No point having a fancy into because the post is going to be long enough already without me wittering on for longer. All groups will be covered so just skip to your favourite team’s group if you can’t be arsed reading the whole thing.
Atletico walked it and in many ways that isn’t a shock, the bigger shock is that Juventus once again were fucking awful. Despite the fact that they dominate Italian football year in and year out, they still manage to be absolutely shit in Europe. Yes Juve have went through but for all the world I don’t know how, they scraped a home result against Olmypiakos who also inexplicably lost to Malmo and if that wasn’t worse enough Juve happened to play Atletico to a meaningless 0-0 which gave both teams exactly the result they wanted. It is incredible the amount of luck one team can have and apparently Juve have shit loads of luck.
My pre-group stage prediction was correct for the wrong reasons.
The defending champs walked the group with incredible ease which isn’t how you’d describe how the other giant team coped. I wrote in prior to the groups that Liverpool couldn’t have handpicked a better draw…oh dear…that really tells you how atrociously poor Liverpool are. To describe their campaign in one word it would be pathetic. They achieved 5 points from 6 games and let’s be perfectly honest here, 5 points flattered them drastically. They were incredibly lucky to win their one and only game against lowly Ludogrets after the ref fabricated a penalty out of thin air and beyond that they couldn’t even manage to win a single game, pathetic indeed. Basel are also incredibly lucky that they got such a piss poor excuse for a side in Liverpool because they were equally as shit, going through with a pathetic 7 points. Ludogrets did better than I’d expect.
I had Liverpool going through by default with Real, turns out it was Basel who went through by default.
I thought Monaco were shit and they managed to finish top of this group…not sure what that either says about the group or my prediction abilities… I also said that I thought Benfica could do quite well this year (partially due to the weak group) and they managed to finish bottom…hm…starting to think it’s maybe my predictions that are shit. Oh well, to be fair this is a shit group and I am more than certain that every 2nd team will want to draw Monaco, because they are shit. Leverkusen went through from this group as well but I’d be surprised if they went any further.
I had Benfica and Bayer going through which is half right with Monaco going taking Benfica’s place.
The group of domestic underachievers, I thought Arsenal would have been better than this but Arsenal are Arsenal and do tend to disappoint. Dortmund’s league form is incredibly odd but I still believe that they can be a very successful cup team and will do fairly well in the Champions League. Anderlecht were a nice surprise, doing themselves quite proud in what was a difficult group. Galatasaray were an absolute embarrassment, make Liverpool look like they’ve had a good campaign.
I had Arsenal and Dortmund going through but in the wrong order.
What a difference a couple of minutes make, City were all but out in the fifth round of games but two last minute goals and they’ve ended up in the last 16 of the Champions League. City continue their poor Champions League form and dependent on the draw I really can’t see them getting beyond the last 16 (unless they pull a Monaco). City really are one of the luckiest teams in football, constantly getting second lives and sometimes third ones when all seems lost, I imagine it isn’t great for the empty seats (called fans at other clubs) hearts but it does make for good entertainment. Bayern walked it like you’d expect and still look good for winning the tournament as a whole. The less said about Roma the better, but how typical is it of an Italian team playing for a 0-0 when the opposition is there for the taking? They paid the price.
My pre-tourny predictions were spot on for this group.
Not sure there is much to say about this group, Barca and PSG were both always going to go through because of the weakness of the other two teams and so it came to pass. Everyone talks PSG up as if they are a really good team, which isn’t unusual because they are the most over rated team in Europe. It is further culminated by the fact that they also possess the most over rated player in Europe in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I asked my 9 year old cousin who he thought was the best player in the world recently and his response was Ibrahimovic, which is odd because he won’t have seen a Ligue 1 game in his life and doesn’t have Sky Sports (the only place he’d see PSG play Champions League football), says everything about Ibrahimovic. Who knows how good Barca are, they rarely play a good team and when they do they struggle, but you wouldn’t write them off because Messi and stuff.
My pre-group stage predictions were spot on here as well.
Not really sure what to say about this group really, Chelsea walked it and the other teams weren’t particularly goods. Schalke limped through next to Chelsea who are legitimate contenders, Schalke clearly are not. Sporting should be disappointed, only needing a draw against a weak Chelsea side in the last round of fixtures and they couldn’t manage it, they’ll be kicking themselves.
I had this group correct as well.
Bit of a weird group as Porto romped to the top with relative ease and Shakhtar took second. I wrote about how I thought that it would be difficult for Shakhtar to go through because of the troubles in Ukraine and the fact that they are based in Eastern Ukraine where most of the problems are, but you have to give them an incredible amount of credit because to make it through is a hell of an achievement. I slagged Porto off because I think that they are perpetually at the top of European football because of the stupid way that the coefficient is calculated but you can’t really complain when they go through without losing a game. Bilbao have blown a perfect chance to go through, something which they really should have done. A win against BATE in Belarus and they’re in the last 16 but inexplicably they managed to lose 2-1, which is then made all the worse by the fact that BATE conceded a Champions League record number of goals and only scored two which were in this game, they made a right arse of themselves.
I had Bilbao and Porto going through but instead we got Porto and Shakhtar.
How good were my predictions? Not too great, 13/16 for going through and 10/16 going through in correct positions. I wouldn’t say that there were that many shocks in terms of who went through here, with the biggest one probably being that Liverpool were so dreadfully poor.
Currently I can’t see beyond four teams winning this, and they are Barca, Real, Bayern and Chelsea. Others could maybe challenge but it would be a surprise and at this point it is all speculation because the draw could easily change my opinion on the matter. I still think Bayern are the team to beat and should be favourites to win the competition.
So what did you think of the Champions League group stages? Were you a little let down or did you think it was the best one in years? Did you also think it was hilarious to see Liverpool slump out in a pathetic manner? Leave a comment and let me know and don’t forget that you can find the latest updates by joining the Facebook and Twitter pages because why the fuck not?