| Barcelona’s Luis Enrique after scoring against Bruges in the Champions League match at the Nou Camp Wednesday. Barcelona won 3-2. (Reuters)
London: Deportivo la Coruna and Barcelona completed a Champions League clean sweep for soar-away Spanish sides while Manchester United overcame the shock of conceding an early goal to overwhelm debutants Maccabi Haifa 5-2 in their respective opening matches.
On a Wednesday evening characterised by a welter of goals — 34 in eight matches — Deportivo scored the best win of the lot, if one of the tightest, as they put paid to Bayern Munich’s 29-match unbeaten European run at home with a brilliant Roy Makaay hattrick securing a 3-2 win in group G.
Barcelona came through 3-2 but were rather less impressive in beating Bruges 3-2 in group H at the Nou Camp with Luis Enrique, Gaizka Mendieta and Javier Saviola finding the target.
With Real Madrid having swamped Roma 3-0 away on Tuesday to open their title defence and Valencia having stylishly dismissed Liverpool 2-0, Spain have set the rest the hardest of acts to follow.
The biggest winners of the night were Olympiakos Piraeus who thrashed last season’s finalists Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 at home. Olympiakos Piraeus gave their most convincing European performance yet with Yugoslav skipper Predrag Djordjevic scoring three times in 31 minutes, including a 63rd minute penalty.
It was also a good night for the Italians with AC Milan beating RC Lens 2-1 at home with Filippo Inzaghi scoring twice and Juventus returning home from Feyenoord with a 1-1 draw.
Dynamo Kiev proved too strong for a struggling Newcastle United with a 2-0 win in Ukraine. Maksim Shatskikh opened the scoring with a brilliantly-taken 17th minute strike from 20 metres and Aliksandr Khatskevitch headed the second after the break. In early action Galatasaray won 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moscow.
At Old Trafford, when striker Yaniv Katan put the Israeli debutants 1-0 up after eight minutes one of the great upsets of European soccer appeared to be a real possibility. But Ryan Giggs equalised in two minutes and goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Juan Sebastian Veron, Ruud van Nistelrooy and — finally — Diego Forlan ensured the side three points.
United’s victory will go some way to soothe the pain of two consecutive Premier League defeats, although Ferguson might be worried about the space his defence left for Katan to score.
In the 35th minute the Norwegian striker ensured United went into the break a goal ahead. Veron started the move with a pass to van Nistelrooy, the Dutchman squeezed the ball through to Solskjaer and he dinked a delicate right foot shot past Awate into the net.
In Munich, Bayern fought back from two goals down to level the match but Makaay was on target again for the winner in the 77th minute, sealing the German club’s first defeat in the competition at the Olympic stadium in five years.
The Bavarians made many uncharacteristic mistakes and looked a shadow of the side that had gone 29 matches without a home defeat since they lost 0-1 to Gothenburg in 1997.
Deportivo relied on counter-attacks and a disciplined collective effort for a deserved victory over the 2001 winners, who had never lost to Spanish visitors in the Champions League.