Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the performance of Jack Grealish after playing an hour in his first game back from injury in Tuesday's 4-0 Champions League win at Sevilla.

Grealish had not played since City's 4-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on August 13 due to a minor injury.

The pressure is on the 26-year-old England international, who underwhelmed in his first season at City after joining from Aston Villa in August last year for £100million.

Grealish played 38 times, scoring six goals in all competitions last season for City, but did not live up to the expectations of his hefty transfer fee, nor play with his typical freedom.

The midfielder started and played 62 minutes against Sevilla, and while he did not score or provide an assist, Guardiola was delighted with his return.

"Jack arrived incredible in the pre-season," Guardiola said at the post-game press conference.

"In the first game against West Ham unfortunately he had a little injury. It's important for him to have again this 53, 60 minutes."

"The pitch was uncomfortable for the players. He was so aggressive in the first half, more than aggressive than Phil [Foden] in terms of goal and making the movements in there.

"Sometimes missed the last pass but it's not easy there. We need him a lot this season. Jack will be so important. He played a really good game."

Guardiola was also rapt with the debut of deadline-day signing Manuel Akanji, who only joined team training earlier this week following his move from Borussia Dortmund.

"We are delighted, just training one day and a half with us," Guardiola said.

"He showed in Dortmund his experience in Europe. A really, really good central defender that City bought to us.

"He played really well, his focus, attention. He has a quality quite similar to Aymer [Laporte], he can break the lines with a pass. He read the spaces really well. I am very pleased for him."

Erling Haaland grabbed two of City's four goals, taking his season tally to 12 since his move from Dortmund.

"I think his numbers in his career, not just here, in previous teams is quite similar," Guardiola told BT Sport. "He has an incredible sense of goal."

Haaland became the first City player to score on both his Premier League debut and Champions League debut for the club.

The 22-year-old is also the fastest player to 25 goals in Champions League history, coming across 20 games, bettering Ruud van Nistelrooy and Filippo Inzaghi's mark of 30 games.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has scoffed at a question about Napoli being "a dangerous city" despite the club warning traveling fans they could be targeted during their Champions League visit.

The Reds take on Napoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday in their first Champions League fixture since May's final loss to Real Madrid in Paris, where chaotic scenes unfolded outside the venue for their fans, including bottleneck queues and being sprayed with tear gas.

In the lead-up to Wednesday's game, The club issued a series of recommendations to traveling fans, warning they could be "targeted for theft, robbery or assault".

Twitter account Liverpool FC Help posted the recommendations including remaining in their hotel to drink and eat, not congregating in public areas, and avoiding the city centre, which the club's managing director Andy Hughes reiterated. He added that traveling fans should use official coaches to get to the stadium, rather than make their own way in the interest of personal safety.

But Klopp would not be drawn on that, when asked in Tuesday's press conference if he believed Naples was a "dangerous city".

"That's an embarrassing question from you," Klopp said. "You want to create headlines. I really don't understand.

"Are you from Napoli? Do you think it's a dangerous city? I don't live a normal life in Napoli. I am protected, I go to the hotel and now you ask me what I think about Napoli.

"You know exactly what people are talking about. If 'some' supporters meet 'some' supporters then 'something' can happen. Nothing to do with the city.

"But I'm not here to create headlines for you, and if you don't know what to ask anymore then that's no problem.

"I would love to go to the hotel to be honest and concentrate on the game tomorrow. It looks like you don't know what to ask anymore because of the question."

Hughes said the club understood the trip "may be a daunting prospect" for fans in light of the events in Paris.

He added: "Our supporters have faced a number of issues when traveling to Naples in the past.

"I do understand that some fans will want to make an occasion out of this trip. However, in this case I'd urge supporters not to wander into the city on their own, or to be wearing club colours during their stay in Naples."

Liverpool were grouped together with Napoli in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Champions League editions.

Marco Verratti was not surprised to see Leandro Paredes and Sergio Ramos square off in Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Juventus as "both players care so much".

Paredes was back at the Parc des Princes for Tuesday's Champions League group match, just six days after joining Juve from PSG on an initial loan basis.

The Argentina international was involved in a flashpoint during the first half of his new side's 2-1 loss when he got involved in a row with former team-mate Ramos.

As Paredes walked towards Ramos, the latter appeared to push away the midfielder by the throat, which the referee deemed worthy of a yellow card.

And speaking after the match, Verratti joked it was an incident that was always likely to happen between two passionate players.

"I'm good friends with [Paredes]. The odds on that happening were pretty good as I'd seen them go at it in training," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"I'd have bet my house on that happening. Both players care so much and put a lot of character into every challenge, but they always have a hug at the end."

Paredes managed 102 touches against his parent club – more than any other Juve player on their Champions League debut since Opta started recording such data in 2003-04.

Juve put up a strong second-half fight in Paris after Kylian Mbappe fired PSG into a commanding two-goal lead, though Weston McKennie's effort proved to be a consolation.

The Parisians have now won five successive home games in the Champions League for the first time since between November 2013 and November 2014 (a run of six wins).

"We were up against a strong opponent in Juve and knew we'd suffer to get the three points," Verratti said. "After a good first half we struggled a bit in the second.

"Juve relaxed a bit after their goal and started to believe. They are a great team but we worked together to bring home the result."

Mbappe's double took him on to 29 goals in the competition for PSG, one shy of Edinson Cavani's club record.

Lionel Messi and Neymar also performed well in attack, and Verratti praised head coach Christophe Galtier for getting the trio working as one.

"The coach is very intelligent. This is quite a tough team to coach," he said.

"But he made it clear to everyone that there is only one objective, which is to win, play together, enjoy our football and make it a team sport.

"To have a great season we need everyone, whether we have the ball or not, whether they are on the bench or on the field.

"Telling Messi what position to hold and where to pass is tricky, but he gave a sense of organisation and responsibility to everyone. 

"There are moments, as we saw today, where we all need to defend together. You can be as talented as you like, but it is all easier if we all work together."

Massimiliano Allegri was left frustrated by a "wasted chance" after his Juventus team lost 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain.

Juve's Champions League campaign looked set to get off to a humbling start at the Parc des Princes when Kylian Mbappe's double put PSG 2-0 up inside 22 minutes.

Yet some sloppy finishing and poor defending from their hosts allowed Juve back into it in the second half, with Weston McKennie heading home to reduce the deficit.

Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off a fine stop to deny Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli had a late effort blocked close to the line, and while Juve were fortunate not to concede more at the other end, they ultimately gave a strong account of themselves despite losing to PSG for the first time in a competitive fixture.

Allegri previously declared Benfica – who beat Maccabi Haifa 2-0 on Tuesday – as Juve's main rivals in Group H, but the Bianconeri's coach was in the end disappointed not to get a result against PSG.

"We played a good game, it's a wasted chance, we had to be more clear-headed in the final minutes," Allegri told Canale 5, as reported by Football Italia.

"We had to create more chances on the left, we didn't do it enough. We could have been dangerous in those situations with McKennie wide on the right. We must improve, it's a wasted chance."

Juve lost their opening match to a Champions League campaign for just the second time in their 23 seasons in the competition (W13 D8), also losing to Barcelona in September 2017 (3-0), but after going down fighting – registering just two shots fewer than PSG (13 to 15) and a similar expected goals value (1.1 to 1.5) – midfielder Adrien Rabiot shared his coach's frustration.

"We started badly, in the first 20 minutes we suffered," he said, via Football Italia. "We could have done even more, being more clinical. I am a bit angry, especially because of the first half. We conceded two early goals, too early, and the game changed.

"We proved that we could do better in the second half, we had chances, but we must continue to work and think of Benfica at home [in the next game].

"We have to work, find the right system and the right players on the pitch, but I think that tonight we did better than in league games.

"Unfortunately, when we lose there is always criticism for the players and the coach. We reacted well in the second half and I am glad of it, we showed good things but we must work, it's a long season and we know it."

Thomas Tuchel accused his Chelsea team of showing a lack of hunger after their poor away form continued with a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.

After making a below-par start in the Premier League, Chelsea were hoping for some respite from their first European outing of the campaign, but Mislav Orsic's well-taken goal condemned them to a dismal defeat on Tuesday.

The result leaves Chelsea playing catch-up in Group E after losing their first game of a Champions League campaign for just the third time (also against Basel in 2013-14 and Valencia in 2019-20).

Meanwhile, the Blues have lost three successive away games for the first time under Tuchel, enduring their worst run on the road since December 2020 under Frank Lampard.

Having cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines in Croatia, Tuchel said he was surprised by Chelsea's performance and hit out at their lack of application.

"I didn't see it coming, obviously I was in the wrong movie," Tuchel said. "I thought that the last game helped us. I thought the team was prepared, I thought we knew what this is all about.

"I don't really know where this performance today comes from. A lack of determination, a lack of hunger and a lack of intensity to actually do the things that we need at the highest level. 

"We are clearly not where we want to be. I'm angry about our performance. 

"It's not precise enough, it's not clinical enough, it's not aggressive enough on the ball, it's not determined enough. 

"It's not good enough individually, it's not good enough as a team."

Chelsea are also on their joint-longest run without a clean sheet under Tuchel, having conceded in six successive matches in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Dinamo became just the second team – alongside Juventus – to beat four different London clubs in European competition (Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal).

Chelsea could not claim to have been surprised by their opponents then, and Tuchel added: "We expected what we got, and I think we got what we got. 

"It was the story of the last few games, we started okay for 15, 20 minutes but then lacked determination, precision and maybe even lacked the smell of blood.

"We conceded a goal with two players in a counter-attack, it's never happened before. I don't understand why it happened today.

"It's clearly my job to analyse it, so this is me analysing from the sideline and it will continue. We need to be much better. 

"We are not finished, we are not happy with our results, we are not happy with the way we play in general, but I thought we were on a good way. I'm a bit surprised by this performance today."

Asked whether Chelsea underestimated Dinamo, he replied: "Me, personally, no. If we did, then we have a huge problem. Honestly, we have a huge problem if we did."

Chelsea travel to Fulham for their next Premier League match on Saturday, before hosting Salzburg in the Champions League next Wednesday.

Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taras Stepanenko said it was beyond his "wildest dreams" to thrash RB Leipzig 4-1 in their Champions League opener at the Red Bull Arena.

Igor Jovicevic's team became the first Ukrainian side to compete in the Champions League since the country was invaded by Russia, and they marked the occasion with an unlikely victory on their travels.

Despite enjoying just 32 per cent of the possession and attempting a mere four shots on target, Shakhtar scored with each of those through a Marian Shved double and further goals from Mykhaylo Mudryk and Lassina Traore.

Jovicevic's visitors finished with an expected goals total of just 1.2, compared to the 1.4 of Leipzig, who thought they had got back into the game through Mohamed Simakan's equaliser – only to fall apart soon after.

The defeat for Leipzig potentially leaves coach Domenico Tedesco's future in doubt, with the Bundesliga side winning only one of five league games, but this was a memorable victory for Shakhtar.

"I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams such a game with four goals for us. But we played well and I feel we deserved that result tonight," Stepanenko told reporters.

"I have been with the club for over a decade. This is a new team, but many of these young players are from the Shakhtar academy, so they have the Shakhtar spirit and this really helps us a lot.

"We are a tight group and have a lot of spirit. When I saw the draw, I immediately knew it was going to be a tough group, but I also knew we have a good team and should be able to get results.

"We want to progress, but with young players sometimes you are lacking consistency."

Shakhtar already have more points (three) and goals (four) than they earned in the entirety of last season's group stage (two points, two goals).

Their next task will see them face Celtic, who were 3-0 losers to reigning European champions Real Madrid in the other Group F game, but for now Jovicevic expressed his delight after seeing his positivity pay dividends.

"When the counter-attack for the third goal came and the ball was at Mudryk's feet, I already raised my arms in celebration because I know from training that he scores when he is through one on one with the keeper," Jovicevic said. 

"I tried to give this positive energy and it's all about being positive."

Shved became the 10th different Ukrainian player to score on his Champions League debut and just the second of those to do so while playing for Shakhtar – after Stepanenko in November 2010.

Jovicevic added praise for Shved, who also became the first Ukrainian to score a brace in the competition since Junior Moraes for Shakhtar at Lyon in October 2018.

"I know Marian Shved from my time at Lviv, and when Sevilla took him, I wanted him back," Jovicevic said.

"Now I am happy that he is back in my team. He is a hard worker, quick and powerful, and I know what he is capable of."

Stefano Pioli claimed Milan could have done more in their 1-1 Champions League draw at Salzburg, as he acknowledged next week's clash with Dinamo Zagreb has already taken on extra importance. 

Milan fell behind to a terrific solo effort from Noah Okafor after 28 minutes of their Champions League opener, but claimed a share of the spoils thanks to Alexis Saelemaekers' fierce left-footed finish.

The Rossoneri have now avoided defeat in 14 of their last 15 opening group-stage matches in the competition (W10 D4 L1), but they struggled to break down their resolute hosts despite taking charge in the second half.  

Milan enjoyed 65 per cent of the possession in Salzburg – their highest such figure in the Champions League since records began – but Rafael Leao's late deflected effort was the closest they came to a winner.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Pioli expressed his satisfaction with the point, but highlighted the Rossoneri's need to improve. 

"It was a good result with a sufficient performance but not of a high level. If the quality level is not raised there are dangers," Pioli said.

"We could have done better, but they are strong, we bring home a positive result. 

"The boys know how to recognise when they are good on the pitch, today we struggled on the second balls and they could start again with their dangerous forwards. 

"There was a lack of speed in the construction, we could have found better solutions and when we did, we were dangerous.

"We could have taken up the space better to play a little more of the game in their half."

Having watched Group E favourites Chelsea slip to a demoralising defeat at Dinamo Zagreb earlier on Tuesday, both sides had the chance to take charge of the race for qualification.

Milan face Dinamo in their next continental outing next Wednesday, and Pioli admits the Croatian outfit's victory over the Blues has heightened the importance of that match.

"I did not expect the result between Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea," he admitted. "This teaches us that in football there are no obvious matches. 

"Salzburg are a good team and last year they never lost at home. The next match for us will have an important weight." 

With Tuesday's result, Salzburg are unbeaten in five home Champions League games (W3 D2), while they have not started any of their five campaigns in the competition with a loss (W1 D4).

Only Deportivo La Coruna (also five times) also played in as many Champions League seasons without ever losing their opening match.

Rossoneri defender Fikayo Tomori echoed his coaches' views, expressing relief at remaining unbeaten against resolute opponents.

"It was the game we expected. They are strong on pressing and very fast up front," he said. "We played well, we could have done better, but a point on this field is difficult to take. 

"So we are happy, even if we are also aware that we can do more. We knew it would be difficult. Taking a point in Salzburg is not bad at all. 

"We played well, but not at our level. The group is open, the next match against Dinamo Zagreb, we have to do better and win. We can qualify." 

Manchester City's rivals have been warned that Erling Haaland has not even fully adapted to the team's style of play yet, with Kevin De Bruyne adamant there is much more to come.

Haaland was in lethal form again on Tuesday as he scored twice in City's comfortable 4-0 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on matchday one of Champions League Group G.

His first saw him get on the end of a De Bruyne cross, while his second was a rebound tap-in after a Phil Foden shot was parried straight to him.

Haaland became only the fourth player to score on his Champions League debut with three different clubs, having also done so for Borussia Dortmund and Salzburg.

His exploits in Seville continued from his electric start to the Premier League season, taking him to 12 goals in just seven matches across all competitions.

And what could strike even more fear into opponents is that De Bruyne does not think he has fully adapted yet.

"I think the way he's adapted to us is really good but I think outside the goalscoring there's still another part in the game," he told BT Sport.

"I think that part is tougher to adapt to. It makes it more exciting. If he can adjust to the way we play, then the levels will go up."

He added: "I try to do my job, make the right movements and try to create as many chances as I can and I know one way or another, Erling is going to be there.

"For the moment, he is scoring the goals so it helps us win the games."

City coach Pep Guardiola was almost nonplussed about Haaland's record, pointing out it is not too dissimilar to the goalscoring frequency he had at his previous clubs.

He just hopes the Norway striker continues the way he has started.

"I think his numbers across his career, not just here but in previous teams, is quite similar," Guardiola said.

"So he has an incredible sense of goal – he scored two and had chances for two or three more to score.

"We have incredible numbers in scoring goals, so we want to continue like that. Another battle next on Saturday against Tottenham, so hopefully he can continue scoring goals."

Paris Saint-Germain saw off a second-half fightback from Juventus to win their opening Champions League game 2-1 thanks to Kylian Mbappe's double.

Juve were no match for their hosts at the Parc des Princes in the first half, with Mbappe volleying home twice inside the first 22 minutes.

A defensive lapse from Christophe Galtier's side allowed Weston McKennie to drag Juve back into the contest eight minutes into the second half, however.

And Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli both went close to restoring parity, yet PSG had enough to see out a first competitive win over Juve.

Mbappe had denied there were any issues between himself and Neymar in the pre-match press conference, and the duo proved they were in sync in the fifth minute as the France striker volleyed in from his team-mate's exquisite chipped pass.

Gianluigi Donnarumma made a fine save from Arkadiusz Milik at the other end, but PSG were in full flow up front, and it was 2-0 when Mbappe volleyed in again – this time from Achraf Hakimi's cutback.

Neymar might have turned from provider to scorer had his finish been better in the 49th minute, but Mattia Perin was equal to the forward's tame effort.

Mbappe should have provided Neymar with a tap-in two minutes later, only to shoot selfishly from a tight angle, and PSG were made to pay.

It had seemed a matter of damage limitation for Juve, yet PSG switched off from a corner, enabling McKennie to head in at the back post.

With Donnarumma brilliantly keeping out Vlahovic's header, sensational combination play from Neymar and Lionel Messi resulted in a great chance for Mbappe to restore PSG's two-goal cushion, but he lashed wide.

Mbappe's profligacy could have proved costly again as Locatelli saw a goal-bound toe-poke blocked, but PSG held on to get the job done.

Milan came from behind to clinch a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Salzburg in their Champions League opener, as Alexis Saelemaekers cancelled out a superb solo goal from Noah Okafor.

Okafor's outstanding strike gave Salzburg the lead midway through an evenly matched first half, only for Saelemaekers to smash home an equaliser shortly before the break on Tuesday.

Stefano Pioli's men failed to build on the Belgium international's effort but almost grabbed a stoppage-time winner through Rafael Leao, who was denied by the frame of the goal.

Having failed to escape the group stages in the Champions League last season, however, the Serie A champions may still be relieved to escape without defeat ahead of meetings with Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea.

Both sides created openings in an entertaining start, with Nicolas Capaldo heading over the crossbar before Olivier Giroud drilled a poor effort straight at Philipp Kohn from a tight angle.

But Salzburg hit the front through a tremendous goal after 28 minutes, as Okafor collected Fernando's pass before slipping the ball between Pierre Kalulu's legs and finishing neatly beyond Mike Maignan.

Milan drew level five minutes before the break, however, as Leao teed up Saelemaekers to slam a left-footed effort past Kohn from 10 yards out.

Salzburg missed a golden opportunity to regain their lead eight minutes after half-time, with Fernando somehow lifting his effort over the bar from six yards out when meeting Maurits Kjaergaard's cross.

Nicolas Seiwald then tested Maignan from range before the hosts appeared to run out of steam, allowing Sando Tonali to dictate the play for the Rossoneri.

Leao went agonisingly close to snatching the win in the 93rd minute, but saw his long-range effort deflect against the post and away to safety.

What does it mean? Group E looks wide open

With Chelsea succumbing to a dismal 1-0 defeat in Zagreb earlier on Tuesday, either side could have taken control of Group E with a victory.

But Milan were unable to push for a winner after levelling shortly before half-time, leaving the Rossoneri with just one win in their last 10 Champions League games (D3 L6), beating Atletico Madrid last November.

Meanwhile, no team will enjoy a trip to Austria; Salzburg are now unbeaten in their last five home games in UEFA's flagship club competition (W3 D2). 

Salzburg rely on youth once again

Salzburg have acted as a springboard for several top-class talents in recent seasons, and if Okafor's excellent solo goal is anything to go by, the 22-year-old Swiss forward could be another. 

Excluding own goals, each of their last 15 Champions League goals have been scored by players aged 23 or younger, the longest such run by any side in the competition's history.

Leao lays on a leveller

Having fired Milan to victory in the Derby della Madonnina on Saturday, Leao continued his electric form by teeing up Saelemaekers to get the Rossoneri back on level terms.

Leao has now delivered 11 assists in all competitions since the start of 2022, the most of any Serie A player.

What's next?

Milan travel to Sampdoria for their next Serie A outing on Saturday. Salzburg go to SV Ried in the Austrian Bundesliga on the same day, before facing Chelsea next Wednesday.

Erling Haaland was decisive once again with two goals as Manchester City comfortable saw off Sevilla 4-0 in Spain to open their Champions League campaign.

Haaland has enjoyed a devastating start to life at City and was on fire again as he became only the fourth player to score in his first appearance for three different teams in the Champions League.

The only surprising aspect of the game was City and Haaland only managed a single goal in the first half as Sevilla looked every inch of a team desperately short on confidence.

As the hosts became more forward-thinking in the second half, City picked them off as Phil Foden capped a fine display with a goal and Haaland took his season's tally to 12 in seven games, before Ruben Dias put the finishing touches on in stoppage time as he forced home a corner.

City opening the scoring seemed a formality amid a dominant start and the goal duly arrived in the 20th minute as Kevin De Bruyne got in behind Marcos Acuna and teed up a simple finish for Haaland.

Despite City's control, clear-cut chances remained infrequent and Sevilla might have levelled just before the interval, but Papu Gomez smashed over after latching on to Thomas Delaney's knockdown.

It was hardly a shock when City doubled their advantage, though. Yassine Bounou was able to make a fine save to deny De Bruyne when one-on-one, but he could do little to keep Foden's sweeping effort out of the bottom-right corner not long after.

Foden then saw a shot parried right to Haaland for his simple second goal, and Dias rounded off an emphatic win late on with a close-range finish from Joao Cancelo's delivery.

Real Madrid survived a hostile reception and the loss of striker Karim Benzema to injury as they dug deep to begin their Champions League defence with a ruthless 3-0 win at Celtic.

Los Blancos' quest for a record-extending 15th European Cup got off to a bad start when losing star man Benzema to a knee injury with 30 minutes played of Tuesday's opener.

Celtic had already struck the post through Callum McGregor at that point and continued to trouble their opponents on their return to the group stage after four seasons away.

But as they so often did last season, Madrid found a way thanks to quickfire goals from Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric, which Eden Hazard added to with a brilliant third.

Liel Abada and Reo Hatate had both asked questions of Thibaut Courtois in a lively opening half an hour for the hosts at a raucous Celtic Park. 

Ange Postecoglou's side went even closer to scoring when McGregor was picked out by Giorgos Giakoumakis and unleashed a left-footed strike against the frame of the goal.

Madrid lost Benzema to injury soon after but would have been ahead before half-time had Joe Hart not denied Vinicius from a one-on-one.

The visitors, having survived another let-off when substitute Daizen Maeda scuffed a shot at Courtois from close range, opened the scoring 11 minutes into the second half.

Federico Valverde found Vinicius with a lovely ball into the centre of the box at the end of a swift attack, and the forward coolly picked his spot past Hart with a first-time finish.

Madrid had a second four minutes later as Modric, making his 100th appearance for the club in the competition, prodded past Hart with an outside-of-the-boot finish.

It was plain sailing from that point on, and Hazard – the man brought on for Benzema – added a third from close range after some smart play from Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal at the end of a fine team move.

Joao Felix has started to discover his "best moments" since joining Atletico Madrid ahead of their Champions League clash with Porto, according to Diego Simeone.

The Portugal international became the fifth most expensive signing in history when he joined Atleti from Benfica for €126million in July 2019.

Only Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele have moved for larger fees in world football than Joao Felix, who signed a seven-year deal but has struggled to deliver thus far.

The 22-year-old offered encouraging signs at the start of the 2022-23 season, though, assisting all three goals in the 3-0 opening-day LaLiga win over Getafe.

While Joao Felix is yet to find the net this season, Simeone believes the forward is finding his feet in the Spanish capital as Atleti prepare to host Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"Joao is at the best moments in the years since we have been together, more mature, stronger, more sure of himself, involved in what the team needs," Simeone said.

"He has all the talent, the ability… he just has to tap into it."

Joao Felix will likely line up alongside Alvaro Morata against Porto, but Atleti could be without Jan Oblak, who was forced off with injury in the closing stages against Real Sociedad on Saturday.

"It will be assessed tomorrow morning. From there we will see what can happen," Simeone said of Oblak's fitness. "Ivo Grbic is ready, we believe in him, he is ready to play."

Atletico were narrow 1-0 aggregate losers to Manchester City in the quarter-finals of last year's competition, and Simeone is relishing the challenge of going further this campaign.

"The Champions League is not just another game, it is different," he added. "We will have to do things well from the first game, with our people, in our stadium, to grow in the competition. 

"It's clear that the Champions League is always very difficult, but it's an opportunity. Last season we had a good Champions League, we were close to being among the best, but we competed very well. 

"It's just beginning, we have to demonstrate what we imagine and what we're excited about, hopefully with the team's work we'll have a good Champions League."

Jurgen Klopp kept his message to his Liverpool players simple ahead of their Champions League opener at Napoli, urging the Reds to "play better" after previous struggles in Naples.

Wednesday will mark the third time Napoli and Liverpool have met in the Champions League group stage in the past five seasons, with the Italian side winning home games against the Reds in both 2018-19 (1-0) and 2019-20 (2-0).

Klopp also lost 2-1 at Napoli while Borussia Dortmund coach, and he knows his players must improve on these previous showings.

"I'm a late bloomer," he said. "I always need a little bit longer to achieve my stuff, and that means sometimes I have to try two times, sometimes three times, sometimes four times – and Napoli [could be] four times, obviously.

"What do we have to do? Play better than in the previous three games – that would be very helpful, because we didn't play particularly well when we came here. One reason is because Napoli are pretty strong."

Despite Liverpool's poor record at Napoli, the Reds have won each of their last three away games against Italian sides in European competition, although the Partenopei have five victories in six Champions League home games against Premier League opposition.

Luciano Spalletti will be in the opposite dugout to Klopp this time around, and the German heaped praise on the Napoli coach and his squad.

"He is a real great of the game, worked all over the world, very successful, you can always see his stamp on the team," Klopp added.

"It's always clear who is the coach, I respect that a lot. Looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.

"[The Napoli players] are not all young, but they're all good... I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I think not too long ago there was a bit of a nervous situation in Napoli around when players left for different reasons; obviously it has all settled again.

"I'm really happy for the people here. But one player who always stayed is [Piotr] Zielinski, and around him you could build again another team – it's a really, really interesting project, I have to say.

"Good football, intense style, different approaches, so really good. Spalletti is a good coach, so nobody should be surprised, and he's obviously pretty relaxed about maybe some nervous things around. So, it's probably a really good fit – that's how it looks."

Arthur Melo, on loan at Liverpool from Juventus, will be familiar with Napoli after his exploits in Serie A and could make his debut against Spalletti's side, but Klopp warns the midfielder will need time to settle.

"Arthur needs now just football – and training, especially – that's how it is. He wasn't in team training for a while at Juve, so he needs proper team training – and that's what we are doing with him," Klopp explained.

"Can he play minutes? Yes. Should he play full game? No, because he needs to get used to the intensity in each competition. It's not like in the Champions League you have to work less than in the Premier League.

"Not at all, especially not here. He is doing well, he is really giving his absolute all in training. We have to be careful with him as well, and then we will see whether we can use him."

Karim Benzema limped off the field with half an hour played of Real Madrid's opening Champions League group game against Celtic after sustaining a knee injury.

The 34-year-old, who was considered a doubt ahead of the Group F match at Celtic Park, appeared to pull up after playing a pass and was seen in visible pain.

Benzema attempted to shake off the injury but remained on the field for just a few more minutes before being replaced by Eden Hazard, with the game still goalless at that point.

France international Benzema led the Champions League scoring charts with 15 goals last season and had four goals in five games in all competitions this term prior to Tuesday.

Madrid have a busy run of fixtures ahead, with a LaLiga games against Real Mallorca and Atletico Madrid sandwiching next week's European clash with RB Leipzig.

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