Both of the games in this group were blowouts as Manchester United leveled Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 and Shakhtar Donetsk destroyed Real Sociedad 4-0. Manchester United got goals from 4 different players including Antonio Valencia (22nd minute), Jonny Evans (66th), Chris Smalling (77th), and Nani (88th). Emir Spahic had an own goal for Bayer Leverkusen in the 30th minute. In the other Group A game, Luiz Adriano started the scoring for Shakhtar Donetsk in the 37th minute and that was followed by Alex’s goal in the 48th minute. Douglas Costa added a brace (68th and 87th) to give Shakhtar the much needed victory. Manchester United are 1st with 11 points, Shakhtar Donetsk jump to 2nd with 8 points, Bayer Leverkusen fall to 3rd with 7 points, and Real Sociedad are in last with only 1 point.
Manchester United is now confirmed for the Round of 16 with today’s victory while Real Sociedad will not be participating any further in European competition after match day 6. That leaves Shakhtar and Bayer Leverkusen battling it out for 2nd. Match day 6 features Manchester United hosting Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad taking on Bayer Leverkusen at home.
The way I see this unfolding is Manchester United winning at home against Shakhtar Donetsk. That means a win by Bayer Leverkusen at Real Sociedad will but Bayer in the Round of 16. Bayer Leverkusen can still go through with a draw, but would need Shakhtar Donetsk to lose by at least 5 goals in order for that scenario to unfold. Even if Shakhtar and United tied, Bayer Leverkusen would still go through with a win. That would mean Shakhtar would go to the Round of 32 in the Europa League.
As with Group A, this group featured two blowouts. Real Madrid ripped Galatasaray apart to win 4-1 even without Cristiano Ronaldo. Gareth Bale opened the scoring in the 37th minute for Real Madrid, but Umut Bulut did very well to equalize in the 38th for Galatasaray. The 2nd half featured 3 goals from Alvaro Arbeloa (51st), Angel di Maria (63rd), and Isco in the 81st minute. Juventus came to life with a 3-1 victory over Copenhagen that improves of qualification to the Round of 16 immensely. Arturo Vidal had a hat trick for Juventus with goals from the penalty spot in the 29th minute and the 60th minute. Olof Mellberg got a goal in the 56th minute for Copenhagen, but it was to no avail. Vidal added his 3rd in the 64th minute and Juventus was on cruise control from there. Real Madrid have won the group and sit on 13 points. Juventus are 2nd with 6 points, Galatasaray are 3rd with 4 points, and Copenhagen are last with 4 points. Galatasaray are 3rd due to their better goal differential than Copenhagen at -6 versus -8.
The winner of the game between Juventus and Galatasaray will make the Round of 16. Copenhagen cannot finish better than 3rd in this group. Match day 6 features the pivotal winner take all game between Galatasaray and Juventus. The other match is Real Madrid traveling to Parken to take on Copenhagen.
With Real Madrid already through to the Round of 16, I see Juventus as the 2nd place finisher in this group. All they need is a draw to make it through and I see them winning in Turkey on the next match day. It is a tough proposition to see Copenhagen get out of the bottom, but if they get a point and Galatasaray loses to Juventus, Copenhagen will be in the Europa League.
A couple of late goals proved to be the difference in both games of Group C. Benfica got a 90th minute goal Rodrigo to secure a 3-2 away victory over Anderlecht. PSG also got a 90th minute goal via Edinson Cavani to give them all 3 points against Greek side Olympiacos. PSG are 1st in the group with 13 points, Olympiacos is 2nd with 7 points, Benfica also has 7 points, and Anderlecht are last with only 1 point. Olympiacos is 2nd due to a better goal differential than Benfica (0 for Olympiacos to -1 for Benfica).
PSG are now confirmed as Group C winners and therefore into the last 16. Olympiacos and Benfica are both guaranteed to finish no worse than 3rd in the group. Anderlecht are eliminated from European competition upon completion of their match day 6 game at Olympiacos. The other game in this group is Benfica taking on PSG at home in hopes of making the last 16.
I see Olympiacos finishing behind PSG for 2nd here. Not only do I see Olympiacos beating Anderlecht, I think PSG will do no worse than a draw against Benfica.
The first match of this group was played early in Moscow. That game saw Arjen Robben score an early 17th minute goal for Bayern Munich. In the 2nd half Mario Gotze led off the scoring in the 56th minute. CSKA Moscow got a 61st minute penalty, converted by Keisuke Honda. Just 4 minutes later, Thomas Muller slotted home a penalty for Bayern Munich as the game finished 3-1 in favor of Bayern Munich. The group’s other match was also filled with goals in a 4-2 Manchester City victory over Viktoria Plzen. Sergio Aguero had a 33rd minute penalty while Tomas Hofava equalized in the 43rd minute. Samri Nasri gave City the advantage at 2-1 in the 65th minute, but Stanislav Tecl tied it up again at 2-2 in the 69th minute. Negredo (78th minute) and Dzeko (89th minute) gave Manchester City the needed goals to finish off Plzen. Through 5 games Bayern Munich have 15 points and are 1st, Manchester City are 2nd with 12 points, CSKA Moscow is 3rd with 3 points, and Viktoria Plzen sit last with 0 points.
This group is all set for the top two teams as they have both made it through to the knockout stages. Match day 6 features Bayern Munich hosting Manchester City. Manchester City needs to beat Bayern Munich by 4 goals in order to win the Group. The other game in this group features the battle for the 3rd as CSKA Moscow will travel to Plzen to take on Viktoria Plzen.
I see this group finishing the exact way it will start match day 6: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, and Viktoria Plzen. Plzen need to beat CSKA Moscow by 3 goals to finish 3rd, but that is too tall an order with how this defense has performed in the group stage.
For the 2nd time in this group Basel defeated Chelsea, this time by a score of 1-0. Mohamed Salah scored a wonderful goal in the 87th minute to give Basel the sweep against Chelsea. In the group’s other game between Steaua Bucuresti and Schalke, both teams failed to score leaving them to split the points. Despite their loss, Chelsea are now guaranteed to make the knockout stages of the Champions League. Chelsea sits top of the group with 9 points. Meanwhile, Basel’s wins gives them 8 points and puts them in 2nd place. Schalke are 3rd with 7 points and Steaua are last with 3 points.
The 6th and final match day will see Schalke take on Basel at home while Steaua will travel to London to face Chelsea. Both Basel and Schalke can win the group if Chelsea loses to Steaua and those teams do not draw.
This group comes down to Basel at Schalke to decide which team will move on to the Round of 16. The winner of that game will go into the final 16. If the game ends in a draw, Basel will finish 2nd. I still like Basel to go through. I see Chelsea easily defeating Steaua at home to win Group E. Steaua have officially finished last in this group regardless of their last game in the group.
An early goal from Jack Wilshere was all Arsenal needed at home against Marseille as they won 2-0. The big game of the group between Borussia Dortmund and Napoli ended in Dortmund’s favor. Marco Reus scored a 9th minute penalty, Jakub Blaszczykowski added a goal in the 60th minute, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished Napoli off in 78th minute as Dortmund won 3-1. Arsenal sit atop the group with 12 points, Borussia Dortmund are 2nd with 9 points (better goal differential than Napoli at +4 versus -1), Napoli are 3rd with 9 points, and Marseille are last with zero points.
Match day 6 sees Borussia Dortmund travel to Marseille to seal up their bid for the knockout stages. The 2nd game of the group has Arsenal traveling to Napoli. It is important to note that none of the top 3 teams have secured their spot in the Round of 16. Both Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund control their fate, while Napoli will need help from Marseille or an epic defensive collapse from Arsenal to make the Round of 16.
Arsenal look good to make the Round of 16. All they need to do is muster a single point against Napoli and they will win the group. They can even make the Round of 16 with a loss as they have the superior goal differential over Napoli (+5 versus -1). For 2nd I have to go with Borussia Dortmund. Marseille has not been able to play the spoiler I thought they would and I expect Dortmund to put a lot of goals in the back of the net. That means Napoli will finish 3rd and go into the Europa League. Marseille are guaranteed to finish last and I think they do so without obtaining a single point.
The results of Tuesday’s games did not change the table. Atletico Madrid went to Saint Petersburg and drew 1-1. Adrian scored a goal in the 53rd minute, but the score was equalized at 1 apiece after an own goal off of Toby Alderweireld in the 74th minute. The more surprising result of this group was Austria Wien going to Porto and securing a 1-1 draw. The standings remain unchanged from Match day 4. Atletico Madrid are 1st with 13 points, Zenit Saint Petersburg sit 2nd with 6 points, Porto are 3rd with 5 points, and Austria Wien are last with 4 points.
Atletico Madrid secured their spot in the Round of 16 back on match day 4 as the winners of Group G. Zenit and Porto will hope to progress to the last 16 while Austria Wien will finish last. Match day 6 features Austria Wein taking on Zenit Saint Petersburg in Vienna and Atletico Madrid will host Porto.
I still think Zenit will make the Round of 16 as the 2nd place team in this group. One of the things going for Porto is that Atletico Madrid cannot improve their position which may allow Porto to steal a win at Madrid.
Let’s start with the upset of the day on Tuesday in Amsterdam. Ajax had a 2-0 goal lead at halftime thanks to goals from Thulani Serero in the 19th minute and Danny Hoesen in the 40th minute. Xavi pulled one back for Barcelona from the penalty spot in the 49th minute, but it was not enough as Ajax held on for a 2-1 win. Milan destroyed Celtic 3-0 to bolster their knockout stage hopes. Barcelona are still 1st with 10 points, Milan are 2nd with 8 points, Ajax are 3rd with 7 points, and Celtic are last with 3 points.
Barcelona have secured their spot in the Knockout stages (did so on Match day 4), but have not won the Group yet. Milan and Ajax will battle it out for the second knockout spot in this group on Match day 6 at the San Siro. Barcelona will take on Celtic at the Camp Nou.
I see Barcelona winning at home, thus winning the Group. For 2nd, I have a hard time picking against AC Milan at home, though I would not mind seeing Ajax make the last 16 in the Champions League. As it is, Ajax will finish 3rd in my projections. Celtic cannot improve their position.
The 6th and final match day takes place on Tuesday, December 10 (Groups A through D) and Wednesday, December 11 (Groups E through H). Until next time, enjoy the football from whichever country you desire to watch!