Today marks Matchday 6, as well as the final day of competition for the UEFA Champions’ League group stages, and goals were not in short supply. A quick refresher of the teams that already punched their tickets to the knockout stages.
Representing group A – leaders Manchester United and FC Basel. Man U handled group-play pretty well, with their only loss coming from the runners-up Basel. Group B – PSG, and Bayern Munich. Two tough squads that will be an unlucky draw for any team come Monday. Group C – Roma, and Chelsea. Maybe a surprise to some that Roma came on top of the group with Chelsea being so consistent, but if Real from last year is any indication of surprise teams, you do not need to win the group to win it all. Group D – Barcelona and Juventus. Messi and co. are pretty, pretty good at soccer. The same can be said about the old ladies.
For today’s action, Groups E consisting of the 1st place Liverpool flexed on Spartak Moskva today putting up 7 goals. Spartak sat in 3rd but had the chance to jump Sevilla, in the unlikely event of a Maribor victory or Draw (0-2-2 / -13 GD). And While Maribor held up its end of the bargain, the Moscow-based team took a page out of the Russian Olympic Federations book and will not be invited to play in 2018’s big competition.
While the top and bottom of Group F were firmly secured, the biggest surprise from this grouping came as the trending Napoli snuck into the round of 16 on goal differential as they pulled out a victory from the winless Feyenoord. Just kidding, Napoli handed the team from the Netherlands their only win in group and Shakhtar stole the surprise 3pts from City (Its first loss in all competitions).
Group G featured two teams, Porto and Leipzig, who were tied going into this final day of play. The Bundesliga 2nd place team Leipzig faced off against group leaders Besiktas. Whereas Porto squared off against table losers Monaco, in a game that featured two red cards and seemed close, the Portuguese side did not pull any punches and knocked out both Monaco and Leipzig.
Group H was arguably one of the hardest drawings (maybe still group C) in the competition, featuring huge clubs like Tottenham, Real Madrid, and Dortmund. While nobody expected much from Apoel (0-2-4) in group play, it is more surprising that Dortmund mirrored their success and came away from the group stage winless.
Best of luck to all the third place teams invited to the Europa league. You may not be happy, but the competition will be getting significant star power. Set your alarm clocks because the round of 16 drawing is set for Monday the 11th at 6:00 am ET! Play to start the 13th of February.
Tune in later this week for Room Tekkers’ 5 best goals of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.