A Champions League Recap:
The group stage of the UEFA Champions League is officially over and the following teams have progressed to the knockout round:
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Real Madrid
- Atletico Madrid
- RB Leipzig
- Olympique Lyon
The Bundesliga came exceptionally close to having all four teams progress to the knockout stages, but Peter Bosz’s Bayer Leverkusen fell short at the BayArena, losing to Juventus 2-0 on goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain. Dortmund avoided crashing out of the competition by narrowly beating Slavia Praha 2-1 while Inter Milan lost to Barcelona 2-1 at the San Siro. Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt were the goal scorers for Dortmund, and it proved to be enough to take them through to the knockout round, though Dortmund were put through a nervy period when Julian Weigl was sent off in the 77th minute with a straight red card.
Bayern already secured first place in group B before the final matchday, but handily dispatched a much-rotated Tottenham side. A serious-looking knee injury to Kingsley Coman dampened what was otherwise a solid performance for Die Roten. Coman, Thomas Muller, and Philippe Coutinho were the goal-scorers on the night in the 3-1 win.
Leipzig drew Lyon 2-2 after taking a 2-0 lead, but the result was enough for them to clinch first place. Liverpool HAD to avoid defeat in Salzburg and did so with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah — from a seemingly impossible angle. Erling Haaland was left to eat his own words after predicting he would score a hat-trick against Liverpool en route to a 3-1 win for RB Salzburg.
- The draw for the knockout stages is set to take place on Monday, December 16th at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland
We’ll enjoy all of these accolades, thank you very much!
Robert Lewandowski is Bayern’s player of the month for November (FCBayern.com)
It should come as absolutely no surprise, but Robert Lewandowski was voted as Bayern Munich’s player of the month for November. The Polish ace received 58.2% of the votes, ahead of Alphonso Davies at 16.1%, Thomas Muller at 12.3%, Serge Gnabry at 4.4%, and Leon Goretzka at 1.7%. This is the fourth month in a row that Lewandowski has been named player of the month, as he collected the honor in August, September, and October as well.
In November, the prolific number 9 tallied three Bundesliga goals and an assist and five Champions League goals in only two matches, highlighted by his four-goal outing against Red Star Belgrade in Serbia. His league scoring streak was snapped against Fortuna Düsseldorf on November 23rd of the month, but his performances through the end of the month remained effective without scoring.
We leave you with highlights from that famous night in Belgrade where he recorded the quickest quadruple in the history of the Champions League (15 minutes):
RB Leipzig now leading the race to sign RB Salzburg’s Erling Haaland? (az-online.de)
As of late last week, the general consensus at the rumor mill was that Borussia Dortmund seemed to be winning the race to sign Norwegian starlet Erling Haaland from RB Salzburg. The feeling was that Dortmund would be the perfect club for his continued development, while Bayern would not want to pay upwards of €20 million for a backup to Lewandowski.
Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch suggested that Haaland should move to sister club RB Leipzig earlier this week, and it was suggested that Leipzig could already be planning a winter move for the young striker. Of course, Leipzig currently lacks the funds to buy Haaland, but the understanding is that they are ready to sell striker Matheus Cunha to a Spanish club in La Liga for approximately €20 million. Both Real Betis and Sevilla are said to be interested in the Brazilian and are both ready and willing to pay Leipzig’s asking price. That would give RB the funds to acquire Haaland.
Further talks between Leipzig and Haaland are reportedly set to take place this weekend and the main topic of discussion will be whether a move in the winter or summer makes more sense for both parties.
Yeah, remember Cunha? He was the guy who scored THAT goal vs. Leverkusen last season. Is he worth €20 million?
Leon Goretzka wins Bayern’s goal of the month for November (FCBayern.com)
Leon Goretzka has unfortunately missed the majority of this season through injury, but he’s worked his way back into the squad and has made his presence felt. He made his official return to action in the middle of October and has made a total of 11 appearances across all competitions since then.
Arguably, his best performance came in Bayern’s 6-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, in which he scored Bayern’s opener and his first ever goal in the Champions League. The goal was also officially voted as Bayern’s goal of the month for November. The goal was a finely taken header off of a pinpoint cross from Coutinho from the right flank and was a moment that Goretzka thoroughly enjoyed:
It’s [first Champions League goal] finally come off and I’m very happy about it.
Manuel Neuer being Manuel Neuer...
A picture really says a thousand words sometimes, doesn’t it?!
Bayern Munich's new left-back pic.twitter.com/dgQTdJXmFM— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) December 11, 2019
Jamie Carragher gives the Allianz Arena a shout out
BUT HE SAID TOTTENHAM’S STADIUM WAS BETTER. You mad, bro?!
Lewy out here looking like the new James Bond at the Christmas Party
‘Nuff said. The name’s Lewy......ROBERT...LEWANDOWSKI!