By Andrea M.
In the first week of December, the last games of the group stages in the Champions’ League were played, and we finally got to know which teams qualified for the round of 16 teams. In each group, composed of 4 teams, only the first two will qualify for the round of 16, while the third will participate in the Europa league and the fourth will be eliminated.
Firstly, there is Group A, composed of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar and Malmö. There were no big surprises in this group: Real Madrid (with 16 points) and PSG (with 13 points), both proceeding without difficulty.
Meanwhile, in group B, Manchester United was considered the strongest in the group, but in the end, they didn’t make it past the other teams. They lost their final match 3-2, to Wolfsburg, causing the Dutch team arrive in first place. In second place came PSV Eindhoven, and last Cska Moscow.
In the next group, group C, again, we had no surprises. In fact, Atletico Madrid came first, thanks to a 2-1 victory against Benfica the last day, robbing the Portuguese of first place. However, they still managed to arrive second, leaving Galatasaray and Astana behind.
Group D, was considered by everyone the toughest out of all, being composed of Manchester City (The winner of the Premier League), Juventus (the winner of the Serie A), Seveille (The winner of the Europa league) and Borussia Monchengladbach (one of the strongest Dutch teams). However, the fight for the first two places ended between Manchester City and Juventus, ending in 12 and 11 points. h also cost the “Bianconeri” first place.
In group E, we have the best team in the world (or at least the favorite), Barcelona, including AS Roma, Bayer Leverkusen, and Bate Borisov. In this group, the real game was between AS Roma and Bayer Leverkusen, since Barcelona were always placed first, and Bate Borisov were (nearly) always last. In their second match, Bate Borisov won against Roma, causing them to stay in second place, but only for a few days. In fact, in the end, Roma went through with only 6 points, making Bayer Leverkusen (also with 6 points, but with a loss against Roma) only qualify for the Europa League. There was nothing to do for Bate Borisov, who, however, fought hard until the end.
In group F, Bayern Munich had no problems coming first. Arsenal came in second place, with 9 points, as well as Olympiakos. Arsenal, however, had a greater goal difference, leaving Olympiakos in the Europa League.
In the second to last group, Chelsea came first with 13 points. In second place, we have, surprisingly, Dynamo Kiev, after beating Porto, which was considered the favorite team, together with Chelsea. There was very poor performance from Maccabi Tel Aviv, being the only team in this year’s Champions League to end the group stages with 0 points, and only one goal scored!
The last group, made up of Valencia, Lyon, Gent, and Zenit, there were some unexpected results and endings. In fact, Valencia and Lyon, which were expected to come first and second, arrived in third and fourth place, therefore making Zenit and Gent qualify with respectively 15 and 10 points.
On the 14th of December, the draw of the round of 16 was held. These are the matches that we will see : Gent – Wolfsburg, Roma – Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain – Chelsea, Arsenal – Barcelona, Juventus – Bayern Munich, PSV – Atletico Madrid, Benfica – Zenit, Dynamo Kiev – Manchester City. At the moment, some of the results may be predictable and others may not. However, what we do know for sure is that nothing is obvious in the sport of football, and that we will definitely have fun watching the best teams of Europe compete!