Football

Published on September 20th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta

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European Winners and Losers – Ronaldo’s rocky night and fantastic Firmino

🕓 Reading time:2 minutes

The first week of action in Europe was a headline-grabbing affair from Cristiano Ronaldo’s red to Inter’s comeback. Here’s Vieri Capretta with the winners and losers

WINNERS

Roberto Firmino

What an atmosphere at Anfield Road, what a game for the fans. But if it wasn’t for Bobby Firmino, Jurgen Klopp’s men would have come out of it with just a point. Instead, the Brazilian – who initially was left out with an eye injury – came on to blast it into the far corner and get Anfield rocking. 

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Inter

“Pazza Inter” is what the fans sing – Crazy Inter.

And a crazy Inter it was on Tuesday night, with the Nerazzurri turning things around in six minutes, scoring with Mauro Icardi’s beautiful volley and then sinking Tottenham with Matias Vecino’s header. All supported by the voice of San Siro, a true added value when full. A Crazy night, for a Crazy Inter, and the best possible result going into the next group games.

Lyon

Not a single person would have believed the final result had they known it beforehand. But this is football. Lyon not only went on to beat Manchester City in the Etihad, but also deserved to, exposing City’s back-line and snatching the three points.

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Juventus

The most impressive team so far: one man down – and not just any man – after 20 minutes, at the Mestalla, the Bianconeri didn’t just sit back trying to take home a point, but played their football, mixing solidity and pragmatism, and came out victorious.

Real Madrid

Sublime football at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sublime. All three goals that beat Roma were beautiful, with Isco, Gareth Bale and the new number seven, Mariano Diaz, getting on the scoresheet, and there could have been at least three more tremendous goals, with Marco Asensio going close to an unreal finish. The Champions are still amazing.

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Rangers

A draw away from home is the first European result for Steven Gerrard as a manager: not a bad start, especially considering Villarreal had scored immediately from the off.

LOSERS

Cristiano Ronaldo

A lifetime without being sent out in Europe’s top competition, then half-an-hour in a Juventus top and there you go: Cristiano Ronaldo is shown the red card. Another sign that Juve don’t exactly have a great relationship with this competition. It was probably harsh on Cristiano, but it certainly wasn’t his ideal night.

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Manchester City

The “best team ever in Premier League history” surely cannot afford to lose 2-1 at home to Lyon. Pep Guardiola’s domestic dominance is being questioned by his European results so far. He’ll have to get back on track as soon as possible.

Napoli

Just the goal was missing in the beautiful Marakana in Belgrade. But in football, goals aren’t exactly a useless detail. Napoli hit the bar once, with Lorenzo Insigne, and had another five chances to beat Red Star, but it wasn’t enough, making their group now almost impossible. With Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain in it, it will be tough to come out on top.

Mauricio Pochettino

Solid football for an hour, a vital goal, then the final six minutes that demolished everything that happened beforehand. After conceding the equaliser Poch took off Harry Kane, and brought on Rose to defend. It didn’t go well.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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