Matchday five is in the books, and what a matchday it was:
– Barcelona were eliminated thanks to Inter being, well, better than them.
– Liverpool put three past Ajax but Darwin Nunez still managed to miss an open net.
– And Napoli continued to score goals at an alarming rate.
Here’s a recap of all of the action.
The current best team in Europe scored their 18th, 19th and 20th goals of the Champions League group stages in yet another comfortable win on Wednesday evening.
Two first half goals from Giovanni Simeone and a wonderful header from Leo Ostigard in the 80th minute (look it up, it’s worth a watch) were enough for Napoli as they cruise to yet another win.
Jurgen Klopp’s men booked their place in the knockout rounds thanks to a professional outing in Amsterdam.
Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott got the goals for the Reds as the made Ajax rue a number of glaring misses throughout the course of the 90 minutes. None were quite as glaring as Nunez’s miss on the stroke of half-time though, when he opted to hit the post instead of side-footing the ball into an empty net from six-yards out.
The Champions League’s surprise package for the season were thoroughly beaten by Porto in the ‘fairy-tale of a f**kin’ town’ Brugge.
The Portuguese giants ran out 4-0 winners on the night, with Mehdi Taremi (2x), Evanilson and Stephan Eustaquio getting the goals that propelled Porto into the knockout rounds at Atletico Madrid’s expense.
It really wasn’t a great night for La Liga sides.
Atletico Madrid will join Barcelona in the Europa League in the New Year after finishing behind Club Brugge and Porto in Group B. The only team they finished ahead of was Leverkusen, who were 2-1 up in this game before Rodrigo De Paul grabbed a second half equaliser.
The biggest story of the matchday came courtesy of Inter’s thumping 4-0 win over Viktoria Plzen at San Siro.
Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Edin Dzeko (2x) and Romelu Lukaku ensured Inter’s spot in the round of 16 and, more importantly, Barca’s place in the Europa League for a second successive season.
The ultimate misery compiler.
Having already been knocked out of the Champions League, Barcelona fans at Camp Nou were forced to watch their side get battered by Bayern Munich.
Even Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting managed to score.
Not a great look for a team who spent close to a trillion euros on new players over the summer.
Last season’s Europa League winners kept their Champions League dreams alive with an impressive 2-1 win over Marseille.
Daichi Kamada and Randal Kolo Muani cancelled out Matteo Guendouzi’s 22nd minute goal to send the Germans into third place in the group – one point clear of Marseille and behind Sporting CP on head-to-head record.
As our resident Tottenham correspondent Sean Walsh attests, this game was a bit mental – particularly the end of it.
Former Tottenham man Marcus Edwards gave Sporting a shock lead in the first half, thanks in large part to Spurs just fully not showing up, before Rodrigo Bentancur squeezed home an equaliser in the second half when Spurs decided to show up.
The madness then really ensued in the final minute of the game. After a three minute review, a Harry Kane goal was adjudged to have been offside, despite Emerson Royal heading the ball backwards in the lead up (though apparently this didn’t matter, so we’ll be reviewing the offside rule tomorrow).
Antonio Conte obviously cracked up at this decision and was promptly sent off with Spurs missing the chance to secure their place in the round of 16.