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Champions League Game week 5: Review

Gameweek 5 see’s this year’s UEFA Champions League group stages almost done and dusted. With Tuesday nights games completed, the groups are starting to unfold and the round of 16 is beginning to take shape. Let’s look at what unfolded last night. 

Group E

Lazio vs Celtic 

One of last night’s early features saw Brendan Rodgers Celtic visit group E second place Lazio. With the Scottish side sitting bottom of their group, a win was needed for any chance of further European action this season. 

Celtic held their own for most of the game; despite denying the early pressure from the hosts, it was the Hoops number eight Kyogo Furuhashi who went close to breaking the deadlock. 

Lazio legend Ciro Immobile came off the bench in the 61st minute at 0-0 and it didn’t take him long to get on the scoresheet. Goals in the 82nd and 85th minute sealed the three points for Lazio, sending Celtic out of the group and leaving the Scottish side without a Champions League win in 15 games. Lazio are now through into the next round, although it is still undecided who will top the group. 

Feyenoord vs Atletico Madrid 

Elsewhere in Group E, Dutch side Feyenoord hosted group leaders Atletico Madrid. With the other result in the group already final, Arne Slot’s side had already been confirmed for the Europa League knockouts, however three points was a must for any hope of Champions League glory. 

Diego Simione’s men needed a win to go through to the round of 16 and an early own goal from the home side took Madrid into half time at 1-0 up.

Not long after the break it was Mario Hermoso with a brilliant, looped finish to double the away side’s lead, giving him his first goal of the campaign. 

Mats Wieffer later started a comeback for the hosts in the 77th minute; a header past Oblak gave the away side a concern, however another stroke of bad luck for Slot’s side came again just four minutes later when Santiago Gimenez scored another own goal, all but confirming the three points and qualification for Atletico. 

Group F

PSG vs Newcastle United 

It was agony in Paris for the travelling Geordie fans. Eddie Howe’s men have had a tough spell in their welcome back to Europe. Sitting on four points and bottom of their group before last night’s game, a win was a must for any chance of further European football. 

PSG had their work cut out as well, on only six points prior to the game and needing a win to boost their chances of going through, Luis Enrique’s men needed to be on their a-game. 

Alexander Isak put the away side in front after just 24 minutes, but it was PSG who were more dominant. Newcastle matched the homesides pressure for 90 minutes. It was Nick Pope and his backline who defended courageously throughout. 

PSG amounted over 30 shots through the game averaging a 4.47 xG, and it was in added time when they got their breakthrough. A controversial penalty was awarded after the ball glanced off youngster Livramentos arm when trying to stop the home side’s cross. Initially the referee waved away claims from the home side but after VAR sent him to check, it was given. Up stepped Mbappe who scored and sealed a draw for PSG.

The draw leaves it all still to play for. PSG stay second whilst Newcastle move up to third, needing a win and a slip up from the Paris side on the final matchday of the group stages for any further Champions League qualifications.

PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 28: Joelinton of Newcastle and Achraf Hakimi of PSG in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United FC at Parc des Princes on November 28, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

AC Milan vs Borussia Dortmund 

Dortmund needed a win last night to secure their last 16 chances, whilst Milan needed three points to keep their hopes alive. 

It was Stefano Pioli’s side who started quick out the blocks, winning a penalty in the opening 10 minutes. Ex-Arsenal striker Giroud stepped up, but it wasn’t to be for the Frenchmen. This miss set the tone for Milans night, instantly after it was the away side who were up the other end of the pitch earning themselves a penalty. This time Reus showed the fans how it was done.

It was all Dortmund until just before the break where Samuel Chukwueze, out of nowhere, levelled from the hosts. 

Dortmund continued to be the sharper side in the second half. In the 59th minute it was Jamie Bynoe-Gittens who ruined the home side’s chances, and just 10 minutes later his teammate Karim Adeymi who made it 3-1. 

Dortmund’s commanding victory sees them through to the next stage, and the rest of the group up for grabs. 

Group G

Manchester City vs RB Leipzig 

Pep Guardiola’s Man City were already out of their group as expected, however they still went about business as usual as they faced second place in their group.

City started a strong side and fans were hoping to see a business-as-usual performance from their team. However, Lois Openda stunned the crowd as he opened the scoring on 13 minutes, later doubling their lead 20 minutes later. 

After the break Phil Foden set up teammate Erling Haaland for his fifth goal of the campaign and after that he even added to the scoresheet himself for the equaliser on the 70th minute mark. 

Off the bench Julian Alvarez scored with three minutes remaining to put the home team in front, keeping their Champions League unbeaten run intact. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 28: Erling Haaland of Manchester City looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on November 28, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Young Boys vs Crvena zvezda 

Both sides were joint bottom coming into last night’s game, after only gaining one point each throughout their Champions League Campaigns so far. A win for either side would give them a good chance of securing Europa League football coming into the final game of the group stages. 

The away side, also known as Red Star Belgrade, came close early on through their number nine Cherif Ndiaye forcing the home side’s keeper into a good save early on. 

Fans were probably not expecting to witness any records broken last night however in the eighth minute the youngest player to ever score an own goal in Champions league history was Red Stars Kosta Nedeljkovic. 

The home team’s lead was doubled soon after, Lewin Blum’s low shot curled its way past the away side’s defenders, eventually finding its way into the corner. 

Red Star had their chances, manager Barak Bakhar won’t be happy with their three shots on target after producing 18 shots. 

Both sides’ Champions Leagues campaigns are over and head into their final games fighting for Europa League chances. 

Group H

A win for either side tonight would have secured their knockout round status. Both sides came into the game sitting on nine points in what is a tight group from first to third. 

Xavi’s side went 1-0 down after the half an hour mark with a goal from Pepe Aquino, but it wasn’t to be and only two minutes later a goal from full back Joao Cancelo put the home side back level. 

Cancelo wasn’t done for the night and later into the second half his cross found his fellow Portuguese teammate Joao Felix who finished for the winner. 

Porto couldn’t find anything else and a defeat at Barca leaves them needing just a point next time out vs Shakhtar Donetsk to join Xavi’s side in the last 16.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Antwerp 

A victory was needed for the Ukrainian side last night to stand a chance of progressing through to the next round. Europa League has already been confirmed due to Antwerp not managing a single point in this year’s competition so far.

Not long into the first half a winner was found, the home side’s Mykola Matviyenko scored a header in the 12th minute.

Although this may have proved to be a winner, Antwerp didn’t go down without a fight. Racking up 14 shots and enjoying more of the possession, they gave the home side a scare on numerous occasions; Antwerp striker Janssen forced the Shakhtar goalkeeper into save in the dying seconds. 

Antwerp had already exited the group however, Shakhtar head into the final game of the group needing a win over Porto to reach the last 16.  

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