What did Matchday two of the Champions League teach us?

Date: 2nd October 2014 at 5:00 pm
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totti v cityNothing is quite like a night of Champions League football, and that along with the huge amount of prestige and money involved is what makes it the best club competition in the world.

After the second round of group stage matches have taken place, certain teams can look forward to the rest of the group stages, with their passage to the knockouts looking more and more assured.

There are however a fair few sides who know that their place is looking perilous at best and if they want to avoid the embarrassment of the Europa League, matchdays three and four simply have to be three pointers.

With that in mind, here are ten things we learnt from matchday two in the Champions League.

Manchester City and Liverpool face an uphill battle – And that is putting it mildly. Liverpool managed to lose to Basel (who are the destroyers of all English sides in fairness) and now face a double header against Real Madrid – and Ronaldo, James, Bale et al. Not ideal for Brendan Rodgers who will have wanted his side to get at least a point from Basel.

City meanwhile may well have to make do with the Europa League after allowing Roma back into the game at the Etihad and showed exactly why they are a fair way off even being considered as potential winners of the Champions League yet. As Chelsea will tell you, money alone does not win you that.

Diego Costa is far more than just a goalscorer – It is his goals that are making all the headlines, but the man was magnificent against Sporting Lisbon – and that was despite getting on the score sheet.

When Chelsea had their backs against the wall, trying to hold on to their slim one goal lead, who was it getting the tackles in and holding the ball up on the half way line? Costa. Superb from the Chelsea forward.

el choloThe Calderon was rocking – Diego Simeone took his place back on the touchline and knew his side’s campaign was in peril.

After losing their opening game at Olympiakos, the La Liga winners simply had to get three points from an excellent Juventus side and after a star performance from Tiago and a scrappy goal from Arda Turan, they managed it.

All the while Simeone was conducting the crowd as if it was his own personal orchestra – and boy it worked.

Cristiano Ronaldo is human after all, oh wait – The Real Madrid forward managed to miss his first penalty against Lodogorets but obviously scored the dubiously given second.

He is now one goal ahead of Lionel Messi on 69 in the race to beat Raul’s record of 71 Champions League goals – and he is not even 30 yet.

Mario must do more – The criticism of the Italian will not go away and after another poor display, you can see why.

Yes, Balotelli was no worse than any of his teammates but a lack of workrate and failing to acknowledge the supporters at the end of the game meant all the headlines focused on the forward once more.

welbxWelbeck gets Arsenal right back in it – And with a stunning hat-tick as well.

The Gunners did look a little bit worried at one point after their opening day defeat against BVB, but now after a resounding win against Galatasaray, they are right back in it and what a time for Welbeck to come good.

Injuries? What injuries?

Barcelona just can’t cope with players who have Chelsea connections – David Luiz managed to score against Barcelona at the Camp Nou and once again a player linked with the Blues haunted the Cules.

After losing to PSG in a thrilling 3-2 end to end game, Luis Enrique will have positives to take from the match but knows how vital winning the group can be.

It is looking good for Mourinho’s men – Chelsea may have let the lead slip in their opening Champions League game, but there were no mistakes against Sporting Lisbon.

It may have been an emotional return for Jose Mourinho but his Blues were as clinical as ever and showed why they and their experience in the competition make them a force to be reckoned with.

xaviIt was a week of legends – Totti managed to score against an English side for the first time – much to the embarrassment of the Manchester City Twitter account, Ronaldo moved even closer to that all time record and Xavi broke a Champions League record by making his 143 appearance in the competition.

City simply have to defend better – They were magnificent against Chelsea and made Diego Costa look more Fernando Torres than the beast of usual. However it went to pot against Hull at times and was even worse against Roma.

When you are a goal ahead in the Champions League, you cannot let that slip – and even if City manage to get through their group, defending like that will see them punished come the away goals rule in the knockout stages.

Footyettes. What did you notice from the Champions League this week? Were there any massive talking points we missed? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.

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