Champions League Group Stage: Intrigues Abound After Matchday 5
In the Champions League group stage, there is still plenty of intrigue! Assessing the possibilities for advancing to the playoffs after Matchday 5.
Two completely different matches unfolded in Group A during the 5th matchday. While in Turkey, Galatasaray and Manchester United shared six goals - 3:3, Munich, Bayern, and Copenhagen failed to score at all - 0:0. These results are unfavorable for Manchester United.
Bayern has already advanced from the group, and the second spot will likely be taken by either Copenhagen or Galatasaray, who face each other in Denmark. A draw would suit Copenhagen if Manchester United fails to secure three points. However, it will be challenging for Manchester United to achieve this since they must beat Bayern at home and hope for a draw in Denmark.
In Group B, it is clear which two teams will progress to the Champions League playoffs. Arsenal scored six goals against Lille, eliminating the French club's chances for the second spot. Earlier, PSV defeated Sevilla away with a score of 3:2 (coming from 0:2 down during the match). Despite only three points separating Lille and PSV, the Dutch club has the advantage in head-to-head matchups.
Therefore, Arsenal will finish first, PSV second, and Sevilla will battle for the third spot (and a place in the Europa League) against Lille.
The intrigue is still alive in Group C! Real Madrid dealt with Napoli at home with a 4:2 victory, while Braga played a draw against Union at home - 1:1. Real Madrid's first-place position was already secured. Still, Napoli will compete with Braga for the second spot in Italy. The Portuguese team needs to win by a two-goal margin to equalize with Napoli in points and surpass them in head-to-head results. More than a one-goal victory will be required, as Braga's additional indicators are less favorable. Meanwhile, Union still has a chance to qualify for the Europa League. They must beat Real Madrid at home and hope for Braga's defeat to achieve this.
Even after Matchday 4, it was clear that Inter and Real Sociedad would advance to the playoffs. As both teams played to draws today (Inter coming back from 0:3 against Benfica, and Real Sociedad drawing with Salzburg), the fate of the first place will be decided in a direct clash at the Giuseppe Meazza. As for Salzburg, to qualify for the Europa League, Salzburg needs to avoid losing to Benfica at home by a three-goal margin.
Published by Patrick Jane