's criticism by scoring just his second goal of the 2014-15 season, although the tally happened to be Madrid's 1,000th in European competition. Madrid won the match 5-1.

Loser: Mesut Ozil, Who Was Anonymous Against Dortmund

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    It's news to no one that Mesut Ozil is off to a poor start this season. And generally, the Germany international has disappointed at Arsenal since making a big-money move from Real Madrid in September 2013.

    He didn't turn the corner against Borussia Dortmund. In a match in which his team needed him to be at his best, the 25-year-old was a nonentity.

    Until his withdrawal in the 62nd minute, he touched the ball just 33 times and didn't even attempt a shot at the target in the 2-0 loss, according to

    Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph said on his Twitter feed: "Wenger plays Ozil on the left because he doesn't like making big calls. Putting Ozil there saves him having to drop a big name."

    The Arsenal manager must now decide whether to persevere with Ozil for the Premier League trip to Aston Villa at the weekend.

    But for the Gunners to make any kind of impact this season, the former Real Madrid man must be at his best, or at least approaching it.

Winner: Carlos Tevez, Who Broke a 5-Year Duck

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Carlos Tevez last scored a Champions League goal during his time at Manchester United.

    Until Tuesday, that is.

    With his Juventus side facing a tidy, responsible Malmo outfit, Tevez finally ended his five-year drought in Europe's most prestigious club competition when he opened the scoring in the 59th minute.

    He added a second in the final minute of the match to seal the three points in a 2-0 win for the Bianconeri.

Winner: Ibrahim Afellay, Who Helped Take Down Mighty Atletico Madrid

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    Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

    Ever since his 2011 move from PSV Eindhoven to Barcelona, Ibrahim Afellay's career has been plagued by serious injuries.

    The Dutch winger has had a history of muscle problems, and in his first season at Camp Nou, his development was halted when he ruptured his cruciate ligament.

    The 28-year-old joined Olympiakos on loan over the summer, and on Tuesday, his was the predominant influence in an impressive 3-2 win over Atletico Madrid.

    After assisting on Arthur Masuaku's 13th-minute opener, Afellay put the Greek side two goals in front when he beat Jan Oblak to the goalkeeper's bottom-right-handed corner.

Loser: Marek Suchy, Whose Own Goal Opened the Floodgates for Real Madrid

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Real Madrid rarely need help finding the back of the net. They have plenty of players more than capable of doing the business up front against the stingiest sides in Europe.

    But they got some assistance from Marek Suchy on Tuesday when the Basel defender accidentally put Los Blancos in front after 14 minutes.

    It was all downhill from there for the guests, who went on to concede goals to Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Benzema before the whistle blew on a 5-1 defeat.

Winner: Kevin Grosskreutz, Who Can Do Just About Everything

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Kevin Grosskreutz doesn't get the sort of attention in which the likes of Marco Reus and Mats Hummels routinely bask at Borussia Dortmund.

    But that doesn't mean he's not an important contributor in manager Jurgen Klopp's setup, and on Tuesday, the 26-year-old put in a meaningful performance against Arsenal.

    Not only did Grosskreutz assist on both Dortmund goals in the 2-0 win, but he also moved from the left side of midfield to right-back following a series of second-half substitutions.


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