Day 2 of the UEFA Champions League, UCL, Group stage was concluded on Wednesday and there were statements of intent from various clubs. We look at seven who by their performance on Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to be among the eight last 16 teams.
PSG 3-0 Bayern Munich
Neymar was bought for nights like this and the costliest player in the world applied the Coup de Grace in the 63rd minute. PSG thus walloped 5-time UCL winners, Bayern, in their first big test of the season. Carlo Ancelotti is now under intense pressure and may not last until December if the fortune of the Bavarians does not change very soon.
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Chelsea
No English team had ever defeated Atletico on their own patch but Chelsea accomplished that feat on Wednesday with the last kick of the ball. And it was not a fluke victory, as the English champions thoroughly deserved their victory having had more attempts at goal. It was also commendable that the Blues came from a goal down to achieve the result. Antonio Conte has never won the UCL as a manager but with this showing, he is almost ready for that final push.
Manchester City 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
City are full of pep and are making the game look easy with the number of goal scoring chances created and the goals scored. Against the Ukraine champions, it was a bit tough but they finally found a way. Winning the EPL would be in the game plan but the ultimate prize for the Qatari owners is the UCL and they are well on their way to the last 16, where anything is possible.
CSKA Moscow 1-4 Manchester United
It was supposed to be a tough task in cold Moscow but it turned into a stroll for Jose Mourinho and his boys. Romelu Lukaku continued his scoring streak and it is looking ominous for United’s opponents with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing from the team at this point. They are looking powerful, fast and potent – all ingredients needed to claim the biggest prize in club football.
Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Real Madrid
They are the defending champions but they have never been comfortable in Germany, especially at the Signal Iduna Park. But on Tuesday, a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and a sweet volley from the much-maligned Gareth Bale gave the Rojiblancos a 3-1 win over the Bundesliga leaders. They might not be doing well in La Liga but in the UCL, they will take some stopping.
Besiktas 2-0 RB Leipzig
Beating Porto on matchday 1 was a surprise but following it up with a dominant display in the 2-0 win over Leipzig was a statement of intent. The Turkish champions are well built and strong and now hold the aces in Group G, where they were expected to be fighting for the crumbs of the Europa League. Experience runs right through their ranks with Pepe and former Barcelona man, Adriano in defence; Ricardo Quaresma and Atiba Hutchinson in midfield with Alvaro Negredo and Ryan Babel, leading their attack.
Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Barcelona
Though it was not their flowing best and no wonder goal from Lionel Messi, Barcelona went to the Estadio Jose Alvalade and got all three points, even though it was an own goal. The Catalans are yet to concede in a group that also has Juventus and Olympiacos, which makes it very probable, they will be in the round of 16.
The round of 16 is for the crème de la crème and the seven teams mentioned above have taken two victories each from the opening two games to solidify their credentials for the next stage. But as they say in football, all things are possible until the fat lady sings.
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