Liverpool wins, Barcelona and Atletico are eliminated

Heart-pounding final at the Wanda Metropolitano, with the colchoneros who are given a penalty after the game is over and make a mistake. Out Simeone, as well as the blaugrana after the Inter win

Two Spaniards greet the Champions League. It is not surprising the elimination of the Barcelonaalready out after Inter’s victory and defeated 3-0 by Bayern, is instead that ofAtletico Madrid. The colchoneros draw 2-2 with Leverkusen, missing a penalty, and are out: they pass the Bruges and the Port, who won 4-0 in Belgium. Equal between Tottenham and Sporting (1-1), wins the Liverpool on Ajax (3-0). He also smiles there‘Eintracht: 2-1 to the OM.

In the Naples group, almost certain of first place, Liverpool also wins: Klopp’s boys rule Ajax with a 3-0 round. Dominate Ajax for most of the first half, but Liverpool score. The Ajacids waste with Berghuis, who hits a post, and Tadic, while the Reds actually pass at the first and concrete opportunity: Henderson’s winger throwing Salah, good at punishing Pasveer’s risky exit with a touch below. The British in turn hit a post in the final half, with Darwin Núñez, and go to rest with the advantage. Uruguayan redeems himself at the start of the second half, with a header that is worth 2-0 in the 49th minute, and in the 52nd minute the 3-0 arrives that closes the challenge: it is realized by Elliott, on an assist from Salah. In a slow-paced final, Taylor goes close to the flag net, but ends up like this: Liverpool win 3-0 and climb to 12 points, on the eve of the return match against Napoli with full points.

Atletico Madrid is eliminated, who say goodbye to the Champions League with a round to spare and with a draw against Bayer Leverkusen: 2-2 at the Wanda Metropolitano, with a heart-pounding final. The colchoneros are immediately at a disadvantage, at the first chance for the aspirins: ball stolen from Griezmann, Hložek serves Diaby and the former PSG silences the Wanda Metropolitano. Athletic under 8 ‘, Simeone plays the charge and his draw with Carrasco: the Belgian mock Hradecky from outside the area and is 1-1 at 22’. The defensive phase of the Spaniards, however, is far from flawless and at 27 ‘comes the new advantage for Xabi Alonso’s men: Hudson-Odoi signs it, on an assist from the former Genoa Amiri, after Angel Correa had lost a bloody balloon. In the final half, Diaby goes close to Leverkusen’s sensational trio: he parries Oblak and keeps Atleti alive, who are last in the group at the interval. The colchoneros return to the game in the 50th minute, thanks to Rodrigo De Paul’s winning right: equal and everything to be redone for Leverkusen. The siege of Atletico begins, with Hradecky saving on Carrasco and Griezmann, but Bayer is no less: Diaby and Paulinho engage Oblak, who goes into the area in the final hunting for the winning goal. A final in which everything happens: after the final whistle the referee views and awards a penalty for the hands of Hincapié, but Hradecky saves the penalty from Carrasco.

Atletico and Leverkusen are therefore out and will play for third place at a distance, facing the two rivals for the first place in the group. Porto in fact beat Bruges 4-0, obtaining a pyrotechnic success at the Jan Breydel Stadium and moving to -1 from the Belgians, who lead group B. Dragões dominate in the first half, going close to the net several times: Eustaquio, Otavio and Uribe take advantage of the lack of defensive attention of the Belgians, but shoot high. He wastes sensationally, however, Galen kicking on his companion Evanilson. The goal that unlocks the game arrives in the 33rd minute and bears the signature of Mehdi Taremi: the Iranian finalizes on Otavio’s vertical assist, after Mechele had awkwardly lost the ball. At the start of the second half, the psychodrama of Bruges is consumed from the spot: Diogo Costa saves Vanaken’s penalty, which must be countered and is kicked by Lang, only to be neutralized by the goalkeeper. Third penalty saved in three games for the goalkeeper, and Porto is rampant: Evanilson doubles in the 58th minute and Eustaquio finds the trio from two steps in the 60th minute. Bruges goes haywire and also collects poker in the 70th minute: ball and chain action by the Lusitanians, which leads to the winning conclusion of Taremi, with the defense defenseless. In the final, the Belgians touch the goal of the flag with Jutglà, but ends 4-0. Bruges and Porto are qualified and will play for the primacy of the group.

In the Inter group, Barcelona played already knowing they were eliminated and were defeated without appeal by Bayern: it ended 3-0 for the Germans. The last round will therefore be a mere formality: Bayern definitely first and Inter certainly second, Barça already in the Europa League and Viktoria Plzen already out of everything. At the Camp Nou Nagelsmann’s men dominate, exploiting all the uncertainties of the opposing defense and passing in the 10th minute: Gnabry’s filter frees Sadio Mané, who beats ter Stegen in one-on-one. The scene is repeated in the 31st minute, with the doubling of Choupo-Moting, who had already gone close to the net previously. Bayern also goes close to the trio, with ter Stegen saving on Musiala’s conclusion. In the second half, on the other hand, the Bavarians were canceled by Gnabry’s 3-0 for offside. Barça revives and goes close to scoring with Ansu Fati, who hits the outside of the net, but in the recovery comes the 3-0 of Pavard. Barça out after a pharaonic market, Barça and Inter in the second round.

Group D continues to be the most balanced in the Champions League: we arrive at the last round with the teams gathered in two points, all of which could finish first or last. It ends 1-1 between Tottenham and Sporting. Spurs should be playing the game, while Leões dominate in the first half in London. Paulinho and Coates are close to the net at the start, while in the 22nd minute the goal of the ex comes again: Marcus Edwards, who grew up in the Tottenham nursery and exploded in Portugal, punishes his former team with a razor from the edge. 1-0 for Sporting and we go to rest on the advantage for the Lusitanians, with Tottenham never dangerous. Conte shakes his in the interval and the expected reaction arrives: the Spurs push and Adan saves his by neutralizing the conclusions of Kane, Dier and Doherty. The game is vibrant and opportunities are flooding: Tottenham touches the draw again, then it is Nazinho who is denied the goal by Lloris. The well-deserved equalizer of the Spurs arrives in the 80th minute with Bentancur: the Uruguayan hits the head on Perisic’s corner. In the recovery, Kane’s winning goal is canceled and the expulsion for a furious Count arrives.

Everything reopens in this group, because Eintracht defeats Olympique Marseille 2-1. The hosts pass immediately, pushed by their audience in the hunt for qualification: Ndicka puts in the middle, Lindstrøm veils and Kamada finds the 1-0 from the edge. The OM does not give up and draws in the 22nd minute with Guendouzi, author of an effective insertion into the area, but in the 27th minute here is the new German advantage: it is signed by Kolo Muani, after having made a superb triangle with Götze. In the final half, the pressing of Marseille leads to a great chance, with Trapp saving on the conclusion of Harit. The goalkeeper also surpassed himself at the start of the second half, denying Alexis Sanchez the 2-2 goal on two occasions, while in the final it was Nuno Tavares who broke the tie. Eintracht wins, joining Sporting with 7 points and second place: Tottenham leads with 8 points, while OM is last with 6. Anything can happen.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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