PSG stronger than in the past
PSG are absolutely flying in the Champions League this season with three victories in as many games.
On Tuesday, they demolished Club Brugge 5-0 away from home with the returning Kylian Mbappe scoring a hattrick while Inter Milan loanee Mauro Icardi helped himself to a brace.
The result means that PSG have scored 9 goals in their first three games, an average of three goals per game and will seal qualification with victory at home to Brugge in the next fixture.
In their first three games, the team has been without both Neymar Jr and Edinson Cavani plus a host of first-team players. The strength and quality in depth that the Parisians have currently is envy for all the other sides in Europe this season and imagining them at full strength is scary.
In the last three champions league seasons, the Parisians have bowed out miserably, after winning two of their three first-leg encounters in the knockout stages. In 2016/17, they surrendered a 4-0 lead to Barca, losing 6-5 on aggregate. The following season, they lost home and away to Real Madrid before bowing out to Man United last season despite winning the first leg 2-0 away from home.
They finally have a squad capable of going the distance in Europe this season and trust me when I say; the sky is the limit for them.
Erling Haland the best marks-man in Europe currently
Up until this season, Erling Haland was an unknown to the football fraternity but he is consistently on the lips of everyone currently.
On Wednesday, the 19-year-old RB Salzburg striker scored twice as his side lost 3-2 at home to Napoli.
The two goals against the Italians took Haland’s tally to six for the season and is the out-right top scorer in the Champions League this season. He has also scored in each of Salzburg’s three games so far, netting a hat trick against Genk and one in the 3-4 loss to defending champions, Liverpool.
As if that is not impressive enough, Haland has also scored 11 goals in 9 league games and three in one Cup fixture, taking his tally to an impressive 20 in just 13 games this season.
The numbers are staggering for a 19-year-old and it is only fair to say he is the most prolific striker in Europe currently.
English Clubs turning the corner
On match-day three, all four English representatives won their respective fixtures in the Champions League.
This is the first time they have done so in Europe’s premier competition with only Man City holding a 100% record which has seen them score 10 goals and concede just one.
Liverpool too are starting to pick up form as their 1-4 victory over Genk on Wednesday meant that Jurgen Klopp’s side have now won their last two games since losing 1-0 away to Napoli on match-day one.
Tottenham Hotspur humiliated Red Star Belgrad 5-0 on Tuesday to register their first victory of the campaign, one that sees them climb into second on the Group A log. This was a perfect response to their 7-2 loss to Bayern Munich on match-day two.
The other English side-Chelsea were equally impressive as they stunned last season’s semifinalist Ajax 1-0 away from home on Wednesday with substitute Michy Batshuayi scoring the winner inside the last five minutes.
After starting slowly this season, it looks like English sides are starting to find their feet in the Champions League and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all progressed to the knock-out stage.
Barcelona slowly but steadily coming back to their best
Barcelona had a slow start to the season, one that surprised many.
At one point, they were 8th in the La Liga standings and had drawn 0-0 away to Dortmund in their first Champions League game.
However, La Bulgranas have turned the corner and sit top of their domestic league. In the Champions League, they have won their last two games and sit top of Group F with 7 points from their first two outings.
Although those two victories have been 2-1s and not that pleasing on the eye, things are starting to fall into place for Barcelona and with Lionel Messi nearing full fitness, it would be right to say that it is just a matter of time and Barca are back to their usual best.
Juventus not favourites for Champions League
Juventus started this year’s Champions League as outright favourites to win it after making several top-notch acquisitions in the summer and in process, bolstered their squad with quality in depth.
However, after three games, they have not looked convincing as yet.
On Tuesday night, they required a late Paolo Dybala brace to see off a resilient Lokomotiv Moscow side 2-1 at home. This was their second successive victory after beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in a game whose result does not paint a clear picture of how good the Germans were on the day.
Three games into the campaign and Juve do not look to be the out-right favourites for this season’s Champions League crown.
-Shakhter Donetsk 2-2 Dynamo Zagreb
-Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen
-Club Brugge 0-5 PSG
-Galatasary 0-1 Real Madrid
-Tottenham Hotspurs 5-0 Red Star Belgrad
-Olympiakos 2-3 Bayern Munich
-Man City 5-1 Atalanta
-Juventus 2-1 Lokomotiv Moscow
-Ajax 0-1 Chelsea
-RB Leipzig 2-1 Zenit
-RB Salzburg 2-3 Napoli
-Genk 1-4 Liverpool
-Benfica 2-1 Lyon
-Inter Milan 2-0 Dortmund
-Slavia Praha 1-2 Barcelona
-Lille 1-1 Valencia