I’ve noticed a relatively common tendency among (some) fans of Bundesliga clubs, to obsess over the performance of the league’s European representatives each season. It appears to be driven by a sense of inferiority, because the discussion comes up, more often than not, when Bundesliga sides haven’t done so well in Europe.
So in the interest of balance, I thought it would be good to highlight the good week that the Bundesliga has had in the Champions League. The BuLi put up an aggregate score of 12-4 against their opponents in this week’s group stage fixtures. Maybe there should be some sort of league championship for the best league’s performances in the Champions League, that works on a points-based system, like the Constructors’ Championship in the F1? Anyway, but for Bayer Leverkusen losing 2-0 to Porto and subsequently sacking Gerardo Seoane, the Bundesliga had a lot of success in the Champions League this week. Lovely stuff.
Here’s a roundup of the results from matchday three in the Champions League group stages:
Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzeň
Marseille 4-1 Sporting Lisbon
Porto 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Club Brugge 2-0 Atlético Madrid
Ajax 1-6 Napoli
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham
Inter Milan 1-0 Barcelona
Liverpool 2-0 Rangers
RB Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb
RB Leipzig 2-1 Celtic
Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan
Juventus 3-1 Maccabi Haifa
Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Sevilla 1-4 Borussia Dortmund
Benfica 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Man City 5-0 FC Copenhagen
All of the Bundesliga’s representatives are still in with a pretty good shot at qualifying for the knockout stages, though some are in a stronger position than others. Bayern Munich are as good as through, likely topping their group as well, while Borussia Dortmund are in a reasonably commanding spot, sitting five points clear of Sevilla in third place. RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, and Eintracht Frankurt all find themselves in third place, but with a qualifying spot not out of reach. Leverkusen are level on points with Porto in second place, but behind on goal difference, and Frankfurt are in the same position behind Spurs. Leipzig are the club with the most to do if they are going to make it to the next stage, but they’re only a point behind Shakhtar Donetsk, so they’ve got a chance.
- Having sacked manager Gerardo Seoane, Bayer Leverkusen have moved quickly to appoint the former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich midfielder, Xabi Alonso, as the new boss. There’s been lots of hype about him at Real Sociedad, so I’m excited to see how he gets on with Leverkusen!
- Another casualty of the Champions League results this week was Julen Lopetegui, who was relieved from his duties as Sevilla manager after losing 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund (as well as an abysmal start to the season). But he may not be without a job for long, as Wolverhampton Wanderers are thought to view the Spaniard as their preferred candidate.
- Former BVB striker continues to enjoy what can only be described as a totally absurd start to life at Manchester City, scoring two goals last night in their 5-0 demolition of FC Copenhagen. The first of his goals on the night came with his first touch in the game!
- Unfortunately, BVB’s UEFA Youth League fixture against Sevilla was mired by one of Sevilla’s players making racist comments and gestures at Dortmund’s Abdoulaye Kamara. It’s incredibly grim when it’s the fans doing it, but there’s something even more sickening about it coming from another player. BVB have apparently filed a complaint with UEFA about the incident. Hopefully there are some very severe punishments.
The Daily Buzz
What was your highlight from the Champions League fixtures (not including BVB) this week?