Friday, November 26, 2021

Premier League in Europe

Champions League

All four Premier League teams are through to the next round of the Champions League after victories midweek. Defending champions Chelsea inflicted Juventus’s worst ever Champions League defeat in a 4-0 mauling at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s  depth was again on display as the Blues delivered the quartet of goals despite the absence of offensive threats Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount. Defensively the Blues were again superb in posting the clean sheet. The club has conceded only 24 goals in 50 matches under Manager Thomas Tuchel. Cristiano Ronaldo led the way as Manchester United responded to the sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 win over Villareal. Ronaldo has scored in every one of his Champions League appearances this year. Jadon Sancho scored his first Manchester United goal. Liverpool won for a fifth consecutive time in their group, defeating Porto 2-0, as Mohamed Salah scored for a 17th time in as many matches this season. Liverpool scored multiple goals for a 16th consecutive match across all competitions, the longest such streak for an English team since 1939. Manchester City came back from a one goal deficit to defeat PSG 2-1. Second half goals by Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus enabled the Citizens to secure their spot in the Round of 16. All English clubs clinched the top spot in their individual groups but for Chelsea. The Blues need to match or exceed Juventus’ result in the final group match to take the top spot but are already guaranteed no worse than second. Mitigating the flush of success for Chelsea was a reportedly serious knee injury suffered by Ben Chilwell in a match which also saw an injury, believed less serious, to N’Golo Kante. 

Europa and Conference League

Leicester defeated Legia Warsaw 3-1, and West Ham defeated Rapid Wien 2-0 in the Europa League. West Ham will advance to the next round as group winner. Leicester moves to the top of a volatile group with one match remaining to determine the advancement status of the Foxes. In Europa Conference League play, Tottenham Hotspur, reduced to ten men after a 31st minute red card, was embarrassed 2-1 by NS Mura of the Slovenian league.

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