Champions League Matchday Two: Five Key Takeaways

Champions League Gameweek Two

The opening round of the Champions League played out with entertainment and surprises galore. Matchday one produced some mighty performances with defending champions Bayern Munich beating Atlético Madrid 4-0, Shakhtar Donetsk surprising Real Madrid 3-2 and Manchester United defeating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1.

But what happened in the latest edition of Europe’s elite competition? Here are five taking points from matchday two of the 2020/21 Champions League.

Five Takeaways From the Champions League

Manchester City Show Solidity

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City passed a potentially tricky test when they defeated Olympique Marseille by three goals to nil. But it was their defensive showing which will have pleased both him and their supporters. It was evident that City has a more trustworthy and solid back line thanks to their first choice defensive partnership of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte. They were given their debut as a duo and this showing will give City a much needed assuredness at the back with both putting on accomplished performances.

Real Madrid Continue Misfiring in the Champions League

It is now two games and only one point for Zinedine Zidane’s men. Los Blancos were lucky to escape Borussia Monchengladbach with a draw having been 2-0 down until the 87th minute. Two goals in the closing stages by Karim Benzema and Casemiro gave Real a European get out of jail card. But there are clear signs the side are not firing on all cylinders in their fabled competition. Next week’s home match with Inter Milan is already pivotal.

Chelsea Collecting Clean Sheets

Manchester City were not the only team showing their defensive qualities this week. Chelsea won 4-0 away in Russia against Krasnodar, once again securing a victory with a clean sheet. That is now four clean sheets in five matches for Frank Lampard’s men. Meanwhile, much credit will go to Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The summer signing from Rennes has kept the opposition out in three straight games and in both Champions League matches. His authority and confidence has given the team a stronger core.

Don’t Rule Out Barcelona

Barcelona, fresh off President Josep Bartomeu resigning, managed to put all backstage politics to one side to beat Juventus in Turin 2-0 thanks to a strike from Ousmane Dembélé and a penalty from Lionel Messi. Barça produced a professional performance and looked more the threatening of the two teams throughout the encounter. The Spanish giants might be floundering off the field and in La Liga but have won both games in the Champions League and sit pretty at the top of Group G.

Manchester United Enjoying Their Champions League Journey

The Red Devils comfortably dispatched Bundesliga leaders Red Bull Leipzig 5-0. There was a second half hat trick from Marcus Rashford, who put in an impressive performance after coming off the bench in the 63rd minute. That emphatic win means the team have six points from six in Group H. A lack of consistency has hindered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far this season, but nights like this will give United a huge boost in confidence. They certainly are enjoying the bright lights of the Champions League nights.

 

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