Winners: Bayern Munich
Runners-up: FC Copenhagen
In Group A of the Champions League, FC Bayern showcased their dominance and resilience as a team. The Bundesliga giants broke even more records in their win against FC Copenhagen, who they defeated 2-1, thanks to goals made by Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel. Bayern’s performance in the Champions League so far has extended their unbeatable run in the group stage to 36 games. They’ve also won the last 16 games in a row and are the first team in Champions League history to win 18 group stage away games consecutively. FC Copenhagen secured the second spot with 8 points, while Galatasaray and Manchester United finished third and fourth, respectively.
Runners-up: PSV Eindhoven
Group B of the group stage celebrated Arsenal’s triumphant return to the Champions League after being defeated at the hands of Bayern Munich last year. Thankfully, last year’s setback didn’t deter the team in the slightest as they went on to win all of their group B matches. Arsenal captain, Odegaard, and manager, Mikel Arteta, made strategic decisions and substitutions throughout the match against PSV which assisted in securing the win. One of the star players of the night was Saka, who executed a lightning-fast counterattack on the field, ultimately leading to a goal from Jesus. Arsenal finished at the top of the group with 13 points, PSV Eindhoven secured the second spot with 9 points, while Lens and Sevilla finished third and fourth, respectively.
Winners: Real Madrid
In Group C, fourteen-time champion Real Madrid engaged in a battle that had fans on the edge of their seats. Their exhilarating clash against Napoli had a wild journey featuring standout moments including remarkable performances from Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham. The winning goal was made by Real Madrid’s central midfielder, Federico Valverde, in the 78th minute of the match with a stunning long-range shot into the net. Real Madrid dominated at the top of the group with a whopping 18 points, Napoli secured the second spot with 10 points, while Braga and FC Union Berlin finished third and fourth, respectively.
Winners: Real Sociedad
Runners-up: Inter Milan
Real Sociedad and Inter Milan went head-to-head in their match for Group D. Real Sociedad claimed victory after their first appearance in the Champions League group stage in a decade after holding Inter Milan to a goalless draw. The player named ‘man of the match’ was none other than Real midfielder Martin Zubimendi, who has attracted lots of attention for his significant role in the team’s success so far. Zubimendi was quoted saying "We knew we had to play a slow game, with a lot of possession.” They certainly achieved this in the first half of the match, while notably fending off counterattacks from Milan. Real Sociedad secured their spot at the top of the group with 12 points, Inter Milan secured the second spot with 12 points, while Benfica and FC Salzburg finished third and fourth, respectively.
Winners: Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid displayed an impressive amount of skill and determination throughout the Group E matches. The team’s relentless attack style of play during their battle against Lazio had the opponents struggling to keep up, resulting in a win from Madrid 2-0. Attributing to this monumental win were Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Lino, who scored in each half of the match. This win was the first time since 2016 that Madrid has reached the knockouts as group winners in the Champions League. Atlético Madrid secured their spot at the top and finished with 14 points, Lazio secured the second spot with 10 points, while Feyenoord Rotterdam and Celtic finished third and fourth, respectively.
Winners: Borussia Dortmund
Runners-up: Paris Saint-Germain
Group F was arguably one of the most anticipated due to the title bestowed upon them: Champions’ League Group of Death. This is the title given to any group if it contains at least 3 teams that are capable of winning or are evenly matched. Despite the standout performance of Kylian Mbappe in his central attacking role, Dortmund rounded off the group stage with a 1-1 draw, qualifying for the Round of 16. Despite being in Group F, many fans didn’t expect Dortmund to finish in first place with many predicting they’d finish at the bottom of the group. However, they didn’t back down and continued to compose a threat against their opponents. Borussia Dortmund secured their spot at the top with 11 points, Paris Saint Germain secured the second spot with 8 points, while AC Milan and Newcastle United finished third and fourth, respectively.
Winners: Manchester City
Runners-up: RB Leipzig
In Group G, Manchester City continued their impressive form, ending the Champions League group stage with 6 wins out of 6 games for the first time in the club’s history. The English club was a force to behold with unforgettable goals from Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez. Fans at the Etihad Stadium were left stunned after Man City striker, Lois Openda, scored two breakaway goals. Manchester City secured their spot at the top with an impressive 18 points, RB Leipzig secured the second spot with 8 points, while Young Boys and Red Star Belgrade finished third and fourth, respectively.
Runners-up: FC Porto
In Group H, five-time champion FC Barcelona won 4 out of 6 games, taking their place in the Round of 16 for the first time since the 2020/21 season. FC Porto gave Barcelona one of the toughest tests of the season so far. However, Barcelona wouldn’t be beat and stayed on course after two straight group stage eliminations. Despite Barcelona’s legendary success, this win was still unexpected due to the club’s defeat in the group stage two years in a row. FC Barcelona secured their spot at the top with 12 points, FC Porto secured the second spot with 12 points, while Shakhtar Donetsk and Antwerp finished third and fourth, respectively.
The group stages of the UEFA Champions League never fail to disappoint, and this year was no exception. As we move into the Round of 16 stage, we can’t wait to see what teams make it to the top. Here are the confirmed teams facing each other in the Round of 16:
Porto vs Arsenal
Napoli vs Barcelona
Paris vs Real Sociedad
Inter vs Atlético de Madrid
PSV vs Dortmund
Lazio vs Bayern
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