Published on November 29th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta1
Champions League winners and losers🕓 Reading time: 2 minutes
Neymar finally delivers in a big game for PSG, Mourinho upsets the water boy while Napoli lose when they win – here’s the Champions League shakedown
The best performance for PSG in the Champions League since the 4-0 victory over Barcelona two-years-ago. Tactically solid, technically sublime, with Thomas Tuchel finding the right solutions and Neymar finally displaying his talent. Liverpool were outclassed at the Parc des Princes, and now the Parisians need a win in Belgrade to seal qualification.
— Marcos Aoás Corrêa (@marquinhos_m5) November 29, 2018
Winning in the final minute, at home, against the group minnows, thanks to a handball. Nothing to celebrate here, but that didn’t stop Jose Mourinho smashing the water bottles. But despite all that’s going on at Old Trafford, all these season’s struggles, the Red Devils have secured a place in the Champions League last 16. An important result at this stage.
Easily the most fresh, young, exciting team in Europe, dripping with talent and flair. The Dutch side is back in the Champions League Round of 16 for the first time in 12 years and have done it playing great football and exposing some of the most talented youngsters in the world, with midfielder Frenkie de Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt being wanted by all the big clubs.
The Bayern Munich we all know and love. A team that for years and years has been putting goals past opponents, without ever struggling in the Champions League group stages, making it to the knockout stages.This time round, the victim was Benfica, who conceded five, including Robert Lewandowski’s 50th goal in the competition. Coach Niko Kovac’s job is safe for another week at least.
Imagine still being unbeaten, having dominated the group and being leaders for the longest time, having tactically outclassed Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, yet having still a tough game ahead to qualify. Napoli demolished Red Star, but it wasn’t enough to make it to the Round of 16. The Serie A deserve it, but have another huge challenge ahead: get the result they need at Anfield.
In a similar fashion to Napoli, the Nerazzurri were impressive for most of their group, a group that on paper should have seen them suffer. Instead, they can still do it, but even if Tottenham win they’ll be out. So it won’t depend on Inter’s result, but on the hope that Barcelona don’t lose at home. After what we’ve seen so far on the pitch, it is a bit of a disappointment.
Sergio Aguero saved the day, and avoided another defeat to Lyon. The Round of 16 is a reality, but City will have to do a lot better from February onwards if they want to try and win the competition. Right now, they seem to be Juve’s only competitor, along with Barcelona, but have shown much less solidly than the Italian and Spanish giants. Something to work on for Pep Guardiola over the next few months.
It would have been tough regardless to qualify to the knockout stages, but throwing every chance away with a loss to Lokomotiv Moscow wasn’t exactly the ideal scenario. Galatasaray were meant to fight for a place in the next round until the very end of this group, but instead might even end up bottom of the standings if they don’t win their last game.