Champions League – Matchday 5 Recap

Matchday 5 in Champions League managed to set up a ho-hum Matchday 6 in a couple of weeks, with only one Group without a qualifier through to the next round and all four clubs still eligible to make it through to at least Europa League.

Three groups have the next round participants settled, with only the finishing positions of the top two clubs left to be determined:

  • Group A: Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund advance to the knockout phase, with Club Brugge off to Europa League.
  • Group E: Bayern Munich and Ajax on to knockout, with Benfica heading to Europa League.
  • Group H: Juventus and Manchester United on to knockout, with Valencia heading off to Europa League (farewell Young Boys)

Below are some of the results from the past two days that helped to settle things in certain groups or set up a couple of key matches in a couple of weeks on Matchday 6. As always, home teams are listed first:

Read moreChampions League – Matchday 5 Recap

UEFA Champions League – Tottenham Hotspur v. Inter Milan Nov 28

Champions League Group B Tottenham v. Inter Group B is starting to narrow down who will be advancing. Right now Tottenham is on the outside looking in, and need a win to get themselves back in contention. If they lose today, they are likely out of the running for the knockout rounds. Even with a … Read moreUEFA Champions League – Tottenham Hotspur v. Inter Milan Nov 28

UEFA Champions League – Napoli v. Red Star Belgrade Nov 28

Napoli v. Red Star Belgrade (Group C) Champions League Group C Group C is one of the few groups that is completely up for grabs, with only 2 points separating the top and bottom teams. With this small of separation, it’s possible that goal difference could become completely irrelevant depending on how the games shake … Read moreUEFA Champions League – Napoli v. Red Star Belgrade Nov 28

UEFA Champions League – PSG v. Liverpool Nov 28

PSG v. Liverpool (Group C) – November 28th Champions League Group C Group C is one of the few groups that is completely up for grabs, with only 2 points separating the top and bottom teams. With this small of separation, it’s possible that goal difference could become completely irrelevant depending on how the games … Read moreUEFA Champions League – PSG v. Liverpool Nov 28

Champions League – Matchday 4 Recap

After four matches in the Group Stage of the Champions League, there has Witbeen some separation. That said, only one club – Barcelona – has officially clinched a spot in the Round of 16. There are an additional six clubs that have been eliminated from reaching the Round of 16, though they can still technically finish third in their groups and qualify for the next round of Europa League.

As mentioned in our last matchday recap, Lokomotiv Moscow and AEK Athens were the only two clubs in the tournament without a point. They remain that way after Matchday 4 after both failing to win. While both are still technically in the mix for Europa qualification, chances are they won’t even make it there, most likely because of their large goal differentials (-9 for Lokomotiv and -8 for AEK Athens) and poor results against the other clubs in their group.

Here are some of the more shocking results of the fourth day of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location). Home teams are listed first:

Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool
I talked about this match in our weekly Small Club of the Week piece, because Red Star is one of our favorite “smaller” clubs and it was nice to see them achieve victory in a tournament where the odds were stacked against them. I wanted to mention it here because of the impact that it had on Group C. Napoli and Liverpool remain tied at the top with six points, but Paris Saint-Germain has five points and Red Star has four (they tied Napoli on Matchday 1). Red Star has an outside chance at qualifying for the Round of 16, with matches remaining at Napoli and at home against PSG, but they would need some help to do so. I’m pulling for the club obviously,, if only because it might mean that PSG fails to advance after their financial malfeasance (and subsequent coverup) was revealed this week.

Read moreChampions League – Matchday 4 Recap

Champions League – Matchday 3 Recap

We are halfway through the Group Stage in the Champions League, and we have three groups that have leaders with the maximum of nine points. While they are not yet assured of advancing to the knockout phase, their chances are much higher, and they can be sealed up with wins on Matchday 4 in two weeks.

We also have two clubs with zero points through three matches, so they would have to go on and amazing run to redeem their Champions League play and possibly qualify for the Europa League by finishing in third place in their groups. However, neither club – Lokomotiv Moscow and AEK Athens – were favorites to advance coming in, and they have shown with their play thus far that people were right.

Finally, we have two of our own “favorite” clubs in the tournament – Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys – that are probably going to miss out on Europa as well. While they have both scored one point through three games, they are far behind their groups in fourth place with terrible goal differentials. I have higher hopes for Young Boys moving up to third, if only because they just drew with the club ahead of them in the group, but they will need to find three points against two clubs that have already defeated them easily.
Here are some of the more shocking results of the first round of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location). Home teams are listed first:

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Atletico Madrid
Atlético Madrid entered the Champions League Group Stage as the second-ranked club in UEFA; Borussia Dortmund entered in 10th. One would expect a competitive match under those circumstances, not a 4-0 destruction. Maybe Atletico chose not to send their Best XI to the match because they were tied with Dortmund with six points heading into the match, far ahead of the other two clubs in Group A. Maybe they knew that Matchday 4 would see a rematch, except at home in Madrid, so they expect to even the score then. Either way, both clubs are still the overwhelming favorites to advance out of the Group, and will fight for the first position, if only to face off against another group’s second finisher. But the only other matches in the Champions League that have had as lopsided of a score were matches between top clubs and qualifiers, not from two of the top 10 clubs in the tournament.

Read moreChampions League – Matchday 3 Recap