Robert Lewandowski scored four goals in 14 minutes, RB Leipzig qualified for the last 16 for the first time ever, Spurs made a superb comeback and some African stars made their mark. It was an action-packed week of Champions League football. Here are the Winners and Losers from Matchweek 5. Bet on football here.
Last season’s finalists produced a magnificent comeback from 2-0 down to beat Olympiakos 4-2 and seal their place in the last 16. The Spurs defence was poor in the first half and conceded two goals inside the first 20 minutes. In spite of that, Dele Alli’s goal at the stroke of half time was important as it allowed the hosts to lay siege on the Greek’s side goal for the majority of the second period. Two goals from Harry Kane and one from Serge Aurier sealed the deal for them. Although there is still that sloppiness we witnessed in the Mauricio Pochettino era, Jose Mourinho’s experience, with the help of a ball-boy, allowed him to make swift and necessary changes.
Red Star Belgrade became Lewandowski’s latest victim when he scored four goals for Bayern Munich in just over 14 second-half minutes. The four goals saw him take his total tally to 27 goals in just 20 competitive matches for the club this season. Even at 31 years of age, the striker is showing no signs of slowing down and he could possibly be the best number nine in the world at the moment.
Emil Forsberg scored twice in injury time as RB Leipzig came from 2-0 down to snatch a point against Benfica and book their place in the Champions League last 16 for the first time ever. Top of Group G on nine points after four matches, Leipzig knew a draw would be enough to send them through but found themselves two goals down in the 90th minute. They are the first team from East Germany to reach the round of 16 in the Champions League
Emerging African Stars
African players made their mark in the Champions League this week. With his strike against Genk, Salzburg’s Patson Daka became the first Zambian to score in Europe’s elite club competition. Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta scored a consolation goal for Genk who were hammered 4-1 by Daka’s Salzburg. Senegal international Krepin Diatta rescued a point for Club Brugge but was sent off together with his teammate, Angolan Clinton Mata, minutes later due to over-celebration.
The Spaniards missed a chance to qualify for the last 16 when they were thwarted by Chelsea in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Mestalla. The draw means both sides are on eight points after five games but Valencia are second due to a better head-to-head record, with Chelsea in third in Group H. Valencia play Ajax in their final group game and will have to win to ensure they qualify, while Frank Lampard’s side will book their place in the last-16 if they beat Lille at home. The Dutch side are top of Group H with ten points.
The Portuguese side blew a two-goal lead against Leipzig who scored in the 90th and 96th minutes to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. Benfica needed a victory to remain in the competition but have now been eliminated at the group stage for the third year in a row. They’ll need to beat Zenit St Petersburg to go to the Europa League.
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Dortmund to deal a blow to the last 16 qualification hopes. However, with both Dortmund and Inter Milan on seven points, the former must pick up more points from their final group fixture against Slavia Prague, than Inter Milan host Barcelona on the same night.