Friday, October 27, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Newcastle tripped up versus Dortmund in a 1-0 loss at St. James Park to create chaos in its  qualifying group. Dortmund won for the first time in the group and now sits on four points alongside the Magpies. Both clubs trail PSG despite the French side having lost on their own visit to northeast England. PSG responded to that loss by thumping AC Milan in Paris on Wednesday. The Magpies lacked the aggression displayed in their win over PSG and were a deserved loser against the German side which was fighting to stay in the qualification race.  Adding injury to insult for the Magpies was a recurrence of striker Alexander Isak’s groin injury which saw him lifted from Wednesday’s contest.

Manchester United won ugly once again. Following a nervy 2-1 weekend win over Sheffield United in the Premier League, the Red Devils edged Copenhagen 1-0 in their Champions League match on Tuesday. The much-criticized Harry Maguire earned a bit of redemption with a 72nd minute goal for the club which stripped him of his captaincy. Players previously not preferred by Manager Eric ten Hag, such as Maguire and midfielder Scott McTominay, have returned to the fray and delivered key performances for United in recent weeks.

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana preserved the home victory over the Danish club with a stoppage time penalty save. United now stands third in its qualifying group, one point behind second place Galatasaray while Bayern Munich has a seemingly insurmountable lead for the top spot.

Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus had a goal and an assist to help Arsenal to an important 2-1 road win at Sevilla on Tuesday. Arsenal, which dropped its last qualifying match at Lens, moved to the top of its qualifying group with the win in Spain. Jesus, however, left the match with a likely hamstring injury and could miss the Gunners’ Premier League match this weekend.

Erling Haaland scored twice on Wednesday as Manchester City stayed perfect in its Champions League group with a 3-1 over Young Boys in Switzerland.

Liverpool was even more dominant in a 5-1 Europa League shellacking of Toulouse on Thursday. Brighton was also a winner in Europa League competition, posting a 2-0 victory over Ajax. West Ham, however, fell 2-1 at Olympiacos.

In the Europa Conference League, Aston Villa notched an impressive 4-1 win over AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

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