In the span of two weeks, Dynamo Kyiv managed to secure a couple of their most impressive wins in their club history. Through being drawn against FC Barcelona in the Group Stages of the 1997/98 Champions League, some of Europe’s managerial titans were able to square off. Valeriy Lobanovskiy would be matched against Louis van Gaal. In the matches, Dynamo were too much for Barcelona thanks to their well-designed strategy, despite having inferior talent.
Dortmund’s struggles under Peter Bosz continued Tuesday evening after conceding two second half goals to Tottenham, officially eliminating them from the Round of 16. For the North London club, this result clinched the top spot of Group H, having already earned a spot into the knockout rounds prior to kickoff. The result also prevented BVB from getting their first win in this year’s Champions League campaign.
For much of the early stages of this season I have been unable to write for various reasons. During that time there were a number of interesting games and impressive performances. In this series I will analyse aspects of some of these matches.
Besiktas earned a point against Monaco keeping them top of Champions League Group G in a fraught and highly transitional encounter. Head Coach Şenol Güneş managed to create widespread disorganisation in the match through both controlled and uncontrolled methods. Besiktas were better at controlling the ensuing disorganisation than their opponents, and were unfortunate not to win the game.
The 1997 Champions League Final pitted Juventus against Borussia Dortmund. The Bianconeri were under the stewardship of the legendary Marcello Lippi. This was in some ways a game of typical of nineties football however there were some impressive modern features from the iconic Italian side. In a guest analysis James Curzon delves into the game’s details.
The Carlo Ancelloti era at Bayern came to a sudden conclusion after an underwhelming performance on Wednesday evening. This match was Champions League group stage match that many across the world anticipated once the draw was made back in August, only for it to be notable for the wrong reasons for Bayern. For Paris St. Germain, the match came as an opportunity to show to the world if they are worth mentioning as a club with legitimate hopes of winning the competition with their reloaded squad. With both sides won their opening Champions League fixtures, PSG comfortably took the top spot in the group after a decisive victory over the German champions.
Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund meet in the group stages yet again in what has turned out to be one of the more common and exciting pairings within the last 5 seasons. Los Blancos continue to dominate in Europe with a diamond made up of Isco, Modric, Kroos, and Casemiro. Dortmund sought to bring their high pressing 4-3-3 and counterpressing to the game, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
Tottenham met Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Wednesday Night in the opening round of the Champions League Group Stage. The Germans travelled to London undefeated under new manager Peter Bosz, whilst Spurs were keen to eradicate their ‘Wembley blues’ after a mixed start to their season.
The Champions League returned in mid-week with the first legs of the final qualifying round on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, the draws pitched together a number of strong teams that could have a big impact on the competition, who would now have to battle over two legs to reach the group stages. Fortunately, this gave PR, AL and JD interesting ties to analyse, and each author summarises the key aspects in the clash they watched.
Linfield hosted Celtic at Windsor Park for the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier, in a game that will be remembered more for events off the pitch than on it. With the match moved to Friday evening as opposed to the originally scheduled Wednesday night to avoid the Glasgow side’s playing in Belfast coinciding with the ‘Twelfth’, an already unusual scenario was only compounded by Celtic’s uncharacteristically poor play in possession, albeit in part down to the home side’s good defensive organisation.