Matchday four of the Champions League arrived with some tasty tussles. Important fixtures such as Inter Milan vs Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain against Red Bull Leipzig and Liverpool taking on Atalanta.
Here are the five takeaways from this latest round of Champions League action.
Champions League Matchday Four: Chelsea Win Away and Haaland Strikes Again
The Chelsea Juggernaut Keeps Rolling On
Chelsea won for a sixth straight game by beating Rennes 2-1 in France. A late injury-time strike by Olivier Giroud maintained the Blues impressive winning streak. It means Chelsea remain top of their group with ten points and confirms their qualification into the Round of 16 knockout phase. It also extends their unbeaten run to ten games as Frank Lampard’s team have really clicked into gear through Autumn.
Paris in Precarious Place
Although the Parisians overcame Red Bull Leipzig in the capital 1-0, it was a distinctly nervy performance. Brazilian striker Neymar scored the only goal with an 11th-minute penalty. However, the away team dominated in terms of statistics with more chances on goal (11 to seven) and dominated possession (61% to 39%). Thomas Tuchel’s side have just six points and are currently level on points with their Bundesliga rivals going into the penultimate round of fixtures. It is a trip to Old Trafford and Manchester United next for PSG. So could a surprise elimination be on the cards?
Exceptional Erling Haaland Strikes Again
Erling Braut Haaland became the fastest player in Champions League tournament history to reach 15 goals in 12 games. To place that into context, in the same amount of games, Lionel Messi scored just twice whilst Cristiano Ronaldo scored no goals at all in his first dozen games. The Norwegian has 16 overall in the tournament and scored two more for Borussia Dortmund in this matchday vs Club Brugge. Rivals beware.
Real Madrid Get Back on Track
Eden Hazard scored a penalty and an own goal by former Madrid man Achraf Hakimi were the difference as The Whites kickstarted their Champions League bid with a win at the San Siro. Remarkably, it was the Belgian’s first goal in the competition in 1,110 days and over three years. The win was conditioned by a red card to Arturo Vidal in the first half which set Real Madrid on their way.
Liverpool’s Injures Catch up with Them
Liverpool went down to a surprise home defeat by Atalanta. The Italians exacted revenge for their drubbing last time out. The reds had no shots on target and were off form all night. Seemingly, their casualty list is catching up with them. Meanwhile, it was the first time since 22 October 2014 that Liverpool slipped to a heavier Champions League defeat than two goals at Anfield. That night it was Real Madrid who won convincingly 3-0. Therefore Liverpool with work to do to progress to the knockout round.