Wednesday and Thursday nights aren’t for doing tuts or revising school work. These are hallowed evenings, evenings that come with intense ritual. Organizing snacks that will last you 90min and halftime, loading an arsenal of statistics to use against your opponents, scheduling games in order of intensity and rivalry. This is the Champions League.
The UEFA Champions League is a competition featuring the best clubs across Europe, battling it out for supremacy. The group stages of this competition got underway this past week. Here’s what you missed.
Porto 1- Besiktas 3
A highly unlikely result for Portuguese powerhouse FC Porto, succumbing to a convincing defeat, at the hands of the Turkish champions. An uninspiring performance, saw Porto only score one, own goal and concede 3 from Brazilian dynamo Anderson Talisca, C Tosun and former Liverpool outcast Ryan Babel.
Man City 4- Feynoord 0
Off the back of humbling Liverpool with a 5-0 thrashing, The Citizens continued their electric form with this game with Jon Stones picking up a brace and Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus rounding off the scoring. Strangers to champions league success, the blue half of Manchester really seem like they’re quietly building a European force. Backed by Abu Dubai billions, not many can face the Citizens, it was a lot to expect the Dutch champions to compete but a night with no goals on target does raise some concern for Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s men.
Liverpool 2- Sevilla 2
Another day, another disappointment for Jurgen Klopp’s boys, and I say that in the most emasculating sense. A missed penalty from Sadio Mane compounded this after Sevilla took the lead early on from Wassim Ben Yedder. Perhaps still reeling from the weekends league game against City, Liverpool although energetic and full of commitment seemed to be lacking the focus required for a champions league team. Joe Gome’s red card ended a frustrating night for the boys from Merseyside.
Real Madrid 3- Apoel 0
Hala Madrid, Hala Madrid!!!! The reigning kings of Europe returned to their favourite competition with a modest 3-0 victory over Apoel Tel-Aviv. The mercurial marksman, Cristiano Ronaldo got the scoring started after some early pressure from the Israeli team. After that Los Blancos put on the pressure, a controversial penalty gave CR7 his brace. A penalty shout from the main man fell on deaf ears, but before the 90 ended, Sergio Ramos pulled home a scruff bicycle kick (if ever there was) and the match ended with Madrid sealing the 3 points.
Tottenham 3- Borussia Dortmund 1
An opening goal from Son started what would be the standout match of the Champions League. Intense and relentless both teams ran to the point of exhaustion. New boy Yarmalenko levelled for the Germans but a Harry Kane brace cancelled any hope of a comeback for Dortmund, maybe last season’s top scorer has finally found his shooting boots. A red card from Vertonghen may have put a damper on the evening but it was a satisfying night for Pochettino’s men.
At the end of Wednesday, it was safe to say that all appetites were satisfied. Other results included a 1-1 draw between Monaco and RB Leipzig and another draw between Spartak Moscow and Maribor. With the next round of group stages coming in tomorrow, the ritual continues until May next year.