This past week brought the fourth group stage matches for the greatest competition in the world. We saw a record tying performance from Messi, and the downfall of English teams in Europe. This coming weekend we see the rematch of the slip game and a big match in France between PSG and Marsellie.
Messi has equaled Raul’s (one of the greats) goal scoring record. He will soon pass it and also equal and pass Tello Zarra in La Liga. This is extremely impressive for him and shows how great he is. In the next round of champions league, I fully expect Ronaldo to also equal and probably pass Raul and Messi. These two are two of the greatest ever, and I feel lucky to get to watch them. I cannot wait to look back in 20 or 30 years and share with my kids stories about these two greats in the game, like others have shared with me about Maradona and Pele.
What is going on with English clubs in Europe?????? Chelsea are the best squad in England and show that they are the best English side against Europe. They slipped up a little bit this week, but a point in Slovenia is something that they can take and be okay with. They will easily qualify during the next round. The other three are a mess. Arsenal just lost a three goal lead at home to an average Anderlecht side. They will also qualify soon for the the round of 16, but need to step up their home performances if they want to make it past that round.
This leads to the other two English sides. I cannot decide which one is worse. Manchester City have had an amazing amount of cash infused into their team which has lead to amazing success in England, but has not translated to Europe. With the talent that they have, they should be already qualified for their group and looking forward to the Round of 16, not trying to salvage a sinking ship. It does need to be pointed out that they are in a very difficult group. Bayern Munich are quite possibly the best team in the world and should dominate this group. Roma are a very talented team but it has been a while since they were in this completion. For City to have just 2 points from 4 games is inexcusable. They now need to beat Munich at home and Roma in Rome on the last day. While I can see them getting a result in the Munich game, I do not see them winning a game in Rome.
Liverpool are a very interesting side. There was the famous night in Istanbul that as a young soccer fan in America was something extremely special to watch. They had Fernando Torres and then Luis Suarez. They were brilliant players. Regardless of what you think about Suarez and his biting habits, he is an exceptional player. His departure from Liverpool has left a hole that is nearly impossible to fill. This year they have struggled, whether it is bedding in new players or missing lost players. Now looking at their prospects in Champions League, you must wonder if Brendan is up for this challenge. Getting mixed with Real always meant that this was a fight for second place between them, Ludogorets and Basel. Liverpool play both of those teams and will need all 6 points to advance. It is definitely possible, but will be tough. They should have never played a weakened squad against Real but this is a new challenge for Brendan. It will be interesting to see him respond.
This weekend should be an exciting one.
In England, it is a true red versus blue matchup with Liverpool versus Chelsea. This is the best match of the weekend and should be fascinating to see how both teams come out to play. For me it comes down to if Liverpool can finish their chances and can they stop Cesc from dominating the midfield. I am also interested in seeing how Southampton plays this week and if they can keep pace with Chelsea.
In Spain, the big two play Rayo and Almeria and it should be an easy three points for each. I am more interested in seeing if Real Sociedad can right their ship, or if they will continue to struggle against a very good Atleti side.
In Germany, the only game that interests me is the battle of the Borussias, Dortmund vs Monchengladbech. Dortmund has been amazing in the Champions League, but is in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga. Can they right the ship??? I hope so, as I love the way they play and think Klopp is a top manager.
Lastly this week, is a match that should be fantastic. Marseille versus PSG. Marseille is currently 4 points ahead of PSG and travels to PSG in what will be a huge 6 pointer in this league. I would love to see someone finally challenge PSG for the title, so here is to hoping Marseille get all three points.