It was one of those nights that the Champions League is all about. Tottenham travelled to Real Madrid, matching them for periods of the game and managing to hold on for a point. Over in Slovenian, a relative backwater of European football, Liverpool were able to put their recent worries behind them, scoring a carefree seven goals past a hapless Maribor. Back in England, Manchester City continued their run scintillating form although this time being run a lot closer by Serie A leaders Napoli.
With Dortmund scraping a draw on Cyprus and almost certainly dropping out of the tournament, RB Leipzig turning around their Champions League form with a breathtaking performance against Porto, and Europa League specialists Sevilla being deconstructed by Spartak Moscow over in Russia, there is plenty to talk about this morning.
RealSport have picked five talking points that were generated by the evening’s Champions League fixtures.
1 Liverpool could go all the way?
OK, maybe’s that’s too far. But last night’s 7-0 demolition of Maribor was a perfect example of how Liverpool’s fluid attacking can come together, their Berocca-hued shirts fizzing through their Slovenian opponents.
Crucially, it was the second time in a week that Liverpool have kept a clean sheet, the first coming from the stodgy dirge-fest of last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
2 Harry Kane is going to Real Madrid
That much was confirmed when Real’s po-faced supremo Zinedine Zidane refused to deny a move for the “complete” England forward in the Summer. Last night’s performance at the Bernabéu showed that Spurs “can handle” themselves at the highest level in Europe, Kane said after the match. “It shows how far we’ve come as a team”.
Just as well then, because it looks increasingly likely that they’ll be playing in the tournament without him in a few months’ time.
3 Dortmund are done
Four years ago, Borussia Dortmund were an Arjen Robben shin away from winning the whole competition. Last night they couldn’t even muster a performance against Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia. The result sees the Germans fall six points behind Real Madrid in second place and it could have been worse had Sokratis not popped up to score a late equaliser.
With his side winning four of the last five in the Bundesliga to sit top of the table, manager Peter Bosz has clearly set his sights on reclaiming the title from Bayern Munich. Dortmund fans might be wondering, however, if it’s worth the cost of these dismal European displays.
4 Good old-fashioned counterattacking is alive and well
That much was clear after Spartak Moscow obliterated a hapless Sevilla in a scintillating 45-minute display. Quincy Promes was the man for the Muscovites, his pace and energy converting into two well-taken goals as the scores finished 5-1.
Sevilla, meanwhile, have looked a shadow of their former selves after the summer departure of demi-god sporting director Monchi. With two losses in their last three La Liga games, a momentary blip shows every sign of evolving into a crisis.
5 Kevin De Bruyne has a very high-pitched voice
“Let me talk” screamed the Premier League’s latest Golden Boy, after being dragged away from the referee by his teammates at halftime during last night’s 2-1 victory against Napoli.
De Bruyne, who incidentally could have represented the Burundian national side, was central once more as Pep Guardiola faced up against Maurizio Sarri’s free-flowing Italians. “They are one of the best teams I’ve ever faced,” marvelled City's coach after the match. Except, of course, when it comes to penalties with two missed efforts denying the visitors a momentous victory at Eastlands.
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