Before I cover the Champions League, I want to bring to everyone’s attention a very ugly story that unfortunately will sound very familiar to many football fans. According to Ruhr Nachrichten, Sevilla fans watching their club’s U-19 match against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday racially abused Soumaila Coulibaly. Although BVB’s staff brought the noises to the attention of the attending referees, they did not stop the game, because the noises were not sufficiently “unambiguously racist.” Given reports of insults and monkey noises, this excuse from the referees seems highly suspect.
Once again, racist behavior by fans has downplayed by UEFA officials. This was not a one-time incident: a similar incident occurred in the first match between BVB and Sevilla, and Dortmund even made an advance notice that they would lead the field if it happened again. In the end, as Lars Ricken explained to RN, they decided not to follow through on this promise, as they didn’t want to invoke a larger investigation involving “testimony against testimony.” The game was not stopped, and the Dortmund U-19s won 2-0, behind a brace from Julian Rijkhoff.
Drama in the Champions League
As Dortmund and Sevilla licked their wounds from Tuesday evening’s slugfest, a whole host of other clubs met in the Champions League in various cities around Europe. I won’t go over the result of each and every match, but it’s worth highlighting a few games, the first of which was an absolutely insane game between Barcelona and Inter Milan that has put the Catalans on the brink of collapsing into the Europa League.
Barcelona needed to beat Inter to have a legitimate chance at making it to the knockout stage. A loss would have sealed the deal for Barca, and after Robin Gosens’ 87th minute goal, it seemed like Barca were doomed to the Europa League. Instead, late equalizer by none other than Robert Lewandowski gave them hope, at least for another day.
Even with Lewa’s goal, Barcelona’s chances are still very slim: they will need Viktoria Plzen, who have lost every game they’ve played so far in the Champions League, to make Inter drop points if they are to advance to the knockout round.
Meanwhile, outside of Bayern Munich who steamrolled Plzen, the Bundesliga teams in the competition fared poorly. Despite vastly outshooting and out-chancing FC Porto, Leverkusen surrendered two penalties and a goal to their Portuguese opponents, making their chances of advancing to the knockout stage slim to none. Eintracht Frankfurt put up a valiant effort against Tottenham Hotspur, but fell 3-2 off a Son Heung-Min brace and a Harry Kane Penalty:
- Dortmund are interested in extending Mats Hummels.
- Leon Goretzka has been criticized by Bayern fans for congratulating BVB on their comeback on Instagram.
The Daily Buzz
How can Barcelona un-screw themselves from their current situation? If they don’t make the Champions League knockout stage, they’re going to miss out on a lot of cash, which is only going to make their financial situation worse.