UEFA Champions League Matchday 2 Talking Points: Manchester United and Real Madrid in dilemma?
Written by: Neil Talnikar
Neymar scored an excellent hat-trick for Paris Saint-Germain in a 6-1 rout of Red Star Belgrade at the Parc des Princes.
The Gameweek 2 of the Champions League brought in some surprises as a few big teams were made to suffer against relatively smaller ones. Amongst these were particularly Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Nevertheless, the other big guns enjoyed a comfortable time as AS Roma thrashed Viktoria Plzen 5-0, while a Ronaldo-less Juventus enjoyed a routine 3-0 win against Young Boys, thanks to a hattrick from Paulo Dybala. Neymar scored a brilliant hat-trick for Paris Saint-Germain in a 6-1 rout of Red Star Belgrade back at the Parc des Princes. On the other hand, Manchester City sealed a hard-fought away victory at TSG Hoffenheim, thanks to a late strike from David Silva.
In this article, we at Khel Now, analyze the five talking points observed from Gameweek 2:
5. Ajax savour a huge point against misfiring Bayern
The Dutch outfit had more attempts on goal than the home team
Ajax continued with its great run of form this season as they earned a draw away at Bayern Munich. The Amsterdam-based club which stands second in the Eredivisie showed an outstanding display against a struggling Bayern side as they enjoyed more attempts on goal than the home team.
Noussair Mazraoui cancelled out Mats Hummels opener in the first half and the scoreline remained until the full-time whistle. The result means that Ajax now stand at top of their group surging ahead of Bayern on goal difference.
4. Messi on route to take Barcelona towards the knockout stages
In a high scoring match, Barcelona brushed past Tottenham courtesy to strikes from Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and a fantastic brace by none other than Lionel Messi. An away fixture, this was supposed to be a tough week for the Catalans but they easily bagged a win against a might Spurs side.
Messi’s brace makes him only the second player to have 30 career multi-goal games in the Champions League behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
3. Depleted Real Madrid crash in the Bernabeu
It is unusual to see Real Madrid lose to a mere CSKA Moscow side in the group stages as they currently stand second in the UCL table equal in points with third-placed Roma. It seems so that the Los Blancos have not yet recovered from the loss of their star man Cristiano Ronaldo who left the club in the summer.
Interestingly, Madrid are currently facing a goal drought which shows that they have gone 319 minutes without scoring a goal. Under Julen Lopetegui, the Blancos haven’t found a win in the last three games played which explains an absolute poor run of form.
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2. Liverpool’s recent run of form going to hurt their Champions League adventure?
The Reds were second best in their loss to Napoli
Liverpool started the season excellently as they went on to win all of their first 6 fixtures in all competitions. However, a League Cup loss and another draw against Chelsea, and the recent 1-0 loss away at Napoli in the UCL means that the Reds have lost their form. In the match against the Italian side, Liverpool weren’t as strong as they were during last Gameweek against PSG.
The attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane had yet another disappointing display. Jurgen Klopp might start worrying about the team’s performance as they clearly looked a shadow of themselves from last year.
1. Manchester United’s woes continue in Champions League with a stalemate at home
The pressure on manager Jose Mourinho keeps building as Manchester United were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Valencia at the Old Trafford. The Red Devils’ chances’ this season both, in Champions League as well as in the English Premier League are in jeopardy.
Yet to find a win in three games, United face a difficult job ahead of this season with Mourinho already facing a lot of criticism from the fans, critics and the players. They require a serious change in their game tactics and formation. It is high time for the manager to get his team back on track otherwise news of him getting sacked wouldn’t be surprising.
Published: Thu Oct 04, 2018 03:55 PM IST