Good Morning Fear the Wall
The first leg of all Champions League Round of 16 ties have been played in the last two weeks, and there were four Bundesliga teams vying for a place in the Quarter Finals: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, and RB Leipzig. Of the four, two teams won, one drew, and one lost. Not bad going!
Here’s how the Round of 16 looks at this stage:
Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Bayern Munich
Club Brugge 0-2 Benfica
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Napoli
RB Leipzig 1-1 Man City
Inter Milan 1-0 Porto
Obviously the match everyone has been talking about is Real Madrid’s shellacking of Liverpool, where Real came back from an early 2-0 deficit, through goals from Vinicius (2), Militao, and Karim Benzema (2) to win 5-2. As if a seven-goal comeback slugfest between two of the biggest and most successful teams in football history wasn’t enough, both Thibaut Courtois and Allison conspired to give us a couple very silly goalkeeper errors too. Splendid stuff.
The Bundesliga teams didn’t produce any of the entertainment gold that the Liverpool vs Real Madrid fixture did, but things are looking pretty good for German representation in Europe’s premier competition. Bayern Munich and BVB have both put themselves in very solid positions to progress through to the next round (though no one should be counting PSG or Chelsea out just yet); while RB Leipzig gave themselves a shot at causing an upset against one of the favourites to win the Champions League, having come back from a goal down to Manchester City to draw 1-1 on the night.
The only German side that have really dug themselves a hole is Frankfurt, who will head to Southern Italy needing to overturn a two-goal deficit. Despite a first-half penalty save from Kevin Trapp, Frankfurt were unable to hold Napoli off for long, as Victor Osimnhen scored just a few minutes later (before having a second ruled out immediately after). In the second half, things went from bad to worse as Randal Kolo Muani got himself sent off and Giovanni Di Lorenzo made it two for Napoli.
In Frankfurt’s defense, Napoli are very, very good right now. They are 15 points clear at the top of Serie A, and on current form they have got a real shot at the Champions League too. SkyBet makes them fourth favourite to lift the trophy, and FiveThirtyEight agrees. Something tells me Frankfurt are not coming back from this!
- After Foot Mercato revealed that BVB’s move for Remy Bensebaini deal has now been completed, Patrick Berger & Christopher Michel at SPORT1 are reporting that Dortmund are moving on to their next target, Daichi Kamada.
- There has been tons of speculation about Jude Bellingham’s future, and now Mario Cortegana, David Ornstein, and Raphael Honigstein at The Athletic (paywalled) have clubbed together to give everyone the lowdown. From what I can gather online, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Real Madrid are all interested. BVB are setting a price of £150m for anyone that wants to acquire the young Englishman, and Liverpool are apparently leading the race for his signature.
The Daily Buzz
Assuming that he leaves Borussia Dortmund (which is no sure thing at this point), where do you think Jude Bellingham will be plying his trade next season?