Sport Recaps

The UEFA Champions League Group Stage Recap

In a dramatic last night of the Champions League, we saw last-minute goals and previous winners scrap through. Overtime Sports look at who made it and who fell short.

Group A

Defending champions, Bayern Munich, were always going to be the favourite in a group containing Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg, and Lokomotiv Moscow. The German powerhouses, fuelled with talent, swept through Group A, alongside Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow will come away from this campaign with little to shout about. Salzburg head to the Europa League as a consolation and Moscow head out of the Champions League for 2020.

Group B

A group that ended much closer than expected, causing many shocks along the way. Real Madrid did finish top, however, Shakhtar Donetsk, who finished 3rd in the group managed to remarkably do the double over the “Galacticos” in some style. Borussia Monchengladbach was the other team to make it through and despite losing their last two games of the group stage, they had a pretty successful time. The shock of the group was from Antonio Conte’s blue and black striped Inter Milan who against all odds finished bottom of the group.

Group C

Once again, Manchester City was fairly lucky with their group stage draw and only had to face Porto, Olympiacos and Marseille. Only conceding one goal in their campaign, they finished unbeaten and only dropped points in a 0-0 draw with Porto, who were the other side to progress on 13 points. Olympiacos and Marseille will want to put this experience behind them quickly, however, at least Olympiacos have the constellation of a Europa League spot.

Group D

This group contained the winners of the Champions League from the 2019 campaign, Liverpool. With Atalanta and Ajax also in their group, it was a matter of who would finish 2nd. Despite FC Midtjylland picking 2 points up in their final two games, this is all they would get as they lost their 4 previous games. In the end, Liverpool comfortably qualified through and the 2nd spot was decided on the final day. After an Ajax red card 10 minutes before the end, Atalanta took full advantage and scored a late winner to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

Group E

This was another of the groups where there was only going to be 2 teams in a 4-horse race. Chelsea and Sevilla ran off into the distance early on and even just halfway through the group stage, they were both almost mathematically through. Chelsea asserted dominance over Sevilla in an affair which saw Chelsea win 4-0 and so secured them top of the group. On the same night, Krasnodar played Rennes in a game which would ultimately determine who

finished in a Europa League spot; in a tight contest, Krasnodar scored a late winner to progress though.

Group F

Borussia Dortmund led the charge in Group F and finished top, ahead of Lazio, Club Brugge and Zenit St. Petersburg. But who would achieve 2nd place? Zenit was soon out of the conversation and ended their campaign on just one point; Club Brugge and Lazio left it to the final day when they played in Rome, Italy. Brugge did not help themselves as they received a 1st half red card and despite a late fightback, they could not find a winner.

Group G

The group named ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ with Juventus and Barcelona alongside Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros. It was a battle between the Spanish and Italien giants.  Barcelona won the 1st game against Juventus 2-0 back in October, however, on the final game, Barcelona would need just one point to finish top against the Bianconeri, but Koeman’s Barca was humiliated by Juventus 3-0.

Group H

This was probably the most eventful group of this season and ended in style. After the first 4 games, the red devils were sat comfortably on 9 points ahead of Rb Leipzig and PSG on 6 points, with Istanbul on 3. However, the collapsed and lost their last 2 games and were 3-0 down against Leipzig with 20 minutes to play. Despite a close comeback, the game ended Leipzig 3-2 United and PSG beat Istanbul on the final day which secured their spot.

Top Scorer

There are 4 players currently tied on 6 goals after 6 games: Erling Haaland, Alvaro Morata, Neymar, and Marcus Rashford. 3 of these players will be looking to win the golden boot, however, Rashford is unable to as they have exited the competition.

Top Assists

Juan Cuadrado has been thriving in his wing-back role for Juventus on the right-hand side and has picked up 5 assists, the most so far this season in the Champions League. With Juventus expected to go quite far into the competition, he will want to improve this tally. In second place is, of course, Kevin De Bruyne and despite having by what his standards is a poor season.

%d bloggers like this: