The Champions League ends the group stage, in which there will be several surprises, some positive and others negative, and in this last category there are large teams, of which more was expected and are at risk of being left with the desire to settle in the Round of 16. In some cases we will be able to see these teams in their second chance, within the Europa League, while others will have to go home to look for a pass to the next edition of the Champions in their local tournament.
Borussia Dortmund was perhaps not only a favorite to qualify for the Round of 16, but to do so as a leader, however, it only has six points and a negative goal difference (-7). Although he can tie Sporting Lisbon on points (positive difference of 5), the goal difference has him sentenced. Borussia plays the last card against Besiktas and must score, but also wait for Ajax to beat Sporting to compensate for the goal difference, so we have Haaland and company virtually eliminated.
Atlético Madrid plays the last card against Porto and it would be a failure considering that it has a more reinforced squad than in previous years, at least in terms of payroll, after the return of Antoine Griezmann. Has anyone seen him on the court? Because it seems that he got lost on the way from Barcelona to Madrid. The Colchoneros need to beat Porto and wait for Milan not to beat Liverpool, otherwise they could lose until the Europa League.
Milan was the group of death, next to Liverpool, Atlético de Madrid and Porto, and although the rossoneros have already won their first game, they have to beat the Reds at San Siro, and because of the goal difference compared to Porto , is bound to win. The low performance of the Italian team contrasts with what it does in Serie A, in which it is the sub-leader, tied on points with Napoli. We may have to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Oliver Giroud, Brahim Díaz and company in the Europa League unless they win against Liverpool.
The Catalans did not expect this transition stage to be so painful after the departure of Lionel Messi and then the dismissal of Ronald Koeman. Although Xavi Hernández tries to save Barcelona, the mission against Bayern Munich seems impossible. Barcelona must beat Bayern or wait for Benfica to lose or draw against Dinamo Kiev.