5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action | OneFootball

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Joel Sanderson-Murray·28 November 2023

5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

There was late drama in Paris, a comeback in Manchester and redemption in Barcelona.

Here’s what we made of a captivating night in the Champions League.


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Heartbreak in Paris

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

Newcastle were one minute away from probably the most famous night in their 130-year history. One minute away from scenes of dancing Geordies on the streets of Paris and Hebburn dominating your social media timelines tomorrow morning.

But a 97th-minute penalty converted by Kylian Mbappé cruelly snatched an unexpected and remarkable away victory from the grasps of the Premier League side.

A jab to the heart to make Magpies fans aware that the European journeys are all fun and games until they become so devastating.

PSG dominated the game but were met by what seemed an unbeatable Nick Pope, an impressive Tino Livramento and a 17-year-old in Lewis Miley who was probably playing Mbappé on FIFA just weeks ago and now was shining on the same pitch as the Frenchman.

Eddie Howe will take heart from how his side defended and that they produced a moment of real quality in the build-up to Alexander Isak’s goal.

Newcastle might feel hurt tonight but they have given themselves a hell of a chance of progressing.


All to play for

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

Groups of Deaths very rarely live up to their billing, do they?

That can’t be said about Group F, which has delivered and then some, with only Borussia Dortmund having qualified and the other three teams all having a chance of joining them going into the final day.

Mbappé may have saved PSG tonight but Luis Enrique’s men still have to win in their trip to Dortmund on matchday six to ensure progression.

If they fail to pick up all three points it leaves the door open for one of Newcastle or Milan to overtake them if either side wins at St.James’ Park.

The reality of PSG in the Europa League is still in contention. To the final game it goes.


Checkpoint for Barça

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

Considering how the last two group stages have gone, tonight was a big night for Barcelona.

The Blaugrana have exited at this point in the last two campaigns and when they fell behind to Pepê’s 30th-minute opener for Porto tonight the pressure was on.

A defeat would’ve left Barça’s fate hanging until the final day, but two goals from the Joāo’s, Cancelo and Félix, saved the day and Xavi’s side progressed into the last 16 as group winners.

It appears all hasn’t been well for the Catalan club recently, with poor performances leading to calls for the head coach’s head in some quarters, so this result will ease the pressure tenfold.

Barcelona might not be *the* Barcelona of Champions League past at the moment but having them back on the big stage at the business end of the competition may help them get back to those dizzying heights.


Dark horses?

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

A trip to face Arne Slot’s free-flowing, all-conquering Feyenoord side with your knockout stage fate on the line didn’t seem like the perfect way to celebrate Diego Simeone’s 100th game as a manager in the Champions League but Atlético Madrid made it a night to remember.

Atleti shut out the hostile atmosphere from all four stands in De Kuip to make light work of their task, easing to a 3-1 victory and progressing past the group stage for the ninth time under Simeone.

Lifting ol’ big ears is something that has escaped the Argentine despite having reached the final twice in his tenure but could this be the year they go one step further?

They have every right to believe so. There aren’t many players better than Antoine Griezmann in Europe right now, and the usually solid defensive Atleti side is off the leash.

They’ve also scored 15 goals in five group games to go along their 30 goals netted in LaLiga.

Don’t sleep on Atlético.


And the rest

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Tuesday's Champions League action

The remarkable story of Shakhtar Donetsk continues. Their win over Antwerp means the Ukrainians have a straight shootout with Porto to qualify for the last-16 on the final day.

Erling Haaland scored to reach 40 goals faster than any other player in the competition’s history (35 games) as Manchester City came from 2-0 behind to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 and claim top spot.

And Lazio will also feature in the last-16 after two late Ciro Immobile goals saw them overcome Celtic.