Good morning, Fear the Wall.
Well, that was disappointing! Borussia Dortmund’s flat performance against Lazio was not the start we wanted to BVB’s Champions League campaign. With that said, let’s take a look at the match between the other two members of Group F.
Brugge Snatch a Win Over Zenit
Club Brugge faced FC Zenit in St. Petersburg, and somewhat unexpectedly pulled out a victory off a last-minute winner by Charles De Ketelaere. The match was especially significant for USMNT fans, because US goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was in net for Club Brugge, and Zenit had equalized on one of the unluckiest own goals you’ll ever see. Zenit CB Dejan Lovren smashed a long shot off the post, and the ball happened to bounce back onto Horvath’s heat and rebounded into the net. The American keeper was clearly heartbroken and had played very well, so I’m happy for him that Brugge were able to pull out a win.
With Borussia Dortmund’s loss to Lazio, the performances of these two clubs really matters. In order to make it to the knockout round, BVB will likely need to make it past both of these clubs. BVB should be able to handily defeat both, but these matches are still something to be aware of.
Manchester United Defeat Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain
The biggest match of the night, from a neutral perspective, was a rematch of the Champions League Round of 16 matchup between Manchester United and PSG. Once again it was the English side that walked away victorious, and what a crazy game it was.
United struck first when Anthony Martial drew a penalty in dubious fashion. He was being marked by former BVB player Abdou Diallo when he received a ball in the box, spun, and went down with what appear to be little to no contact. I’ve watched the play several times now and I’m still not entirely sure whether or not it’s a dive; let me know your thoughts. Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty after an initial save by Keylor Navas was called back because the keeper had his foot off the goal line.
If you do think it was a dive by Martial, then what happened next was a bit of karma, I suppose. Neymar delivered an in-swining corner that Martial tried to head away, but instead the Frenchman inadvertently deflected the ball into his own goal. There were a lot of own goals yesterday, weren’t there?
In the end, it was Manchester United who won, with an expert finish from Marcus Rashford in the 87th minute.
In Barcelona, Messi and the Catalans defeated the Hungarian side Ferencvaros 5-1. While it was an easy win, Gerard Pique was sent off after an extremely ill-advised challenge on a Ferencvaros attacker who was in alone on goal. Barcelona were leading 3-0, so Pique would’ve been better off just letting the guy score. Instead he was sent off and will now miss Barca’s next match against Juventus.
Chelsea drew Sevilla in what must’ve been an insanely boring match. According to Caley Graphics on Twitter, the two sides only had 0.7 xG between them:
xG map for Chelsea - Sevilla— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) October 20, 2020
lol this game was so bad pic.twitter.com/IbTdyKLMFL
RB Leipzig, the other Bundesliga club in action yesterday, defeated Istanbul Basaksehir with the help of a brace from Angeliño.
The Daily Buzz
Did you think it was a dive from Martial?