Friday, October 28, 2022

Premier League in Europe

Champions League

Three of the four Premier League clubs have secured their passage to the knockout round of Champions League competition. Spurs, however, need a win or draw at Marseilles next week to advance in the competition after a late Harry Kane goal was overturned on VAR review in a 1-1 draw with Sporting Lison. Incensed Tottenham Hotspur Manager Antonio Conte received a red card for his protestations and comments. The Italian manager will thus be banned from next week’s critical match. Manchester City clinched first place in its group with a goalless draw at Dortmund and will face a second-place qualifier in the next round. The Citizens, however, experienced a nervous moment when Erling Haaland limped from the pitch. The Norwegian striker is reported to have suffered a minor foot injury and was dealing with a fever. Manager Pep Guardiola was optimistic regarding Haaland’s prognosis and indicated the prolific goal scorer could even be available for the weekend league match with Leicester. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah now leads this season’s competition with seven goals after the Egyptian forward scored in a 3-0 win at Ajax. Liverpool clinched second place behind Napoli in its group. To finish first in the Group, the Reds would need to defeat the Italians by four goals in their match next week. Chelsea clinched the top spot in its group with a 2-1 win over Salzburg on Tuesday. The Blues won for a third straight match after losing and drawing in their first two matches of the competition. 

Europa and Conference League

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the pitch and scored a goal in Manchester United’s 3-0 thrashing of Sheriff Tiraspol. The Red Devils need to defeat Real Sociedad by at least two goals in Spain next week to top their group. Failing to do so will pair United in the next round with one of the clubs descending from the Champions League. Potential opponents in the next round, should Manchester United finish second in the group, include Barcelona, Juventus and Atletico Madrid after those clubs were eliminated from the top European competition. Arsenal could also face a playoff with one of the eliminated Champions League clubs after the Gunners lost 2-0 at PSV Eindhoven on Thursday. The Gunners need to defeat Zurich next week at the Emirates to secure the top spot in their group and a presumably easier draw in the next round. West Ham defeated Silkeborg 1-0 at London Stadium in their Europa Conference League match. The victory, secured with a Manuel Lanzini goal, clinches top spot in their group for the Hammers in  advance of next week’s final group stage match. 


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