Published on October 19th, 2017 | by Vieri Capretta0
Champions League Winners and Losers: double delight for Manchester
A good day for the city of Manchester in Match Day 3 of the Champions League but less positive for a former finalist that faces a swift exit
In the end, Pep Guardiola’s team only won by the single goal in a game between the two most attractive teams in Europe, but the first half hour was a Citizen monologue, in which Napoli struggled to take part. It was a total dominance that could and should have led to many more goals. The balance in the end doesn’t cancel out how good City were at the start.
A draw in the home of the double European champions. Who would have thought that? League games at Wembley were a distant memory for Spurs, who could have won if Harry Kane had been more clinical. But what stays is a fantastic display showing how much Mauricio Pochettino’s men have grown. Now they can sit amongst Europe’s elite.
The seven goals put past Maribor became Liverpool’s best ever away win in Europe, but more importantly the first Champions League victory this year, displaying all the pace, speed and strength of the strikers when given space. The lack of accuracy shown in the Premier League was blown away, and even if Maribor are not exactly a great side, this could be the spark to light the fire and unlock Liverpool’s attacking potential.
Three wins in three games, easily the biggest surprise in this year’s Champions League. Everybody was already impressed with the Turkish side’s results so far, and many expected them to halt their run at the Stade Louis II. A 2-1 win away at Monaco was the response, showing an organisation and strength that could be a real issue for many this season.
Not a fun game to watch at the Estadio da Luz, but Jose Mourinho returns to Manchester with three points. A Marcus Rashford goal was enough to mark the difference between the Red Devils and Benfica, and that’s all that matters.
The second half showed a team willing to react and able to almost draw a game they should have lost by a mile in the first half hour. But that same 30 minutes was also the barometer of the difference between the top teams in Serie A and the Premier League, with the Italian league being way behind. Napoli were blown away by Manchester City, and the reaction was not enough to change that.
Champions League semifinalists and Ligue 1 winners last year, struggling badly now. Selling off key players like Kylian Mbappe is not enough to justify the difference in results. Especially after going 1-0 up at home. Monaco should have dealt with the advantage better, controlling the game. Instead, Besiktas responded and took the win, despite not being clearly better on paper. There is work to be done at Monaco to try and repeat the past amazing season.
If it wasn’t for Eden Hazard we would be talking about a home defeat and a particularly negative one too. The English champions have been struggling this season but should have won the game against Roma comfortably. Instead, Chelsea have to be happy with a point, another example of how tough this year will be.
The Spanish side’s biggest away defeat in the Champions League, and completely unexpected. Sevilla crumbled in Moscow as CSKA put five past the keeper in what was the most unexpected result of the round.
With Chelsea and Roma facing each other, this could have been a chance to easily grab three points and climb the ladder, but Diego Simeone’s men were unable to put a goal past Qarabag and they now risk having to drop to the Europa League.