UEFA Champions League matchday three review – Heavyweights march on unabated

Our UEFA Champions League matchday three review looks into how the Premier League had to fight hard to earn their wins, even though Newcastle United ended up suffering their first loss to make things more competitive in Group E.

The ‘favourites’ of the competition in Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona all won their respective matches to take a step closer to qualifying for the knockout stages.

UEFA Champions League matchday three
Photo by PA Images – Photo by Icon Sport

UEFA Champions League matchday three review

Performance of the Week – PSG 3-0 AC Milan

Coming off a damning loss to Newcastle United in the previous matchday, PSG were gunning to redeem themselves against AC Milan. They bounced off the high energy levels of the Parc des Princes to produce what is arguably their most clinical display under Luis Enrique.

The French side established their authority from the get-go and were quite resilient against Milan’s attacks. They dominated possession and ran the opposition’s backline ragged using the pace and incisiveness of their frontline.

Kylian Mbappe and Randal Kolo Muani were both on the scoresheet. The former produced a lethal finish from close range to give his side the lead in the first half.  Even substitute Kang-In Lee got in on the action after coming on in the second half, scoring from a powerful attempt to get his first goal for PSG.

With the win, PSG have now taken control of the ‘Group of Death’ and are the only team to have won two matches so far in their group.

Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer – Photo by Icon Sport

Star Man – Warren Zaire-Emery

The 17-year-old midfielder proved why Enrique supports him so much with a stunning display. He ran the show from midfield, driving PSG forward and controlling their tempo with his impressive passing.

Zaire-Emery picked up two assists in the game, setting up Mbappe and Kang-In Lee’s goals nicely and also creating four major chances.

Photo by Philippe Lecoeur/FEP – Photo by Icon Sport

Honourable mentions

Celtic produced an inspired performance to hold Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Arsenal had to fight hard to get back to winning ways in the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Sevilla.

Celtic 2-2 Atletico Madrid

Brendan Rodgers’ side nearly caused an upset and gave Atletico Madrid a real run for their money at Celtic Park. The Scottish heavyweights took the lead in the fourth minute itself after Kyogo Furuhashi finished off a really well-worked move.

Antoine Griezmann equalised for the visitors in the 25th minute, scoring from the rebound after scuffing his initial penalty attempt. However, three minutes later, Luis Palma put Celtic back into the lead by capitalising on some questionable defending to send the supporters into a frenzy.

Unfortunately for Celtic, Atletico refused to stay down and continued to pressurise them with constant attacking moves. They brought the game level once again in the 53rd minute thanks to a powerful diving header from Alvaro Morata.

Celtic managed to hold on after that and failed to score past the 10-man La Liga side for the last 10 minutes or so, but ended up earning their first point of the group stages.

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Photo by Jamie Johnston/Focus Images – Photo by Icon Sport

Sevilla 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal had to weather the storm at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to outwit La Liga side Sevilla. Mikel Arteta’s side had to fight off some initial jitters but took the lead right at the end of the first half when Gabriel Jesus produced a sensational assist to allow Gabriel Martinelli to score.

The ex-Manchester City forward was at it again in the second half, cutting in from the left before powering a shot into the top corner. Sevilla took the fight to Arsenal after that and got one back in the 58hh minute through Nemanja Gudelj’s powerful header. However, the Gunners held on to get a slender win and moved back to the top of Group B.

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Photo by Samuel Carreño/News Images – Photo by Icon Sport

UEFA Champions League matchday three review – The final word

Manchester City continue to prove why many fancy them to successfully defend their Champions League title and still have a 100% win record after their 3-1 win over Young Boys. They are among four teams, alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, to have a perfect win record in the group stages so far.

The four ‘perfect’ teams are clearly among the favourites to lift the Champions League title in May and are proving to be very difficult to beat. Manchester United finally got a win on their board with a gritty 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen, while Newcastle United suffered their first loss in Europe to a clinical Borussia Dortmund side.

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