KARACHI: After witnessing the second day of the current UEFA Champions League campaign, some thrilling encounters including some high-class football from different parts of Europe need to be recounted.
Just like last week, The Express Tribune brings you the tops and flops of the first playoff round’s week two in the Europe’s elite football competition.
The first winner of the week is Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic, who showed a much improved performance against Premier League leaders Manchester City in a six-goal thriller on Wednesday at Celtic Park.
The star of the show for the Scottish giants was former Fulham striker Moussa Dembele, who scored a brace against sluggish City defense, which made them concede more than one goal for the first time in the season.
However, the former Liverpool boss must be utterly disappointed that his team could not hold on to the lead three times in the match, and the match ended in a draw.
Next in the list of tops are the defending Premier League champions Leicester City, who registered their first ever victory at King Power Stadium in the Champions League on Tuesday against Portuguese giants FC Porto.
Coming on the back of a humiliating defeat against Manchester United at the weekend, Claudio Ranieri’s men showed great composure throughout the match.
The star of the show was goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who made some crucial saves for the Foxes in the second half, making sure that his team finished the night on top of group G.
Third in the list of tops are Spain’s Atletico Madrid, who showcased a splendid performance against German giants Bayern Munich and emerged victorious at Estadio Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.
It was Carlo Ancelotti’s first defeat as the Bayern boss; his team never looked in control and caught out defensively on more than one occasion.
As a result, Diego Simeone’s men secured another clean sheet against a top quality opposition.
First in the list of flops are Premier League table leaders Manchester City, who failed to win a crucial match against Celtic at a venue that has traditionally proved tough for the visiting side.
However, City are the more in-form team in England and they were coming up against a side that was thrashed 7-0 in their last outing in the competition against Barcelona.
Even though City made a comeback three times in the game, the team’s defensive problems were on show for the very first time under Guardiola’s regime.
In a group where City are up against European giants Barcelona, dropping points against any other opposition will not go down well for their chances in the next stage of the tournament.
Next in the list of flops include Russian club CSKA Moscow, who were beaten at home against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.
The Krasno-sinie had a vital opportunity to strengthen their position in the group after achieving a vital draw away from the home in the first match against German club Bayern Leverkusen.
However, Spurs dominated the match from the word go and Moscow never looked in control. The worrying aspect for CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky would be the lack of intent from his side, who managed just six shots on goal compared to 16 from Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Last on the list are German giants Bayern Munich, who had a night to forget at Estadio Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men were thoroughly outclassed in pretty much every department of the game, as they had to face their first defeat of the season.
Ancelotti’s biggest worry after the match would be the midfield, where Xabi Alonso and Aturo Vidal had a poor outing.
The former Real Madrid manager should consider his team lucky — the result could have been worse had Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann not missed the penalty in the 84th minute.
The defeat should serve a warning sing to the Bundesliga giants, who had a comfortable run of five consecutive victories in the league competition so far.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ