Another round of UEFA Champions League (UCL) football has come and gone. A noisy weekend in the various football leagues across Europe will follow in a matter of hours and then the international break will step in, sadly.
After the draws for this year’s UCL tournament was made, it was had to look past all the exciting fixtures. Fans anticipated the clash between Barcelona and Juventus and the show of class between PSG and the Bavarians.
Two rounds of games into this year’s edition of the tournament and it’s hard to see any fan disappointed with the way the action has played out so far – except for the Bayern Munich fans that were made to “overpay” to see their team get a good beating by the Parisen Boys.
Liverpool fans must be disappointed with the results so far while Dortmund fans may have begun to consider a shot at the Europa League title. Okay, maybe I was wrong. Maybe not all fans are satisfied with the situation of things in the UCL.
But then again, if there was ever a football tournament that produced just one bore draw after 32 games, it’s safe to give that tourney a pass mark for being exciting enough. And that’s what this year’s UEFA Champions League has been so far, exciting.
6 – E Cavani is only the 5th different player to score in 6 consecutive CL games (van Nistelrooy, Chamakh, Yilmaz and C Ronaldo). Elevated. pic.twitter.com/3wkkOwjPw3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 27, 2017
We’ve seen really, really late goals, surprise results – no, I’m not talking about the Bayern defeat at the hands of Neymar and co. – and Tottenham gathering six points from their first two games of the competition. Of course, all of these are well detailed by the media.
You probably know every score line by heart and can recount which player scored for what club in which Match day. It’s all well documented by the media. But, what else has the media not told you about this year’s UEFA Champions League?
Any Team With An Away Win Has a Foot in the Second Round Already
This is the part where you want to scream in my face, “Football is not mathematics.” Yes, I know. I’m not ignorant of the fact that Bayern Munich can give PSG a nice beating inside their Allianz Arena stadium when the time comes. It’s possible for Monaco to visit Porto, do a tit-for-tat show and steal three points from right under their noses.
In football, everything can happen.
That being said, the way the UCL has been set up this year, teams will need plenty home wins to get out of the group stage alive. The away wins will only come as an “added advantage” to help teams finish top of their group and avoid the sharks in the second round.
Neymar has now been directly involved in 40 goals in 42 Champions League games in his career.
23 goals ⚽️
17 assists 🅰️
Huge involvement. pic.twitter.com/DtabvE18Jo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 27, 2017
As things stand, it’s hard to see teams like Barcelona, Manchester United, PSG, Beşiktaş, and Manchester City not qualifying from their group – not forgetting Chelsea and even Tottenham too. The good times must be returning for the English teams.
For sides like Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, the permutations for qualifying have gotten harder with their run of form – Liverpool currently have 2 points, Dortmund, 0 points, Atleti, 1 point.
Chelsea are the first English side to beat Atletico Madrid away from home in the Champions League.
Last kick of the game. pic.twitter.com/6Do7ukdIMl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 27, 2017
You see the point I’m trying to make here?
It’s Early Days but…
… the surprises have wasted no time in revealing themselves. The first on my surprise list has to be Tottenham. Simply put, their surprising performances and results have put them, surprisingly, above the Germans, Borussia Dortmund. That’s comprehensive enough.
I assumed the game against Celtic was “a stroll in the Celtic Park” for PSG. Then the French boys took things further in their game against Bayern Munich by showing the whole of Europe how to beat a team even if you’re seeing little next to nothing of the ball possession.
Sporting Lisbon 0 vs. Barcelona 1. Anybody else shocked by this result?
12 – Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 12 games for Man City in all comps (3 goals, 9 assists). Class. pic.twitter.com/apa6HHHwRF
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 26, 2017
I think another thing that the media isn’t telling is how Manchester City is one of the most confusing sides in this tournament. One minute, they’re losing all the available goal scoring opportunities. The next they’re winning the game a comfortable margin and also keeping a clean sheet.
This is a total contrast to Manchester United’s sheer brutality upfront – Porto’s too!
What else have you noticed about this year’s UEFA Champions League that the media hasn’t said too much about? Did you notice the awkwardness between Neymar and Cavani? What about the frustration visible on the faces of Robben and Ribery as they were benched in Paris?
Share your thoughts with me by leaving me a comment in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.