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Shocking Qualifications in the European Competitions

The top English teams, one way or another, all qualified for the next stage of the Champions and Europa Leagues. However, United were the only team get a bad result from their last group stage march .

Manchester City topped group F, five points clear of second-place Lyon after defeating Hoffenheim 2-1. LeRoy Sane scored both of their goals.

The other English teams all finished their group in second place. Liverpool crucially defeated Napoli with a clean sheet, with a single goal from Salah, to qualify for the knockout stages. Napoli, who was leading group C, ended up finishing in third place and failed to qualify.

Tottenham also achieved the impossible. They qualified after drawing 1-1 with Barcelona. This result was crucial as, like Liverpool, they finished on the same points and with the same goal difference as the team they were grappling with.

Man United also managed to qualify, but less sensationally. They lost 2-1 against Valencia, with Jones netting an own goal for the opposition.

Arsenal topped their Europa League group after defeating Qarabag 1-0 with a goal from Lacazette. Chelsea topped their group, seven points clear of second place after drawing with MOL Vidi. However, Morata woefully obtained a knee injury during the match.

After an interesting start to the European competitions, it will be interesting to see just how far the English teams can go.

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The Top English teams perform well in their Champions League fixtures apart from Liverpool

After playing against Arsenal and gaining points from them, many teams tend to go on to lose their following few matches. This was the case with Liverpool, who drew an intense game against the Gunners last weekend. While other Premier League teams got a good result in their European matches, Liverpool failed to.

Liverpool Lost 2-0 to Red Star Belgrade. Pavkov scored two goals in the 22nd and 29th minute to secure a win for the team currently at the bottom of group C. Due to this defeat, Liverpool are joint on six points with the group leaders, Napoli, but only two points away from the bottom of the table. Their entrance into the next round is far from confirmed.

This is also true for Tottenham who are only have a slight possibility of make it to the knockout stages. In just the second minute of their match, Spurs were 1-0 down against PSV Eindhoven. If this was the end result, Tottenham would have been out of the Champions League. Luckily, Kane managed to score two late goals, rescuing their Champions League chances.

A similar miraculous turnaround was made by Manchester United. Juventus were strong opposition and took the lead against United when Cristiano Ronaldo netted a goal in the 65th minute. Mata, however, managed to equalise for United in the 86th minute and, just three minutes later, Lobo Silva netted an own goal to give Mourinho’s team the victory.

Although that was shocking, Manchester City found a way to overshadow United’s success. They thrashed Shakhtar 6-0 in what was their biggest Champions League win yet. Gabriel Jesus got a hat trick, converting two penalties and scoring an extra time goal. Unsurprisingly, City are topping group F and are very likely to make it to the next stage.

The Premier League giants are showing much more resolve and resilience in Europe this season. Liverpool have not been quite as strong as their fellow English clubs, with Manchester City appearing to be far beyond their level. The Reds looked appeared to have a strong team at the beginning of the season, but time seems to be exposing some wear and tear.

And it continues

Most teams seem to have a trend that they have set for themselves and can not break. The results of the Champions League and Europa League matches proves this.

Manchester City continue being the pride of Manchester after they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0. They are currently topping group F and, with the spectacular football they are playing, it does not look like they will be moving from that position.

Mourinho, on the other hand, is still struggling to keep United afloat. His team lost 0-1 to Juventus after conceding a goal to Dybala. Perhaps the worse thing about it all was that it was Ronaldo, a former United legend, who assisted the goal.

Tottenham also failed to win their Champions League match, drawing 2-2 with PSV Eindhoven. Spurs are 3rd in group B and only have 1 point. It is extremely unlikely that they will progress into the knockout stages.

Instead, they will end up in Europa League, a competition in which the London clubs are excelling in. Having won their Premier League match against Leicester (3-1) to enter into the top four, Arsenal continued their winning spree.

The Gunners remain top of group E after defeating Sporting 1-0, with a goal from Welbeck in the 77th minute. They have now won 11 games in a row in all competitons.

Chelsea are also topping their group, and very comfortably at that. A hattrick from Loftus-Cheek secured their win against BATE Borisov.

Generally, the teams doing well can not stop performing well; but those performing poorly seem stuck in a rut. Mourinho, without a doubt, is now a very frustrated manager.

The Struggle is Real

Once again, we have English teams that are struggling to compete in the Champions League. Apart from Manchester City, no other Premier League team managed to win their match.

Manchester City came from behind to defeat Hoffenheim 2-1. Belfodil gave City’s opponents the lead in the very first minute of the match!

However, the shock was dealt with well by Aguero who equalised for City in the 7th minute. Silva eventually managed to net the winner in the 87th.

Unfortunately, Manchester United failed to do the same. They ended their game against Valencia with a goalless draw. United are still in the top two of group H, but such a result has served to increase the pressure on manager Mourinho.

Liverpool almost managed to maintain a draw against Napoli, until they conceded a very late goal. Insigne netted a goal for Napoli in the 90th minute, allowing Liverpool’s opponents to steal all three points from the game!

Unsurprisingly, Barcelona crushed Tottenham 4-2. Coutinho gave Barcelona the lead in only the second minute of the match. Despite goals from Kane and Lamela, the famous Messi was still netting goals for Barcelona up until the 90th minute.

Spurs still have no points, and it is looking unlikely that they will progress to the next stage of the Champions League. If this becomes the case, they will be joining Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa League.

This might not be such a bad thing. Both the Gunners and the Blues have been performing well and are topping their groups. Chelsea defeated MOL Vidi 1-0 with a goal from Morata in the 70th minute; and Arsenal, using mostly academy players, defeated Qarabag 3-1! Incredible!

Perhaps the Chanpions League is just too big a test for the Premier League teams. The Europa League, however, is definitely not.

New Competition

Manchester United and Manchester City both played their first Champions League match of the season against Young Boys and Lyon respectively.

Despite the pressure Young Boys put on United at the start of the match, they failed to score a goal. In fact, it was not long before they conceded a goal and kept on conceding.

Pogba gave United the lead in the 35th minute. He then doubled this lead after converting a penalty in the 44th. The final goal was netted by Martial in the second half.

Manchester United might have been victorious, but City could not say the same. They conceded two goals in the first half, and only managed to get one goal back in the second half.

It could be taken into consideration that City’s manager, Pep Guardiola was serving a touchline ban and could not give directions to his team. Instead, he watched woefully from the stands.

Manchester United are perching at the top of group H, above Juventus on goal difference; whereas, City are sitting at the bottom of group F. It is clear that playing in Europe is a completely different ballgame to playing domestic matches.

No Change There

Tottenham and Liverpool played their first Champions League match of the season against Inter Milan and Paris Saint Germain respectively. However, they left their matches with very different results.

Spurs began well but, suddenly, ended poorly. Eriksen gave them the lead in the 53rd minute. They would never have guessed that Icardi would equalise for Inter in the 85th minute or that Vecino would score the winning goal for the opposition in extra time! What a turnaround!

Liverpool had a similar scare in their match against PSG but, in the end, they overcame their opponents. Sturridge gave Liverpool the lead in the 30th minute and, just six minutes later, Milner successfully converted a penalty to double their lead.

The Reds had much more momentum and pace than their opposition. Somehow, they still managed to conceded two goals, from Meunier (40′) and Mbappé (83′). Despite the blow, Liverpool kept persisting and, in extra time, Roberto Firmino netted the winning goal. The three points were well and truly deserved!

Tottenham have now lost three games in a row in all competitions, their last Premier League one being against Liverpool. While it is all going wrong for them; everything seems to be going right for Liverpool.

TROUBLE AHEAD

After the Champions League draw and the League Cup draw, many top teams will have difficult games ahead.

For the Carabao cup third-round Liverpool and Chelsea, two Premier League giants are set to face each other. A few days later, they will then play each other again for the Premier League!

Surrounding Liverpool’s matches against Chelsea are their Champions League game against PSG and Premier League match against Manchester City. They have a tough period ahead.

Tottenham are in the same group as Barcelona in the Champions League, so Liverpool will not be the only English team to face international challenges.

As the football season progresses, more and more teams are having to confront the demands of this greulling sport.

City in Ruins

Manchester City, the Premier League leaders, have had a massive change in fortune over the past two week. After a dismaying run of losses they are out of the Champions League, and have not yet been able to officially claim Premier League trophy.

Last week, Manchester City loss 3-0 to Liverpool in the first leg of their quarter finals Champions League match. It was a fantastic display by the Reds, who had already defeated Manchester City in an earlier Premier League match this season. Many were undoubtedly left wondering what the secret was to beating the mighty Manchester team which only Liverpool seemed to know.

It was during the weekend in which many realised there was no secret. The secret was out! Manchester United defeated City too! In a spectacularly derby match, Manchester City had the opportunity to officially claim the PL title by beating their local rivals United. They went 2-0 up in the first half and had many more opportunities to extend their lead.

However, in the second half, the game changed entirely. Two goals from Pogba within the space of two minutes put the teams level! Then a final goal from Smalling in the 69th minute gave United their unexpected and uproar-worthy win! City will most likely still go on to win the Premier League as they are 13 points clear at the top of the table. However, Mourinho was simply not going to let them claim it by beating his team!

The distress at City was worsening, and matters were not made any better by Liverpool in the second leg of the CL match. City began scoring early, with a goal from Jesus in the second minute of the game. They needed to score two more goals to have a chance to progress in the competition. They actually managed to score a second goal before the end of the first half, but it was wrongly disallowed.

Guardiola was so outraged at the officials that he had to be sent to the stands for the second half of the match. This was when things took a turn for the worst. Two goals from Liverpool’s Salah and Firmino meant City has lost yet another match and were out of the Champions League. There was no mercy.

Manchester City must fight on. They will be facing another big team this weekend- Tottenham. If they win, they can put to bed their run of disastrous results and bring themselves closer to claiming the PL trophy. If not… well, let us not even speak of it.

The Blues face the Best

Chelsea faced off against the world-renowned Barcelona for the first leg of the Champions League last 16. They were the underdogs in this match, and they delivered!

The performance of the Blues, quite frankly, put Barcelona to shame. The Blues had the only shot on target in the first half, despite the likes of Messi and Suarez being on the pitch. The only thing Barcelona actually did dominate in was possession, and that does not mean much without a goal.

Willian gave Chelsea their well-deserved lead in the 62nd minute of the match. The joy was immense! However, one slight hiccup in the Chelsea defense enabled Messi to later equalise for the visitors. It was a great shame considering how tight Chelsea’s defense had been throughout the game. It was Chelsea that gave a goal away.

The attitude, spirit and momentum of Conte’s Chelsea gives many fans great hope that they might just be able to overcome the greatest football team and go on to thoroughly pursue the Champions League trophy!

Hope

Liverpool finished fourth place on the Premier League table last season. This meant that they were entered into the qualifying play-offs for the Champions League this season. In order to reach the group stages they must get past Hoffenheim.

Liverpool defeated Hoffenheim 2-1 to increase their chance of competing in Europe. As the Reds played away from home, they have now bagged two away goals which could help them in the second leg.

The win was especially spectacular as they won with less possession. Plus, one of the goals Liverpool claimed was actually an own goal netted by a Hoffenheim player.

Liverpool will play Hoffenheim again, but at Anfield, on the 23rd of August. Let’s hope that their luck is just as good as it was the first time around.