by ‘Ifreke Inyang
All across Europe, the third round of the group matches of this season’s Champions League were played. And here are the five things we came away with from MatchDay.
We still need shock absorbers
Who would have thought Schalke 04 would defeat Arsenal at the Emirates? Yes, we know thee Gunners, are going through a bad patch at the moment. But on their home turf, where they have not lost to non-English clubs since forever, you would have least fancied them to draw the game. It was not the only shock of the week. Ajax stunned Manchester City in Holland, Dortmund inflicted the first defeat of Real Madrid’s European campaign, while Malaga also won AC Milan.
Arsenal’s season is in danger of collapse
From this point on, it can either improve or get worse for Arsene Wenger’s men. On Wednesday, they suffered their second defeat in four days – and these are days they should have won ordinarily. Their defence, which showed early signs of improving, have caved in and their attack has been flat. This weekend, they have the chance for instant redemption, as they host Queens Park Rangers in the league, where they are already 10 points off the leaders.
Ferguson needs to fix United’s leaky defence
It is now commonplace for Manchester United to concede goals at will. The former European champions went two goals behind, in the first half of their game against Benfica, before a Chicharito brace and Johnny Evans goal, earned them a trademark comeback. But you have to wonder how many teams, will allow them pull off such stunts. What more, they travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend. Their defence needs to be fixed very quickly.
Will the real strikers please stand up?
It was good that Chicharito chose the right time to hit form, as his goals rescued United from a shock result on Tuesday. Jaas Klass-Huntelaar, also needed a few clear cut chances, before he put his side ahead at the Emirates. Other than that, strikers elsewhere didn’t come up with the goods. There were no goals for Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Fernando Torres, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain were off colour and Gervinho was at his infuriating best against Schalke 04.
Manchester City need a miracle
Roberto Mancini’s can barely string together decent results in the UEFA Champions League. And what made yesterday’s loss more perplexing, was the fact that the current English champions, took the lead and were playing much better, before they suddenly capitulated, allowing Ajax to equalise in the final minute of the first half. Frank De Boer’s men went on to seal a comprehensive victory, with two more goals in the second half. And it really should have been more. Now, the men from the Etihad, have it all to do.