UCL: Premier League teams came unprepared.
We are two match days gone in the Uefa Champions League, both the Tuesday and Wednesday fixtures gave us things to talk about. After two matches, we have seen some clubs prove that they aren't in the tournament for a joke and they will fight to the end of every match to grind out the needed results to keep them in the competition.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich remain my biggest contender for the title, both clubs have been quite outstanding in their UCL matches so far and I think either of them might eventually lift the cup at the end of the tournament. I expected Benzema's absence to be a setback for the team but they have won two matches without him, the youngsters are getting the job done and their performance gives me a reflection of what Real Madrid's future will look like if they keep this set of boys and help them develop as well.
Bayern Munich has played three consecutive draws in the German Bundesliga but they have kept a 100% record in the Champions League. The Bundesliga champions don't look like they are in their best form at the moment but getting a victory against Barcelona and Inter Milan so far in the competition shows us the level of their preparedness for the 2022/23 UCL Campaign.
These clubs haven't conceded a goal yet despite playing against a high scoring side in their respective leagues. Napoli has shown great potential so far, they are in great shape but I still don't see them standing a chance against the likes of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.
It would be unfair not to commend Manchester City for the job well done so far and they seem to be the only hope the English Premier League has in the UCL at the moment. Pep Guardiola and his boy are showing the spirit of the UCL title contender and time will how far they will go in the competition, the group stage matches haven't been Manchester City problems in their previous participation in the competition. The knockout stage has humbled them for quite some time now and I hope Erling Haaland can make the difference for the team as we saw him do against Dortmund.
Aside from Manchester City in the Uefa Champions League, other Premier League teams in the competition went unprepared.
Liverpool got their first win in the UCL this season against Salzburg, they suffered a huge blow against Napoli in their first match and the defeat said a lot about the current form of the team.
Thanks to Joel Matip last minute header against Salzburg else the match would have ended as a draw. It is not like the team isn't playing well, Liverpool had 10 shots on target and converted twice which isn't enough because just like Ajax conceded late, they can do the same as well. Liverpool's performance at the moment is below expectations as the 2021/22 UCL runner-up and I doubt if they will be anywhere near the final if they don't reach their maximum form as soon as possible. It is still a long way to go but every point counts and finishing second might put the team in a tight position against a threatening opponent.
The team is gradually recovering but how soon will they reach the expected form they will need to create fear in the heart of other clubs in the competition. The Premier league will return this weekend and it won't get easier combining both competitions, I hope Jurgen Klopp has answers to helping the team return to glory day.
Chelsea's loss to Dynamo Zagreb sparked lots of reaction in the club and it facilitated the sack of Thomas Tuchel.
Graham Potter, the new manager led the team against Salzburg on Wednesday night and the encounter ended in a draw at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea got a better result than they did against Dynamo Zagreb but there isn't much to the team's performance compared to what we saw in Thomas Tuchel's last match with the club.
The point earned was the difference which doesn't seem to be a big deal because Chelsea had the home advantage. Dynamo Zagreb wouldn't have won if they played at Stamford Bridge, the home advantage played a role.
It is too early to judge the new manager, he still has a long way to go and the team performance against Salzburg was a good one for his first match with the blues. If he gets things right, he might be able to lead the team to great heights in the competition.
Tottenham was the most disappointing Premier League team in the UCL for this week and they deserve some spanking. Tottenham defeated Marseille in their first match and it looked like they are charged up but I wasn't convinced because of their Premier League performance. Liverpool did worse and the team struggles with injuries can justify their terrible performance against Napoli but it is a whole difficult scenario.
In football, I have learned that it is not finished until the final whistle is blown, and seeing that Tottenham wanted to settle for a draw really got me angry. They dropped the match tempo and conceded in the 90th and 93rd minutes of the game which is so ridiculous to me.
Wasting their 90 minutes effort in just three minutes is devastating and it tells how terrible the team is.
The Premier League teams in the UCL aren't in great shape and things could get worse if they don't talk some senses into their heads. The EPL fans will need more than just Manchester City in the competition if they are hoping to bring the title to England this season, it is still a long way to go and we can only hope for the best.