After two games, Atletico, Barcelona, Napoli and Leicester are the only teams with a 100% record. The English champions are on the way to a brilliant performance, as they can qualify into next stage of UEFA Champions League on their debut. But apart from goals, drama and two Spanish-German derbies, we need to emphasize five clear points:
- Atletico is still a nemesis for the clubs with the attacking philosophy. Barcelona drew at Camp Nou last week (1-1) while Bayern felt again the passion of Diego Simeone who managed to close spaces, annihilate the team play of the German champions and even afford to miss a penalty. 1-0 for Atletico after a frustrating game for Bayern, another victory at Vicente Calderon for the “giant killers” and some question marks for Carlo Ancelotti.
- If you watch Borussia Dortmund, you need popcorn and beers. They attack, they pass like maniacs and you won’t get bored at any point. But, at the same time, they still have a weak defensive line. Real Madrid knew this and their experience was important as Ronaldo and Varane converted 2 out of their 4 shots on target. On the other side, Aubameyang, Dembele and Gotze missed important chances to beat the European Champions. The two teams remain favorites to qualify from this group but Sporting is a very tough opponent to face, especially at home.
- Leicester – another miracle in progress? The “Wolves” had suffered two severe defeats in Premier League as Manchester United and Liverpool trashed the side managed by Claudio Ranieri after convincing wins (5-1 and 4-1) in the last two weeks. In Europe, Leicester faced Brugge (Belgium) and FC Porto (Portugal) and won both matches without receiving a goal. They have a big chance to qualify in the last 16 stage and people might start dreaming about another unexpected scenario. Although everything is possible, the quality of the opponents faced by Leicester is nowhere near to the value of top dogs from Premier League or Europe.
- All to play between Monaco, Leverkusen and Spurs. Monaco was outplayed by Bayer Leverkusen although so many bookies offered a good odd for a victory of the hosts. In the 70th minute, the stats were against the French side : 2-7 shots at target, 0-2 shots on target. Hernandez easy header was annulled by the late goal from Glik, who equalised in the last minute of added-time. And now, the stake is even higher because Tottenham won in Moscow and the fight for the two spots seems open for a battle between the three teams. It might all be decided in the next four games, as AS Monaco plays against CSKA while Tottenham faces Bayer Leverkusen. Advantage Monaco, as they won at Tottenham and drew at home with Leverkusen.
- Can Barcelona face Manchester City without Messi? The La Liga champions struggled to score and missed big chances against Monchengladbach. There seems to be a small crisis in the attack of the Catalans. Alcacer is still far from the level demanded by the tradition of this huge club but the luck of Luis Enrique is a very good bench as Arda Turan came as a substitute and made an immediate impact after equalising with a power shot. In three weeks time, it is Barcelona vs Manchester City and it will be interesting to see the duel between two creations of Pep Guardiola. Can Barca win without Messi? (if the Argentinian won’t recover from injury). Without a doubt, not with the current attacking form.