Champions League play is finally here, and we’ve got some reactions hot off the presses from the opening week of fixtures. With 16 matches, we conjured up three of our biggest losers from the matchweek in European play.
Manchester United Continues to Look Lost
With high expectations heading into Erik ten Hag‘s second season as the United manager, the Red Devils have looked far below par to start the 2023-24 campaign. While they were able to put a trio of goals past the Bayern Munich defense on Wednesday, they were constantly chasing the match – never once having the lead – with a porous defense that has failed them time and time again in the past month. If these performances continue and lead to an early Champions League exit, ten Hag’s days as the United gaffer may be numbered.
Milan Fails to Claim 3 Points vs. Newcastle
Milan fans should be encouraged by their dominant performance against a Premier League side, putting together a worthy home effort to claim a single point in a lopsided draw. Credit to Newcastle for weathering the storm, but it’s hard not to feel shorthanded if you’re Milan with a +1.71 xG differential in the match. That being said, you can’t take anything away from Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope, who had a career outing in the match.
Union Berlin Battles for 93 Minutes to Leave Empty-Handed
In an incredulous feat, Union Berlin kept pace with Real Madrid for 93 minutes as the match pushed towards what looked to be a 0-0 draw. Unfortunately, the Germans fell two minutes short as Jude Bellingham saved the day for Los Blancos with a 94th-minute winner, giving them all three points. With Napoli and Real Madrid claiming three points in the opening fixtures, Union Berlin faces a real uphill climb to get back into knockout stage contention.
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