The final round of the group stages (groups E-H) has ended with 15 out of 16 teams qualifying to the next round. The remaining team will be either between Atalanta and Villareal who’s game was postponed due to snow. Other than this the champions league surprises never end, not today at least.
Champions League Surprises
Group E- Barcelona To The Europa League
After losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich, again, Barcelona are set to play in the Europa League after finishing third. This result has indeed made Barcelona fans all around the world devastated to see their team fail to qualify for the next round of the Champions League. The loss was expected for Xavi’s Barcelona as he took over the team after a series of terrible results under the previous managers. Barcelona should look at the Europa League in a positive way. It could be a great opportunity for Barcelona to improve, especially young players who could gain more experience and grow bigger as players. Barcelona winning this trophy could boost their morale for the following seasons.
On the other hand, Portuguese giants Benfica recorded a 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv. This victory, alongside Barcelona defeat, allowed them to finish in second place and head off to the next round.
Group F- Manchester United Advance, While Atalanta And Villareal Wait
Manchester United ends this group as leaders and head off to the round of 16. After a 1-1 draw with Young Boys the English side allocated 11 points. The game saw several big players missing out due to the manager, Ralf Rangnick. wanting to give them some rest. That didn’t stop wonder-kid Mason Greenwood from scoring a wonder goal. Manchester United have now their main focus set on the Premier League where they have relatively easy matches in the upcoming weeks.
As for Atalanta and Villareal, not much can be said due to the game being postponed after snow hit the city of Bergamo. Both teams are looking to face each other on another day to reserve the last ticket to the round of 16.
Group G- Sevilla Fail To Qualify In A Massive Surprise
After losing 1-0 to Austrian team Salzburg, Sevilla’s Champions League campaign ends in them finishing in third place and moving on to Europa League. This was a surprise for football fans as Sevilla’s group looked easy on paper. However, mistakes here and there cost them the qualification. Similar to Barcelona, Sevilla are on their way to the Europa League which they carry the record for most titles with six.
In the other game between Lille and Wolfsburg which ended 3-1 to French side Lille, Bayern Munich became the only German team to qualify for the round of 16 after both Dortmund and Wolfsburg underperformed in the group stages, Wolfsburg campaign was not a total failure. After all, the team has not played in this tournament since a while now and they have been through troubles in the past few years. This years’ edition of the Champions League can be looked at as a way of gaining more experience in such tournaments for Wolfsburg.
Group H- Zenit Gifts Juventus The Number One Spot In The Group
After a great game for neutral football fans between Zenit and Chelsea which, which ended 3-3, Chelsea drop down to second place two points behind Juventus. Goals from Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku weren’t enough to end the group in number one. A 94th minute goal from Zenit put all Chelsea fans in awe of what they have witnessed. Chelsea could now face tough opponents in the round of 16.
After winning 1-0 against Malmo. Juventus unexpectedly ends the group as leaders. This achievement will now put Juventus and their manager Massimiliano Allegri in less pressure, and this will help them to put most of their focus on improving their position in the league.
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