Winners and losers of the Champions League


Thomas Tuchel
The newly-ish Chelsea manager handed the hardest test of his reign to date. The Blues’ solely victory got here against opposition from the top eight within the Premier League this season against West Ham however the Tuchel side made a quantity on La Liga leaders. Frank Lampard wouldn’t have gained that recreation 1-0.

A win and a clear sheet earned by depriving the ‘hosts’ one shot on target have been a minimum of Chelsea deserved and put them within the driving seat to advance by means of a round-16 tie the place they began as isdogs.

Definitely not a great end to the weekend. Tuchel’s first energy play he got here with the decision of Callum Hudson-Odoi in the course of the 1-1 draw with Southampton and Joe Cole warned the manager that he confronted a ‘great 24 hours’ with a squad as extremely delicate as Chelsea’s.

However Tuchel confirmed that he’s not one for grudges and Hudson-Odoi responded positively with a performance on the proper that displayed all of the ‘perspective’ and ‘vitality’ apparently missing from his recreation St Mary’s.

A lot of Chelsea’s depth was invested in stopping Atletico from breaking the counter attack and Hudson-Odoi, as a part of the Blues’ organized press, confirmed his willingness to graft and squeeze the life out of Diego Simone’s off-color of their own proper. half.

Atletico thrives on being the wounded animal, however Tuchel confirmed he is aware of easy methods to castrate Simeone’s side.

READ MORE: Chelsea: Ingenuity by Giroud, construction by Tuchel

Olivier Giroud
Tuchel’s religion in Giroud was evident earlier than the sport when the manager said: “It is clear, Oli is certainly the man for the last 20 meters.”

The veteran is Chelsea’s best front-center and when their formation requires an actual No. 9 presence, Giroud is definitely the man.

Didier Deschamps has identified, and but so many others have remained cautious of investing their religion within the striker who’s second solely to Thierry Henry in France’s all-time goalscorer list. For Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Lampard, Giroud had solely ever been a reluctant B. Plan.

With Tuchel’s belief, the annual withdrawal saga will not be Giroud’s future. The striker is 34, who within the trendy recreation dumps him within the ‘knackered’ bracket, however Giroud is unlikely to decelerate. It is getting higher.

“He’s coaching as a 20 year old, as a 24 year old player,” Tuchel said this week. Giroud netted 10 in 25 video games last season. His acrobatic bike kick, which maybe did not shock some with out a damaged hip, was Giroud’s eleventh goal in 22 video games to date this season.

Ought to he develop into a free agent, Giroud can have tireless offers. However he has all the time defined his satisfaction at Chelsea and the Blues ought to move rapidly to maintain him that method.

Cesar Azpilicueta
The old canine, on his approach to the ‘farm’ he returned to remind Chelsea followers what love for Chelsea seems to be like.

Bayern Munich
In order that’s why they’re champions of every little thing, and in all places.

Bayern haven’t been of their best type of late. Since including the FIFA Club World Cup to their different 5 titles, the Bavarians have been held at home by relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld and lost to Eintracht Frankfurt.

After they rocked up in Rome, apparently drained, their occasion lost the injured Serge Gnabry, Douglas Costa and Corentin Tolisso whereas Thomas Muller and Benjamin Pavard have been absent due to Covid.

Then they blew Lazio away with a surprising first half, and on the end Hansi Flick’s males have been maybe disappointed to be 3-0 up. When Niklas Sule danced down the proper wing within the thirty sixth minute, like a wardrobe performing a stepping over, the sport was up.

Lazio delivered a fourth to them instantly after the break, unable to maintain up with Leroy Sane and Alfonso Davies. Who can?

Flick is but to lose within the Champions League, winning 14 of its 15 video games on the helm, whereas Bayern set a new file of 17 unbeaten away matches within the competition. City and PSG could well be feeling a bit sensible about their prospects of winning their first European crown. However the occupants will take some change.

Robert Lewandowski
Bayern’s goal machine bagged his 73rd goal to overhaul Raul and move into third place within the European Cup full-time goalkeepers list. Solely Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have pointed out extra.

Lewandowksi now has 32 goals in 31 video games this season, and eight greater than his closest challenger throughout Europe’s top 5 leagues, having scored 42, 43, 41, 40 and 55 occasions within the earlier 5 campaigns.

Insane statistics.

Jamal Musiala
Musiala began for the European champions against Lazio on Tuesday night time and scored the opener in a 4-1 victory. On Wednesday, the victor introduced within the scrap between Germany and England for his loyalty. On Friday, he’ll celebrate his 18th birthday and sign a long-term deal with Bayern Munich.

What have you ever been doing this week?

City of Manchester
Nineteen consecutive wins now for City and one other new file.

And it was all very simply to Pep Guardiola’s side in Budapest. City spent many of the night time jabbing away at Marco Rose’s side, which regarded punchy even earlier than Bernardo Silva struck down within the first half. Gabriel Jesus wasted one wonderful alternative to bag a moment earlier than he stabbed Silva’s fall home just after the hour. However each side played the remaining half-hour just as happy with the end result.

When Ederson was forced to bar a shot by Hannes Wolf who served because the final kick of the sport, he ended a two-hour 21-minute interval within the Champions League the place City keeper did not should make a save. It’s now 916 minutes since they last surrendered in Europe.

Clearly the screw will turn on City because the later stages strategy. However throughout all competitions, City is in cruise management, with Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne back ought to they should put their foot on the fuel earlier than the final eight in six weeks.

Joao Cancelo
* googles ‘Are you able to shag a cross?’ *

City’s dominance did not convert to clear probabilities however, once more, in De Bruyne’s absence, left-cum-central midfielder Cancelo stepped in to fill the inventive void.

Claiming the help for Silva, and the pre-aid for Silva’s help, each sent from deep left, having flown completely – particularly the primary – to the far post.

Guardiola’s mission to Lahm-ify Cancelo has been one of many great successes of the season. Can the Portuguese continue to cowl so many facilities when City comes up with an equally formidable opposition past the following stage?

Ferland Mendy
An adventurous left-back made the identical distinction in stable performance for Real.

Mendy’s overdrive run drew Remo Freuler’s red card on 17 minutes however Zinedine Zidane’s exhausted side was bathroom flushing against 10 males. Atalanta, uncharacteristically however understandably, withdrew Real’s stress, with the guests rounding just three pictures on target till Mendy acquired a short corner, by way of Luka Modric.

On his weaker proper foot, the 25-year-old allegedly rocked and positioned his curling effort outside the post on the proper earlier than it curled comfortably back inside, well out of attain former Utd and Aston Villa goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.

It was Mendy’s second goal in 4 video games along with his swinger. With Lucas Hernandez set to take one of many left back spots within the French European Championship squad, the battle between Mendy and Lucas Digne for the opposite will probably be fascinating to look at all through the remainder of the season.

The Real Madrid playmaker has been head for the Bernabeu exit for so long as we will bear in mind. In the beginning of this month new reviews got here of a whole breakdown within the relationship between Isco and Zidane. However the Real coach, who could not fill his bench, gave the 28-year-old player an surprising alternative to shine in Bergamo.

With Karim Benzema nonetheless on the opposite side, Isco played like a faux striker in his solely start since November. It was a part of the sport’s pivotal moment, combining with Mendy to spark Freuler’s rash deal with, and within the first half, most of Real’s most promising play flowed by means of Isco.

It was a reminder that the 38-cap Spanish star nonetheless has one thing to offer – most certainly to a membership aside from Real Madrid.


Diego Simone
That is one win in 5 now for Atletico after three days that noticed their lead on the top of La Liga to three points (with a recreation in hand) and left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread. It is time for Simone to verify once more for these cojones.

Atletico appeared way more hesitant and cautious than they’ve been all through a lot of the season, particularly since Simeone switched to back three. After the tactical shift in November, Atletico gained 12 out of 13 league video games, dropping just one in 16 earlier than the loss to Levante on the weekend. However with out Kieran Trippier, Yannick Carrasco and Jose Gimenez on Tuesday, Simeone returned to back 4. Or six back because it turns out.

The Spanish Burnley suffered solely 37% of the ball, the place they this season in La Liga loved a possession benefit, averaging 52.4%. With so little of the ball that they had, they created nothing. Not a single shot on target for the primary time within the Champions League in two years.

Simeone was not in a temper to plunder his players for surrendering the enterprise to Chelsea. “For those who had instructed me in September that we’d lose this primary leg 1-0 and be on the top of the league, I might have definitely taken it,” he said in a clear try and hold the jitters at bay.

Atletico have 4 big La Liga video games earlier than they face Chelsea once more, with the Madrid derby first-against a second week on Sunday. Simeone must recreate the spirit that noticed Atletico battle brilliantly against the English opposition a year in the past.

Early losers: England miss out on record-breaking Musiala

Musiala grew to become the youngest Englishman to score within the Champions League on Tuesday night time. That was for 12 wild hours, earlier than the young man had pledged his allegiance to Germany, the country of his delivery.

Our loss.

Lazio waited 21 years to succeed in the knockout stages of the Champions League provided that they got here up against unbeaten Bayern.

But the Italians did not should be as beneficiant as their items. “They positively did not want our errors to make it even simpler for them,” admitted Simone Inzaghi.

“Sadly, we have said this week with the lads that we must always play our recreation. We felt the event was overkill, we have been full of stress against world champions, however we principally scored them three of the 4 goals. ”

Lazio’s errors unfold all through the team, with Inzaghi forwards abusing their runs or making the wrong alternative on the events they sprouted the Bayern press.

However, as Simone said: “It is already an achievement for us to be right here … our target was round 16.” Their subsequent one is to resume and refocus for the scrap for the top 4 in Serie A, with Lazio in sixth place just two points off Juve in third forward of their assembly subsequent week.

Atalanta and anybody tuning in
“The sport was ruined,” said Gian Piero Gasperini and Atalanta coach made a good point. Anybody watching at home 16 minutes earlier than a red card waft ended the match as deliberate.

Was Tobias Stieler proper to send Freuler away for stopping Mendy’s accusation within the common route of the ‘hosts’ goal? Mendy would have been ready to aim a shot on goal however the angle definitely would not have made for a sitter.

Gasperini felt compelled to make a broader point. “Last season, after full chaos, the handball rule was resolved. Now we now have the temptation to take away any type of contact in football and that is suicide for the game, ”he said.

“You wait so lengthy for this occasion and then it spills over. We could have lost anyway, I am not complaining concerning the end result, however no less than we might have played our recreation. ”

Because it was, light man, Atalanta was not in a position to flock Real as they deliberate. They rounded up just two pictures, their lowest in any Champions League match, with neither on target, which was additionally the Italians’ first on this competition.

Some hope for Gasperini: Atalanta’s away file ought to send them to the Bernabeu in additional optimistic pondering. They haven’t but gained at home within the Champions League this season, however have but to lose on their travels.

Borussia Monchengladbach
It could be harsh to be overly critical of Gladbach. However Rose’s side regarded bittersweet on the eighth Bundesliga side, making their first look within the knockout stages of the Champions League, difficult the all-time Premier League defeat of the last eight for the last eight years.

It took 53 minutes for Gladbach to win a free kick within the City half and, in line with the sample of every little thing that had gone earlier than, he went back. Which nearly instantly led to an excellent alternative that Gabriel Jesus blinded him to.

It wasn’t as if Yann Sommer’s goal was full of City pictures. Solely as soon as in City’s 19-game winning run has Guardiola’s side recorded fewer pictures on target than the 4 they compiled last night time. City’s xG was 1.60. However they have been completely dominant, with Gladbach’s solely risk coming with actually the final kick of the sport.

Gladbach’s greater concern than the return clause subsequent month is discovering their method back to the Champions League subsequent season. Unbeaten in three earlier than tonight and 9 points off the top 4, they face RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen of their subsequent three video games at Bundesliga.

Pep stylist
The worst clobber since Tuxedo Michael Owen’s Texas.


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