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UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 Recap

Alex Lee

Harry Maguire scored the game winning goal against Copenhagen.

Following the conclusion of  Matchday 3 of the Champions League, many of the competition’s major contenders, such as current champions Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid find themselves at the tops of their groups with perfect records. Other teams, like Manchester United and AC Milan, have struggled to live up to expectations, putting them in a difficult position if they still wish to advance to the tournament’s knockout rounds. Let’s look at both games these teams played and analyze their chances of turning it around and advancing out of their group.

Manchester United went into their third UCL game on zero points, after losing narrowly to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray. Their matchup was a home game against F.C. Copenhagen, likely one of their easiest fixtures. So, there were strong expectations from both the fans and players to win and give them hope of advancing to the round of sixteen. Despite a tense beginning to the match in which both teams shared possession, Manchester United came away with a 1-0 win as a result of a late goal from defender Harry Maguire. In the dying minutes, Copenhagen was awarded a penalty after a Scott McTominay foul inside the box. Luckily for United, though, André Onana read a poorly placed penalty from Jordan Larsson, securing all three points. Onana spoke after the game, saying that “the most important thing is to win against a tough team.” United currently sit in third place, with their next Champions League game being away against Copenhagen. Although they are only behind second-place Galatasaray by one point, a win against Copenhagen is essential to keep their chances of advancing alive.

Due to AC Milan’s group consisting of themselves, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, and Newcastle United, they knew from the beginning that reaching the knockout stages of the tournament would be no easy feat. However, after the first three games, Milan find themselves in an unlikely position to move out of their group into the next round. They are at the bottom of their group, taking only two points from the opening three matches. They faced PSG in Matchday 3, who were first in their group. After failing to score in their previous four Champions League games, Milan desperately needed goals. However, their 3-0 loss to PSG extended this streak to a total of five UCL matches without a goal. Despite conceding in the 32nd minute, Milan was able to put up a fight in the first half, primarily through chances from Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao. After halftime, though, Milan seemed to collapse, failing to pose a real threat and conceding twice more in the second half. AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud gave his thoughts after the game, saying that they “lacked a cutting edge in the box and after the break [they] made mistakes that cost [them] dearly.” Still, he remained optimistic, advising his teammates to “put [their] heads back on [their] shoulders.” They play PSG again in Matchday 4, with Milan now absolutely needing a win to keep any prospect of advancing out of their group.


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