The group stage of the 2019-2020 Champions League ended Wednesday (December 11th). PSG, winner of Galatasaray (5-0), finish unbeaten, as Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Naples and Barcelona. The favorites have almost all validated their ticket to the round of 16. Review of this first phase before getting into the thick of it.
They were 32 mid-September to kick off the group stage of the 2019-2020 edition of the Champions League . Three months later, they are only 16. This first phase of the competition ended on Wednesday, December 11th. There was not much suspense on the European lawns, since after the matches played on Tuesday , 14 of the 16 qualifiers for the knockout stages were known.
Neymar marks again, Bayern Munich to more than perfect
For PSG, the evening was serene on the ground, much less around the Parc des Princes. Against Galatasaray, the champion of France, with a somewhat reworked team, offered an easy victory (4-0) with goals from Mauro Icardi, Pablo Sarabia, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
The Brazilian, who missed more than half of this group stage due to suspension and injury, opened his counter-goal against the Turks. The Parisians were already assured of finishing in the 1st place of the group A. Their only challenge was to record an additional victory and to remain undefeated: it is done.
PSG did not suffer defeat in this first round, as did Manchester City, Juventus, FC Barcelona, Naples and Bayern Munich. Special mention for the Bavarians, who are the only ones to have won their six games (3-1 win against Tottenham on Wednesday). Robert Lewandowski tops the list of scorers with already 10 achievements.
Exploit of Atalanta, Atlético ensures
The real suspense was in fact in Group C and Group D. In the first, Manchester City was sure to finish in the lead, while Chakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta Bergamo could still finish in the 2nd square. The jackpot was won by the Italian club, yet new to the Champions League.
Despite three defeats in his first three games, despite a point taken in his first four games, Atalanta put Zagreb and Donetsk on the line, winning first against the Croatians two weeks ago (2-0), then by going to sign a superb victory in Ukraine (3-0). At the same time, Wednesday, Manchester City was ruthless with Dinamo (4-1), which allows the Bergamo to climb to the round of 16. In the current format of the Champions League (since 2003 so), this is the first time that a club that has lost its first three matches qualifies.
In Group D, Juventus had already locked the 1st place. The second was played between Atlético de Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, who were facing the Wanda-Metropolitano stadium. The Colchoneros did not fail (2-0). Note that in the other match, Juve beat Lokomotiv Moscow (2-0) thanks to the first goal of Cristiano Ronaldo in C1 this season.
Inter and Ajax at the trap
At the end of this group stage, almost all the big teams have qualified. It was clear that the group F would make a victim, since the draw had placed FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan (as well as Slavia Prague) together. The Nerazzurri finish in 3rd place and are donated to the Europa League.
A semi-finalist from last season remains at the dock: Ajax Amsterdam, who lost Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) during the summer. The Dutch, for one point, finished in 3rd place in Group H, behind Valencia and Chelsea.
The next important meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 16th. In Nyon, Switzerland, at 12.00 local time, the draw for the round of 16 will be held. Clubs finishing 1st in their group will face a club that finished 2nd. And two clubs from the same country will not be able to compete. PSG will not be able to fall on Olympique Lyonnais.
Qualified for the round of 16 first:
Paris Saint-Germain (France - Group A)
Bayern Munich (Germany - Group B)
Manchester City (England - Group C)
Juventus (Italy - Group D)
Liverpool (England - Group E)
FC Barcelona (Spain - Group F)
RB Leipzig (Germany - Group G)
Valencia (Spain - Group H)
Qualified for the round of 16 as second:
Real Madrid (Spain - Group A)
Tottenham (England - Group B)
Atalanta Bergamo (Italy - Group C)
Atlético de Madrid (Spain - Group D)
Naples (Italy - Group E)
Borussia Dortmund (Germany - Group F)
Olympique Lyonnais (France - Group G)
Chelsea (England - Group H)
Eliminated and donated to the Europa League as third:
Bruges (Belgium - Group A)
Olympiakos (Greece - Group B)
Chakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine - Group C)
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany - Group D)
RB Salzburg (Austria - Group E)
Inter Milan (Italy - Group F)
Benfica Lisbon (Portugal - Group G)
Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands - Group H)
Eliminated from any European competition:
Galatasaray (Turkey - Group A)
Red Star of Belgrade (Serbia - Group B)
Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia - Group C)
Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia - Group D)
Genk (Belgium - Group E)
Slavia Prague (Czech Republic - Group F)
Zenith St. Petersburg (Russia - Group G)
Lille (France - Group H)