Champions League review: Group C living up to ‘Group of Death’ moniker

Here’s what happened on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League, in case you missed it…


• Roundup: Red Star stuns Liverpool, Thierry Henry’s woes & more


AS Monaco 0, Club Brugge 4 || Atletico Madrid 2, Borussia Dortmund 0 || Inter Milan 1, FC Barcelona 1 || Tottenham 2, PSV Eindhoven 1 || Red Star Belgrade 2, Liverpool 0 || Napoli 1, Paris Saint-Germain 1 || FC Porto 4, Lokomotiv Moscow 1 || Schalke 2, Galatasaray 0


Wild scenes in Serbia
Group C is living up to its nickname as the “Group of Death.” Two points separate first-place Napoli from last-place Red Star Belgrade after the Serbians posted an 2-0 upset win over Liverpool on Tuesday. All four teams in the group, which also includes PSG and Napoli, are in the running for the two knockout berths at stake, and the way things have gone so far you can expect the group to be decided on the final matchday in December.

While full credit must be given to Red Star for earning its first-ever Champions League victory, serious questions must be asked of Liverpool for the way it approached this game. Curiously, manager Jurgen Klopp did not start Roberto Firmino, and only subbed the influential Brazilian into the match in the second half when his side was down two goals. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane looked far from their best as part of a Liverpool attack that was toothless and lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

Red Star’s Milan Pavkov easily shrugged off Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum to get the ball onto his right foot before smashing a fierce shot past goalkeeper Alisson. That one play seemed to sum up Liverpool’s night in Belgrade – lackadaisical at times and far too casual.

Thierry Henry still looking for his 1st win
Club Brugge entered Matchday 4 mired in a streak of Champions League futility, with its last group-stage win in the competition coming 13 years ago. But Stade Louis II proved to be the perfect remedy for what ailed the Belgians, as they embarrassed AS Monaco in a 4-0 win. It was an enthralling performance by Brugge, who dominated proceedings – and rode its luck at times – to finally end its group-stage hoodoo.

You have to feel a bit sorry for Monaco coach Thierry Henry, who was hired last month as a replacement for Leonardo Jardim. The club has yet to earn a win in five matches under the Arsenal legend, and this loss combined with Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund officially eliminated Monaco from qualifying for the knockout round with two games remaining in the group stage. Monaco is also stuck in the relegation zone in Ligue 1, and is now winless in its last 15 contests in all competitions.

Buffon puts on a show
Gianluigi Buffon turned back the clock on Tuesday, coming up …read more



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