After an eventful weekend in the English Premier League that saw a team in blue go top by five points while another blew their chance to overtake hated rivals Manchester United, we look at the key teams and players from England as well as their UEFA Champions League chances.
It was a weekend for eye-opening Premier League surprises as a new team in Manchester finally announced themselves. Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City tore the Red Devils apart in a monumental encounter at Old Trafford. Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko notched a brace each as they helped their team earn a stunning 6-1 win over their famous rivals.
Their magnificent victory comes on the back of a last-gasp win against Villarreal in the Champions League and they will now be confident of finishing in the two top of Group A despite the high-quality which Bayern Munich and Napoli possess.
Crisis? What crisis? Arsenal are getting back to business after their horrendous start to the season. Their rehabilitation continues with a convincing victory against their infamous bogey team, Stoke City. In their last seven games, they have been victors on six of those occasions, with their sole loss coming in the North London derby to Tottenham.
Fortunately for them also, their European form has been excellent in stark contrast to their earlier season form and should they maintain their recently solid performances, they should have no problem in getting to the knock-out stages.
United, on the other hand, will be utterly numbed by the sheer scale of their unbelievable second-half collapse. Some shambolic defending allowed City chances galore and they took the majority of them with aplomb. The massive defeat will surely erode away at their confidence and with the club already struggling in Group D of the Champions League, it was the last thing they needed.
Particularly since they believe they have gotten over their recent indifferent form by disposing of Otelul Galati in a professional 2-0 away win. Benfica and Basel will pose even sterner tests than the Romanian champions and it is questionable as to how the English champions will respond to last Sunday’s horror show.
Despite Chelsea falling to a controversial loss at the weekend, they should have no qualms whatsoever about qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League. The referee reduced Chelsea to nine men in the game as they lost by the slenderest margin of 1-0, with the goal coming from the spot.
Suffice to say, hey have been by far, the best team in Group E and but for an idiotic penalty given away by Salomon Kalou in Valencia, they would have had maximum points in their group. Nevertheless, seven points is still a fine return from three games and a victory against Genk in Belgium should seal their passage to the next phase of the competition.