Midweek Football Review

An interesting week of results!

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Villarreal 1 vs. 1 Juventus

Vlahovic scored in the 1st minute to give Juventus the lead but Parejo equalised for Villarreal in the 66th minute. Neither side could find the winner as the game ended in a draw. Anyone can go through in the 2nd leg but Juventus will be favourites given the home advantage and no away goals. 

Atletico Madrid 1 vs. 1 Man United

Felix scored in the 7th minute and Atletico dominated the whole game and should have scored several more but the finishing was abysmal. United managed to equalise in the 80th minute thanks to Elanga. The 2nd leg is a free for all but United will have to play way better than they did in this game. Atletico will need to stay strong defensively and take their chances. All to play for.

Benfica 2 vs. 2 Ajax

Tadic scored in the 18th minute to give Ajax the lead but Benfica equalised through a Haller own goal in the 26th minute. Haller restored Ajax’s lead in the 29th minute but Yaremchuk equalised for Benfica in the 72nd minute. Another draw and neither side is able to take advantage. All to play for in the 2nd leg but Ajax will have the home advantage.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Burnley 1 vs. 0 Tottenham

After the high of beating Man City, Tottenham’s world came crashing down as Burnley beat them thanks to a Mee goal in the 71st minute. Tottenham had several chances but were not clinical. Burnley remain 18th in the table but only two points from safety now. Tottenham remain 8th in the table and seven points from top four with four losses in their last five games. Conte especially looked shocked after the game and it all seems to be crashing already. 

Watford 1 vs. 4 Crystal Palace

Mateta scored in the 15th minute to give Palace the lead but Sissoko equalised for Watford in the 18th minute. Gallagher restored Palace’s lead in the 42nd minute and Zaha got two goals late in the game to seal a big win for Palace. Watford drop down to 19th in the table four points from safety and it is looking like they will be going down this season. Palace finally win a game and move up to 11th in the table. 

Liverpool 6 vs. 0 Leeds

Salah got two penalties, Mane got a double, and Matip along with Van Dijk added the rest as Liverpool ran out comfortable winners against Leeds. Liverpool did not play particularly well but Leeds given the way they play are always open to conceding goals. Liverpool remain 2nd but cut the gap to the top to three points. Leeds remain 15th but only three points above the relegation zone as relegation becomes a real threat for them.

Arsenal 2 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

Hwang gave Wolves the lead in the 10th minute but Arsenal mounted a late comeback. Pepe equalised for Arsenal in the 82nd minute and Sa scored an own goal in the 95th minute to give Arsenal a massive win. Arsenal move up to 5th in the table now only a point behind Man United. Wolves remain 7th in the table six points from top four. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Lille Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Review

What a difference movement can make!

Chelsea took on reigning French champions Lille at Stamford Bridge for the Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Lille selected a strong lineup with the likes of David, Bamba and surprisingly Sanches all starting for Les Douges. Tuchel selected a strong lineup as well with Mendy in goal and a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta, and Alonso made up the wingbacks with Kovacic, and Kante as the midfield two. Havertz started up top in place of Lukaku with Pulisic, and Ziyech playing as the wingers. A strong lineup, Lukaku dropped and Chelsea were ready to go.

The Blues started the game brilliantly with Kai Havertz going close in the opening few minutes thanks to a brilliant ball by Azpilicueta. Havertz then got a shot off which resulted in a corner. Ziyech took the corner and Havertz headed it in to give Chelsea the lead in the 8th minute. Post the goal though Chelsea didn’t have the same impact of the opening 10 minutes. Sanches helped Lille grow into the game and they created some half chances but nothing to test Mendy directly. The half ended with Lille having had more shots but Chelsea had more on target and were more efficient. 

The 2nd half started saw Chelsea start with the same ferocity as they did the first half. Pulisic especially made some good driving runs and Havertz was a constant nuisance. The 2nd goal came in the 63rd minute as Kante drove forward from the midfield and played in Pulisic who finessed a shot into the goal. 2-0 up and comfortable. Chelsea searched for the 3rd goal but Lille held tight to keep the scoreline at 2-0. A good win overall. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper 

Another cleansheet for Mendy as he had a generally comfortable game. Some simple catches to make but nothing stunning needed. Mendy continues to have a stellar record in the Champions League and Chelsea overall and long may it continue.

Defenders

Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger all had brilliant games. Silva especially looked very good and that is a testament to how he treats himself and keeps himself fit. A joy to watch. Azpilicueta was solid but Alonso had a shaky afternoon and Tuchel was visibly frustrated by him throughout the game. Sarr did come on in the 2nd half for Alonso to add a bit of energy. 

Midfielders

Kante and Kovacic had a solid game and Kante especially returned to form after having put in some poor performances over the last few games. Kovacic sadly had to come off but hopefully it isn’t a serious injury. Loftus-Cheek came on for him and did well, he took control of the ball and distributed it well, along with using his physicality. Saul also came on in the 2nd half and added extra grit to the midfield. A solid performance overall.

Forwards

Pulisic had a very good game and was a constant threat throughout. Later in the 2nd half he also tracked back well to help out in defence. It looked like the Pulisic of two seasons ago. A deserving goal scored as well. Havertz was a breath of fresh air up front after having seen Lukaku there for several games. Constant movement, constant threat and the whole attack just seemed to flow and funtion better. It was a pleasing performance on the eye and another goal to his name. Ziyech got an assist and had a good game but was relatively quiet. Ziyech did have to come off and one will hope he is ok. Werner did come on for the final 10 minutes and also provided threat. He managed seven touches in 10 minutes which is more than some can manage over 90. A fluid and exciting attack.

Manager

Tuchel will be pleased with the overall performance but he did mention that he didn’t like the way we allowed Lille to grow into the game in the first half. A win and a cleansheet is good though and gives Chelsea a solid footing going into the 2nd leg. Next up is a vist to Wembley on Sunday for the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Lille Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Champions League is back!

Chelsea return to their Champions League campaign on Tuesday night as they take on French champions Lille in the 1st leg of the Round of 16. Lille won Ligue 1 last season but the summer saw them lose Galtier to Nice and several players left the club over the next two windows leaving them in a very different place. Currently Lille sit 11th in Ligue 1 having won 9 drawn 9 and lost 7. A very inconsistent season. Lille in the Champions League still managed top their group winning 3 drawn 2 and losing 1. Since the last group game they have won 4, drawn 2, and lost 3. Simply going by the results inconsistent is the best word to desrive Lille this season. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Palace 0-1 over the weekend. Chelsea finished 2nd in the group stage and that is why the home leg comes first for the Blues. Chelsea have won 11, drawn 5, and lost 1 since the last group stage game. It’s the draws that have cost Chelsea in the league as the attack continues to struggle. Chelsea are also involved in all competitions which while being great also means that the players have played more games than most teams. Pre-match the main topic was Lukaku. Tuchel summed it up nicely though that strikers struggling at Chelsea is not a new thing. It might be a combination of the system and player working together along with some key missing players like Reece, and Chilly. Other than though Tuchel said that the team felt better now after struggling with jet lag and a cold for the Palace game. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Reece James and Ben Chilwell as usual. Hudson-Odoi was not seen in open training so will probably miss the game. Mount did train but might not be risked for this game. Azpilicueta is back. Mendy should start in goal with a back four of Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr. Jorginho and Kovacic should make up the midfield two with Werner, Havertz, adn Ziyech making up the players behind Lukaku who should start again. If it were me I wouldn’t mind going 4-3-3 and maybe playing Loftus-Cheek alongside Kovacic, and Kante and moving Havertz up top in place of Lukaku. Lukaku did not have a great game against Palace but I do get the feeling that Tuchel will persist with him. The players do need to provide him with more passes but the striker has to show more movement. The bench should be strong and there should be plenty of options. 

Lille Team Preview

Lille should not be taken lightly. They still have several exciting players that can cause Chelsea plenty of damage if the team is not awake. Fonte, and Botman form a decent centre back partnership. Bamba, Jonathan David, Burak Yilmaz, Renato Sanches, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Timothy Weah are all players that are exciting and can create and finish chances. Lille should probably set up in a 4-4-2 and look counter with pace. 

Starting XI Prediction

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There are no more away goals in the Champions League this season which should see home teams attack more and away teams defend more. Another cup competiton for Chelsea and the players will love it. The attack has to click as it has to in every game. Ziyech has been the only standout performer over the last few weeks. Lukaku needs to have a big game if he wants to avoid getting further criticism. An interesting game for sure. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Champions League time once again!

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Villarreal vs. Juventus

Villarreal sit 6th in La Liga as they take on Juventus who sit 4th in Serie A. Villarreal have won 8, drawn 2 and lost 2 of their games since the group stage. Juventus have won 7, drawn 5, and lost 1. Two teams in similar form going into this game. Neither team is touted to go far in the Champions League this season and I doubt Villarreal will fear this Juventus team. This fixture could go either way. 

Atletico Madrid vs. Man United

Atletico sit 5th in La Liga as they take on Man United who sit 4th in the Premier League. Atletico have won 5, drawn 1, and lost 7 of their games since the group stage. United have won 7, drawn 4, and lost 2 of their games. It is safe to say that Man United are the team in better form while Atletico have been inconsistent at best. Ronaldo loves playing against Atletico and United have a good chance of going though, Atletico though might turn it up for these fixtures. The result can go either way but Man United will be favourites. 

Benfica vs. Ajax

Benfica sit 3rd in the Primeira Liga as they take on Ajax who sit top of the Eredivisie. Benfica have won 8, drawn 2, and lost 4 while Ajax have won 10 and lost 1 of their fixtures. On form it should be a win for Ajax who have looked rampant in Europe and domestically this season. Benfica can ofcourse cause problems and have talented players but over two legs I think Ajax should go through.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Burnley vs. Tottenham

18th placed Burnley take on 8th placed Tottenham as teams play their games in hand. Burnley have only lost one of their last five games and look in good form while Spurs have won two of their last five games having lost three. It would be typical Spurs to beat City and then drop points against Burnley who will be a completely different test. Burnley would still have three games in hand and a win would take them into 18th and two points from safety. Spurs would have two games in hand and a win would take them into 7th. Big game for both teams.

Watford vs. Crystal Palace

18th placed Watford take on 13th placed Crystal Palace. Watford finally managed to win at the weekend and would have one game in hand post this fixture. A win would see them remain 18th but a point from safety. Palace have not won a game in a while and this is their only game in hand. A win would see them move up to 11th in the table though. It is a London Derby and both teams need a win, Watford for survival hopes and Palace for morale. The result can go either way.

Liverpool vs. Leeds

Liverpool sit 2nd while Leeds sit 15th in the table as the two go head to head. This is Liverpool’s only game in hand for now and a win would take them to within three points of Man City and 10 points clear of Chelsea. Leeds would have one game in hand remaining and a win would take them into 14th. Leeds have lost three of their last five games and Liverpool are rampant. Liverpool should win this game comfortably. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 0-3. 

Arsenal vs. Wolverhampton

6th placed Arsenal take on 7th placed Wolves in a big game for European places. Arsenal would have two games in hand remaining after this game and a win would take them into 5th and a point behind Man United. Wolves would have one game in hand remaining after this game and a win would take them into 5th and 3 points from 4th. A big game for both teams and the result can go either way. Arsenal won the reverse fixture 0-1. 

Midweek Football Review

Straightforward results.

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain 1 vs. 0 Real Madrid

No away goals meant that Real Madird set up to defend in this game. It was a poor performance from the away team and PSG were a threat throughout. The winner came in the 94th minute as Mbappe scored to give PSG the advantage. Mbappe will probably be heading to Madrid in the summer but right now he is making it count for PSG.

Sporting Lisbon 0 vs. 5 Man City

Mahrez, Silva, and a Foden double meant that City were 0-4 up at half time against Lisbon. Sterling scored in the 58th minute to make it five and send them through to the next round. The 2nd leg is just a formality now as City seal a place in the quarter-finals. 

RB Salzburg 1 vs. 1 Bayern Munich

Adamu scored in the 21st minute to give Salzburg the lead. It looked like they were heading for a win but Bayern equalised in the final moments thanks to a goal from Coman. Bayern were no where near their best and Salzburg did well. I still think Bayern should seal the win in the 2nd leg. 

Inter Milan 0 vs. 2 Liverpool

This was a very close game and Inter had several chances to give themselves the lead but Liverpool held on at the San Siro. Firmino then scored in the 75th minute to give Liverpool the lead and Salah made it two in the 83rd minute. Liverpool should now go through regardless of the 2nd leg as Inter failed to make the most of their chances. 

Premier League (Game in hand)

Man United 2 vs. 0 Brighton

Solksjaer was back in the dugout spiritually as United gave a performance that would make him proud and against all odds got three points. Brighton were the better team throughout but failed to take chances and United through moments won the game. Ronaldo scored a brilliant goal in the 51st minute and Dunk was sent off for Brighton in the 54th minute. Brighton still dominated but Fernandes scored in the 97th minute to seal the deal. United move back into 4th with the win two points ahead of West Ham. Brighton remain 9th in the table with the loss.

La Liga (Game in hand)

Levante scored in the the 54th minute thanks to Melero and beat Atletico 0-1 in what was a surprise result in Spain. Atletico remain 5th in the league and fail to take their chances while Levante remain bottom and 10 points from safety. 

Midweek Football Preview

THE CHAMPIONS!!!

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain vs. Real Madrid

One of the standout fixtures of this round as PSG take on Real Madrid. PSG have won seven drawn two and lost one of their games since their last group stage game. Real Madrid have won eight, drawn three, and lost two of their games. A pretty similar track record as both teams lead their respective leagues as well. PSG I feel are flattering to decieve at the moment sitting 13 points clear in Ligue 1 while Real have entered 2022 in inconsistent form. There are no away goals so it should encourage teams to go all out in both legs. This is what Messi was bought for and he has been in good form recently. It will be a very interesting game but over two legs I think Real Madrid will beat PSG. 

Sporting Lisbon vs. Man City

Sporting sit 2nd in the Portguese league as they take on Premier League leaders Man City. Sporting have won 11, drawn one, and lost two of their games. Man City have won 11, and drawn one of their games. City are the clear favourties without a doubt and they should progress easily over two legs. Sporting always stand a chance but I doubt they get anything over two legs. 

RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich

Austrian leaders RB Salzburg take on German leaders Bayern Munich in this fixture. RB have won six, and lost one of their games since the group stage while Bayern have won six and lost two of their games since the group stage. Similar to Man City I doubt Bayern Munich will face any problems over two legs against Salzburg. Bayern have not started the new year in great form having lost two games but overall they will have enough. Salzburg have nothing to lose and should go for it. 

Inter Milan vs. Liverpool

Inter sit 2nd in Serie A as they take on Liverpool who sit 2nd in the Premier League. Inter have won eight, drawn two and lost one of their games since the group stage while Liverpool have won ten, drawn three, and lost one of their games. More or less two evenly matched teams but of course Liverpool being the Premier League team are favoured in this fixture. I don’t think it’s going to be that simple and I think Inter have a case to upset the odds in this round. Inter will have to be strong defensively and take their chances. The result can go either way and Liverpool are the favourites but I think Inter could cause a shock over two legs. 

Premier League (Game in hand)

Man United vs. Brighton

Man United play their game in hand with Brighton during the week. United sit 5th in the table and a win would take them into 4th two points above West Ham. Brighton sit 9th in the table and a win could potentially take them up to 8th and within four points of United. Both teams are unbeaten in their last five fixtures with two wins and three draws. United are for sure the team under pressure at the moment and the result can go either way. Brighton have done well against the traditional top six this season. I think Brighton can get something out of this game.

La Liga (Game in hand)

Atletico take on Levante as they play their game in hand. A win for Atletico would take them into 4th above Barcelona and a point behind 3rd placed Betis. Levante sit bottom of the table and it should be an easy win for Atletico. 

Midweek Football Review

Barcelona in the Europa League!

Champions League Group Stage MD 6

Group A

RB Leipzig 2 vs. 1 Man City

Szoboszlai gave Leipzig the lead in the 24th minute. Silva then scored a goal for Leipzig to make it 2-0 in the 71st minute. Mahrez got one back for Man City in the 76th minute but Walker was sent off for Man City in the 82nd minute. Leipzig get a win but were already heading to the Europa League prior to this game. Man City finish top of the group by a point as they head to the Round of 16. 

Paris Saint Germain 4 vs. 1 Club Brugge

Mbappe scored 2 goals in the first 10 minutes to give PSG the lead. Messi then added a 3rd before half time to give PSG a comfortable lead. Rits got one back for Brugge in the 68th minute but Messi scored a penalty in the 76th minute to put any comeback out of doubt. PSG were always going to finish 2nd and will be heading to the Round of 16 while Brugge finish bottom of the group and will play no further part in Europe. 

Group B

FC Porto 1 vs. 3 Atletico Madrid

This game lit up the 2nd half as both teams needed a wn to make the Round of 16. Griezmann scored the first goal in the 56th minute for Atletico. Carrasco was sent off for Atletico in the 67th minute while Wendell, and Marchesin were sent off for Porto in the 71st and 75th minute. Correa and Rodrigo scored in the 90th and 92nd minute to make it 0-3 for Atletico. Olivieira got one back for Porto in the 96th minute. Atletico leap frogged everyone to finish in the group and book a place in the Round of 16. Porto drop down to 3rd in the table and will heading to the Europa League. 

AC Milan 1 vs. 2 Liverpool

Tomori scored in the 28th minute to give Milan the lead but Salah equalised for Milan in the 36th minute. Origi grabbed yet another winner in the 55th minute to give Liverpool 6 wins out of 6 in the group stage. Milan finish bottom of the group and can now focus on their league title push while Liverpool go through top of the table and without any issues.

Group C

Ajax 4 vs. 2 Sporting Lisbon

Haller scored in the 8th minute to give Ajax the lead. Santos equalised for Lisbon in the 22nd minute. Antony restored Ajax’s lead in the 42nd minute while Neres, and Berghuis added two more goals in the 2nd half for Ajax. Tabata got one more back for Lisbon to make it 4-2. Ajax finish top of the group having won every single game while Lisbon finish 2nd int h the game and will be heading to the Knockout stage. 

Dortmund 5 vs.  0 Besiktas

Malen scored in the 29th minute to give Dortmund the lead. Welinton was sent of for Besiktas in the 43rd minute. Reus added two goals in the 2nd half while Haaland also added two before full time. Dortmund finish 3rd in the group and will be heading to the Europa League. Besiktas finish 4th without a single point in the Champions League this season. 

Group D

Real Madrid 2 vs. 0 Inter Milan

Kroos scored in the 17th minute to give Real Madrid the lead and Barella was sent off for Inter in the 64th minute. Asensio then sealed the win in the 79th minute. Real Madrid finish top of the group and head into the Round of 16 along with Inter who finish 2nd in the group. 

Shakhtar Donetsk 1 vs. 1 Sheriff

Fernando scored right before half time to give Shakhtar the lead but Nikolov equalised for Sheriff in the 93rd minute. Sheriff head to the Europa League while Shakhtar are sent back home and knocked out of Europe. 

Group E

Bayern Munich 3 vs. 0 Barcelona

Muller and Sane scored in the 1st half while Musiala scored in the 2nd to cap off a comfortable win for Bayern against Barcelona. Barcelona for the first time in 21 years fail to make the Round of 16 and will be heading to the Europa League which is a sad reflection of how far the club has fallen. Bayern go through into the next round top of the group. 

Benfica 2 vs. 0 Dynamo Kyiv

Yaremchuk and Gilberto scored in the 1st half to seal a win for Benfica and send them through to the Round of 16 in 2nd. Dynamo Kyiv finish 4th in the table and are knocked out of Europe. 

Group F

Atalanta (Postponed) Villarreal
Man United 1 vs. 1 Young Boys

Greenwood scored in the 9th minute to give Man United the lead but Young Boys equalised via Fabian Rieder in the 42nd minute. Neither team could find the winner. Man United were already through and will finish top of the group while Young Boys will finish 4th and head out of Europe. 

Group G

Wolfsburg 1 vs. 3 Lille

Yilmaz scored in the 11th minute to give Lille the lead. David and Gomes scored goals in the 2nd half to give Lille a comfortable lead while Steffen got one goal back for Wolfsburg in the 89th minute. Lille finish top of the group and will be heading to the Round of 16 while Wolfsburg finish bottom of the group and are knocked out of Europe. 

RB Salzburg 1 vs. 0 Sevilla

Okafor gave Salzburg the lead in the 50th minute while Jordan was sent off for Sevilla in the 64th minute. Salzburg finish 2nd in the group and will move onto the Round of 16 while Sevilla will be heading to the Europa League where they will become instant favourites having won it so many times. 

Group H

Juventus 1 vs. 0 Malmo

Kean scored in the 18th minute for Juventus and it was enough for them to finish top of the group after Chelsea drew with Zenit. Malmo were already out of Europe and finish 4th in the group. 

Zenit vs. Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 6 Preview

A cold trip to St.Petersburg!

Chelsea travel to St.Petersburg, Russia to take on Zenit in MD 6 of the Champions League Group Stage. Zenit sit 3rd in the table and 3 points ahead of Malmo with a +6 goal difference. Unless Chelsea thrash Zenit and Malmo miraculously beat Juventus then Zenit will hold on to the 3rd spot and will drop down to the Europa League. Zenit go into this game having won 1 and drawn 1 since the last Champions League game. Zenit are currently involved in a title race with Dynamo Moscow and have won 11 drawn 4 and lost 2 this season a similar record to Chelsea. 

Chelsea go into this game having drawn against Manchester United beaten Watford and lost to West Ham so an even level as far as results go. It is the roughest patch Chelsea have had this season and the key thing is to bounce back from that West Ham gain and go on a run once again. Chelsea sit top of the group on a goal difference of +6. All Chelsea need to do is get the win to finish top of the group having already progressed to the Round of 16. This game should be a chance for some fringe players to get another chance to impress while we can rest some key players as well. it’s going to be a cold hard game for sure but Chelsea have enough quality to get the win.

Chelsea Team Preview

Tuchel goes into this game with Ben Chilwell out long term. Chalobah is still out but should be back soon. Kovacic had returned to training but tested positive and is now out until a negative report. Kante is out and Jorginho is also out with a back pain. So along with left wing back being an issue at the moment our three midfield generals are all out due to some injury or the other. Tuchel said that Mendy is lacking in confidence at the moment and may need some rest. I think Kepa will probably start in goal but Mendy could start to regain some confidence. Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Sarr should start as the defenders while Hudson-Odoi, and Saul start as the wing backs. I think Alonso might need some rest while Saul hasn’t been doing extremely well in midfield but he has played at left wing back and our wing backs are essentially midfielders in most games. I think Mount might drop into the midfield along with Loftus-Cheek while Pulisic, Werner, and Lukaku start up front. We need our forward players to start scoring and while it may be a risk to start Lukaku I think he needs to get a few goals to get going. The alternatives are of course if Havertz starts etc. 

Zenit Team Preview

It is likely Zenit switch to a back three to match Chelsea. Lovren, Barrios, Santos, Claudinho, Malcom, and Azmoun are all players that stick out from their lineup. The likes of Dzyuba are also available from the bench. For Zenit it should also be a chance to rest some players mainly because they are in the middle of a title race and they do play Dynamo Moscow on the weekend. Zenit did fairly well against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and being at home they should get a boost of sorts in what will be a chilly night. 

Starting XI Prediction

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It’s not the biggest of games in terms of stakes but for Chelsea it is a chance to bounce back and for the forward players to return to some goal scoring form. If Lukaku starts and he gets a goal or two then that would be a good restart for him. Also the main thing for Tuchel will be everyone get’s back to London without any injuries etc. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Who will fill out those final Round of 16 places?

Champions League Group Stage MD 6

Group A

RB Leipzig vs. Man City

Leipzig go into this game sitting 3rd in the table with 4 points and with no manager after Jesse Marsch was sacked during the weekend because of poor form. Man City go into this game top of the table and already having sealed a place in the Round of 16 they have no worries. Leipzig will hope that Brugge lose to PSG so that they at least move into the Europa League but if Leipzig want to keep the situation in their own hands they have to win this game. Leipzig have played two lost two since the last game while Man City have played three won three. 

Paris Saint Germain vs. Club Brugge

PSG have already sealed a place in the next round but can finish no higher than 2nd. They take on a Brugge team which sits bottom of the table but level on points with Leipzig. The only way Brugge can make the Europa League is if Leipzig lose and Brugge draw or win this game. If Leipzig and Brugge are level on points then Leipzig go through because of the superior goal difference. PSG have won 1 and drawn 2 of their games while Brugge have won all 3 of their games. Not an impossible task but a tough task none the less.

Group B

FC Porto vs. Atletico Madrid

Porto currently sit 2nd in the table with 5 points while Atletico sit bottom of the table with 4 points. Porto reach the Round of 16 if they beat Atletico while they can also reach the Round of 16 if they draw but that would require Milan to lose to Liverpool. Atletico reach the Round of 16 if they beat Porto and Milan drop points. Porto have won their last two games while Atletico have won 1 and lost 1 of their games. A nail biting finish for sure, while both teams could also finish in a Europa League position as well depending on how the results go.

AC Milan vs. Liverpool

A big game for AC Milan as they sit 3rd in the table. Liverpool are already through and will finish top of the table so this is a good chance for them to rotate and rest players. The only way Milan can reach the Round of 16 is if they win this game. A draw would only get them a Europa League finish while a loss would also get them a Europa League finish if Porto won. Milan need to win and hope that Porto drop points. Milan have lost 1 and won 2 while Liverpool have won all 3 of their games. All eyes on the San Siro. 

Group C

Ajax vs. Sporting Lisbon

Ajax are already through and will be finishing top of the group as well so this is a good chance for them to rotate and rest. Sporting sit 2nd in the group and 3 points clear of Dortmund including a much superior goal difference as well so regardless of the result both these teams will be reaching the Round of 16. Ajax have won their last 2 games while Lisbon have also won their last 2 games. For all intents and purposes this is a friendly.

Dortmund vs. Besiktas

Dortmund are 6 points clear of Besiktas in 3rd and will be heading to the Europa League after this game. Besiktas sit bottom of the group with 0 points and all they are playing for is pride in this game. Dortmund have won 1 and lost 1 of their recent games while Besiktas have lost 1 and drawn 1. Another friendly of sorts.

Group D

Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan

A game to decide who finishes top of the group as both these teams have qualified for the Round of 16. Currently Madrid sit 2 points clear of Inter at the top. If either team wins they finish top while if it’s a draw then Madrid finish top. Real have won all 3 of their games recently while Inter have also won all 3 of their games. This should be a fun game to watch. 

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Sheriff 

Sheriff have already sealed a place in the Europa League as they sit 5 points clear of Shakhtar who are bottom of the table. This is nothing more than a friendly. Shakhtar have won their last 2 games while Sheriff have won 1 and drawn 1. 

Group E

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona

Bayern sit top of the table and have already sealed a place in the Round of 16 but they take on Barcelona who sit 2nd in the group and only 2 points clear of Benfica who are 3rd. Barcelona could be heading to the Europa League if they draw or lose this game and if Benfica win their game. It’s a must win game for Barcelona to keep their future in their hands while any other result will be hand their fate in Benfica’s hands. Bayern have won their last 2 games while Barcelona have won 1 and lost 1. A massive game because no one can contemplate seeing Barcelona in the Europa League. 

Benfica vs. Dynamo Kyiv

Benfica sit 4 points clear of Kyiv in 3rd. Benfica at the very minimum will get Europa League football but if they win this game and Barcelona drop points then Benfica will move into the Round of 16 while Barcelona will drop down to 3rd. For Kyiv this is nothing more than a friendly and a chance to garner some respect and probably gain some Barcelona fans. Benfica have won 1 and lost 1 while Kyiv have won their last 2 games. A very very interesting game.

Group F

Atalanta vs. Villarreal

Atalanta sit 3rd in the group with 6 points while Villarreal sit 2nd in the group with 7 points. The winner of this game will be heading to the Round of 16 while the loser will drop down to the Europa League. A draw would see Villarreal finish 2nd while Atalanta would finish 3rd. The only team who could completely miss out on Europe in this game would be Atalanta if they lose and Young Boys win. Atalanta have won their last 3 games while Villarreal have lost 2 and won 1. A big game. 

Man United vs. Young Boys

Man United are through to the next round and should finish top of the table regardless of the result. Young Boys sit bottom of the table and they can make the Europa League if Atalanta lose and Villarreal win. A must win game for Young Boys but it does not look likely. Man United have drawn 1 and won 2 while Young Boys have lost 2 and won 1. All the pressure on Young Boys. 

Group G

Wolfsburg vs. Lille

Wolfsburg are bottom of the table but 3 points from the top while Lille sit top of the table with 8 points. If Lille win this game they are through to the Round of 16 while a draw could be enough depending on the other result. For Wolfsburg it’s a must win game to stand any chance of making the top three because a draw would not be good enough. Wolfsburg have lost their last 2 games while Lille have drawn 1 and won 2 of their games. Big pressure on both teams. 

RB Salzburg vs. Sevilla

Salzburg currently sit 2nd a point above Sevilla. This is a winner takes 2nd or 1st situation. A draw would not be enough for Sevilla to make the top two so it is a must win game for them. Salzburg have lost 1 and won 1 while Sevilla have lost 1 and won 2. All to play for in this game as well. 

Group H

Juventus vs. Malmo

Juventus sit 2nd the group already having secured a place in the round of 16 but top spot is up for grabs as they and Chelsea sit level on points. Malmo sit bottom of the group and while if they win and Zenit lose they can go level the goal difference is too  big to move them into 3rd. An interesting game for Juventus to try and finish 1st but a matter of respect for Malmo. Juventus have lost 1 and won 2 while Malmo have won 1 and drawn 1. 

Midweek Football Review

Some interesting results!

Champions League Group Stage MD 5

Group A

Man City 2 vs. 1 Paris Saint Germain

Mbappe gave PSG the lead in the 50th minute, but Sterling equalised for Man City in the 63rd minute. Jesus grabbed the winner for City in the 76th minute. A major criticism of PSG was that Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe never tracked back or defended. City seal the top spot and progress to the Round of 16 while PSG also seal progression but will finish 2nd in the group. 

Club Brugge 0 vs. 5 RB Leipzig

Nkunku scored two, Forsberg scored two, and Andre Silva got one as Leipzig thrashed Brugge. Leipzig get their first win in the group stage and move above Brugge but level on points with them on 4. Both teams stand a chance of making the Europa League but it will be decided in MD 6. 

Group B

Atletico Madrid 0 vs. 1 AC Milan

Messias scored the winner in the 87th minute as AC Milan got three massive points. Milan get their first win and move into 3rd level on points with Atletico who sit 4th in the group. Both teams stand a chance of making the Round of 16 while the Europa League spot is also still in contention. 

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 FC Porto

Thiago and Salah scored in the 2nd half as Liverpool made it 5 wins in 5 in the group stage. Liverpool were already through but further cemented their place as the group winners while Porto remain 2nd but only with a 1 point lead. All to play for going into the final day. 

Group C

Besiktas 1 vs. 2 Ajax

Ghezzal scored a penalty in the 1st half to give Besiktas the lead but Ajax completed a 2nd half comeback thanks to two goals from Haller. Ajax maintain their perfect record in the group stage and will be finishing top of the group while Besiktas have lost all their games and are now officially out of Europe as well. 

Sporting Lisbon 3 vs. 1 Dortmund

Goncalves scored two goals in the 1st half to give Lisbon a 2-0 lead. Can was sent off for Dortmund in the 74th minute and Porro made it three for Lisbon in the 81st minute. Male got a consolation goal for Dortmund in extra time. Sporting go 3 points clear in 2nd in what is a massive win for them. Dortmund remain 3 points behind Lisbon and in 3rd. Hope still remains but it would take goal difference and head to head to decide who goes through and who plays Europa League football on the final day. 

Group D

Inter Milan 2 vs. 0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Dzeko scored two goals in the 2nd half to give Inter a good win against Shakhtar. Inter seal progression to the round of 16 and the top spot is still open for them as well going into the final matchday. Shakhtar with this loss are knocked out of Europe and will only be playing domestic football going forward. 

Sheriff 0 vs. 3 Real Madrid

Alaba and Kroos scored in the 1st half to give Real Madrid a comfortable lead. Benzema got the third in the 55th minute to seal the win for the Spaniards. Madrid seal a place in the next round but top spot is still not guaranteed going into the final matchday. Sheriff started the group stage well but will finish 3rd and will drop down to the Europa League. 

Group E

Dynamo Kyiv 1 vs. 2 Bayern Munich

Lewandowski scored a brilliant bicycle kick and Coman got another in the first half to give Bayern a 0-2 lead. Harmash got one back for Kyiv in the 70th minute. Kyiv with the loss will be finishing 4th and will play no further part in Europe. Bayern make it 5 in 5 and will finish top of the group without any doubts. 

Barcelona 0 vs. 0 Benfica

No goals in this game although how neither team scored was the biggest mystery. There were several missed opportunities and disallowed goals on both sides. Barcelona sit 2nd in the group 2 points above Benfica but nothing is guaranteed and both positions will be decided on the final matchday. 

Group F

Villarreal 0 vs. 2 Man United

Villarreal dominated this game and De Gea was the saviour for United once again as he kept the English team in the game. Ronaldo then scored in the 78th minute after a mistake by Pau Torres and Sancho sealed the win for United in the 90th minute. Villarreal remain 2nd in the group with 7 points but nothing is guaranteed yet. United seal a spot in the last 16 but they could still finish 2nd in the group. 

Young Boys 3 vs. 3 Atalanta

A crazy game with many goals. Zapata gave Atalanta the lead in the 10th minute. Siebatcheu equalised for Young Boys in the 39th minute. Palomino restored Atalanta’s lead in the 51st minute but Sierro and Hefts scored in the 80th and 84th minute to make it 3-2 for Young Boys. Muriel finally scored in the 88th minute to get a point for Atalanta. Young boys remain 4th in the table and a while they might not be able to finish 2nd they still stand a chance of finishing 3rd. Atalanta sit 3rd in the table a point behind Villarreal as the decision goes down to the final day.

Group G

Sevilla 2 vs. 0 Wolfsburg

Jordan scored in the 12th minute and Mir scored in the 97th minute to give Sevilla a big win against Wolfsburg. Sevilla get their first win of the group stage as they move into 3rd on 6 points while Wolfsburg drop down to 4th on 5 points. Wolfsburg might not be able to finish 1st but everything is till open in this group to everyone.

Lille 1 vs. 0 RB Salzburg

David scored in the 31st minute to give Lille the lead and the French side held on for the win. Lille go top of the group with 8 points while Salzburg sit 2nd in the group with 7 points. Lille are guaranteed a place in Europe now unless they lose heavily on the final day but no position is sorted yet. Salzburg’s fate is also yet to be seen.

Group H

Malmo 1 vs. 1 Zenit 

Rieks scored in the 28th minute to give Malmo the lead but Zenit equalised late in the game thanks to a penalty from Rakitskyi in extra time. Zenit also saw Chistyakov sent off in the 86th minute. Malmo get their first point but will be finishing 4th and are out of Europe. Zenit will finish 3rd in the group and are heading to the Europa League after the final day.