There have been high clashes, some underdogs received mixed with breathtaking objectives and saves that had been the spotlight of matchday 2 2 of the 2023-23 UEFA Champions League. The competitors within the league has been so fierce this season that every matchday has at the least three to 4 high clashes.
This additionally signifies that irrespective of how massive a crew is, they should again their identify with efficiency if they’re to qualify for the spherical of 16. After two video games, we even have a extra unambiguous indication of every crew’s strengths and weaknesses.
Since 4 matchdays are nonetheless left to go within the group phases, there are nonetheless many probabilities for the groups with a poor begin to catch as much as these forward of them. Furthermore, the subsequent two match days will see the identical two groups play one another and doubtless determine the destiny of many groups by the point it’s over.
So, what did we study from matchday 2 of the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League?
Manchester United are their very own worst enemies
Over the summer time, Manchester United made one essential change to their crew: changing long-time primary David de Gea with Inter Milan’s Andre Onana. The logic for it was easy: Onana was nice with the ball at his toes, a talent De Gea lacked, which might enable United to play from the again easily.
Ten video games in robust, Onana’s ball-playing high quality is in critical query. With the sport’s rating at 2-2, the Cameroonian performed a really poor move that gave Dries Mertens a transparent probability on objectives. This left Casemiro with no alternative however to deal with and, within the course of, earned his second yellow. And whereas Mauro Icardi missed the penalty, he was available to attain the winner simply minutes later.
The sport additionally clearly indicated how the membership struggles towards excessive press from the opposition. Onana was particularly dropped at counter this, however he has did not justify his price ticket and ball-playing abilities to this point.
Actual Madrid-Napoli play a thriller dominated by VAR controversy
Actual Madrid travelled to Napoli for a sport that many anticipated to be a show-stopper, and it didn’t disappoint. The 2 groups play an attacking model of soccer, and the primary objective took simply 19 minutes when centre-back Leo Skiri Østigård obtained on the top of a Khvicha Kvaratskhelia nook after a fumble by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Nonetheless, minutes later, he would go on to punish a mistake by Napoli as Jude Bellingham turned supplier for Vionicius Jr. Minutes later, although, Bellingham would name on the spirit of Deigo Maradona in a stadium named after him as he went previous 5 Napoli gamers to attain a stunner.
With their backs towards the wall, Napoli got here again combating. Nonetheless, regardless of having many probabilities, their equaliser got here from a controversial VAR overview that awarded them a penalty.
Actual Madrid, although, as they’ve carried out so many instances, got here again with a superb striker from a distance from Federico Valverde that, in the long run, was deemed as an personal objective by Napoli’s keeper Alex Meret.
Nonetheless, regardless of the win the best way the 2 groups performed, there may be little hope for both Union Berlin or SC Braga to complete within the high two.
Arsenal let down by defensive errors
After successful their opening sport 4-0, Arsenal suffered their first lack of the Champions League season towards RC Lens. And their goalkeeper, David Raya, was at fault for Lens’s first objective along with his wayward move close to his objective line.
To make issues worse, after the opening objective by Gabriel Jesus, the Gunners didn’t produce something significant in assault, barring the ultimate jiffy of the sport. Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard had been the worst of the bunch. On high of that, Bukayo Saka additionally went off the pitch limping, along with his present damage standing not clear. With Arsenal welcoming league leaders Manchester Metropolis on the weekend, Mikela Arteta will probably be hoping for the supply of the English winger if he desires to win towards Pep Guardiola’s males.
And with PSV and Sevilla additionally able to beating any crew, Arsenal might want to put in higher performances to enter the spherical of 16.
Atletico Madrid fend off Dutch champions Feyenoord in a objective fest
The sport between Atletico Madrid and Dutch champions Feyenoord ended with 5 objectives however might have simply seen ten with how the 2 groups performed. Diego Simeone’s males had been seconds away from three factors on matchday one earlier than Lazio’s goalkeeper Ivan Provedel turned hero with an elite strrikeresque end to degree the sport.
Nonetheless, with the second sport at residence, the crew wanted a win to spice up their marketing campaign. In Feyenoord, although, they confronted a formidable opponent. And Simeone would possibly really feel fortunate to flee with three factors as his crew scored from all three of their photographs that had been on track.
Feyenoord went into the lead two instances however couldn’t cease the duo of Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata from first equalising after which scoring what turned out to be the winner. Feyenoord, although, seems to be prone to take the second spot within the group and qualify for the spherical of 16.
Historic win for Newcastle
When referee Istvan Kovacs blew the ultimate whistle at St. James Park, it was not solely the top of a sport however almost definitely the beginning of a brand new period. Since their new homeowners took cost, Newcastle United have been on the up. The membership added high quality gamers to the crew, and it confirmed instant outcomes because the membership completed fourth to qualify for the Champions League.
Nonetheless, on their return to the most important membership event, they put in an underwhelming efficiency towards AC Milan. To make issues laborious, their first Champions League sport at residence was towards a PSG facet led by Kylian Mbappe. Newcastle wanted efficiency, however what they delivered will probably be added as a golden web page within the membership’s historical past.
Newcastle United got here out all weapons blazing from the beginning, executing the excessive press to perfection. That is what obtained them their first objectives of the sport as Marquinhos fluffed his strains by enjoying a poor move, which left Alexander Isak one-on-one with Gianluigi Donarumma, who saved the preliminary shot however might say nothing concerning the rebound that fell kindly on the toes of Miguel Almiron. Regardless of getting the objective, the hosts stored up the stress and shortly obtained their second after Dan Burns obtained on the top of a Bruno Guimaraes cross.
It went from dangerous to worse for PSG, who conceded a 3rd objective 5 minutes into the second half as Donarumma made a multitude of Sean Longstaff’s shot from a good angle. PSG did get a objective again however failed so as to add a second towards a resilient Magpies defence.
And when Fabien Schar put a fourth objective within the damage time it confirmed that Newcastle United had actually arrived on the greatest stage of all of them.