Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage saw Liverpool beat Porto 5-1 in a strong display of form. Other matches played on the 28th of September saw Club Brugge beat RB Leipzig 2-1, PSG beat Manchester City 2-0, Dortmund beat Sporting 1-0, and Real Madrid were beaten by Sheriff 2-1. In other matches, Atletico Madrid beat AC Milan 2-1 while Ajax beat Besiktas 2-1. Inter Milan, on its part, drew 0-0 with Shakhtar Donetsk. In a disappointing Champions League start, Barcelona continued on a downward spiral after losing 3-0 to Benfica this week.
Big Clubs Upended as Stars Shine
In matches played on the 29th of September, RB Salzburg beat Lille 2-1 and Wolfsburg drew Sevilla 1-1. Zenit beat Malmo 4-0 as Atalanta beat Young Boys 1-0. The UEFA Champions League matchday 2 was an upset for the biggest clubs in the league as they saw a week where most of them were upended. Defending Champions, Chelsea, were beaten 1-0 by Juventus, Man City beaten 2-0 by PSG, and Real Madrid beaten by Sheriff 2-1. Lionel Messi scored a beautiful goal in PSG’s 2-0 win against Man City, which was also his maiden goal for the club and his first in the UCL for Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona Still on a Downward Spiral as CR7 Saves Man United
Barcelona had an even worse time in the UCL this week as they got hammered 3-0 by Benfica, continuing their downward spiral. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, was one of the big teams that showed its prowess after trampling Dynamo Kyiv 5-0. Manchester United also did quite well after Cristiano broke the tie with Villareal, seeing the match end 2-1 in favor of Man United. Bayern have been phenomenal so far and at this rate will give Chelsea a run for their money. The question, however, remains: who will win the Champions League 2021-22?
Barca manager Koeman is on Borrowed Time
Juventus has had an incredible run both at home and at the UCL after they beat Sampdoria 3-2 days before beating title defenders Chelsea 1-0. Even more impressive were Benfica who beat Barcelona 3-0. The poor performance from Barca prompted rumors of Ronald Koeman’s dismissal as Barcelona’s manager. He is on borrowed time, and it was revealed that Barca’s president, Joan Laporta, is already looking for a replacement.
Koeman is under immense pressure to overturn Barcelona’s current dismal performance after Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann were transferred away from Barca. The team will play Atletico Madrid today in La Liga, seeing it go head to head with a club where two of its former players Luis Suarez and Griezmann are currently playing. Today’s game could be the last nail in the coffin for Koeman, as a loss could mean that it is beyond doubt that he will be sacked. Barcelona have since lost the game 2-0 to Atletico Madrid, further casting doubt on whether Koeman will remain at the club. Suarez scored one of the two goals.
Possible Replacements for Ronald Koeman
Among those rumored to be possible replacements for Koeman include Xavi Hernandez, former Juve coach Andrea Pirlo, and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. Martinez has, however, revealed that he is currently not in talks with the club. As such, Xavi Hernandez is the most likely candidate to replace Koeman, as Andrea Pirlo, a former manager at Juventus, lacks the prowess to really steer Barcelona out of its current rough patch. Pirlo was sacked at Juventus after only a single season as the club’s manager.