Lille’s victory illuminated French football fans on Tuesday evening. But a lot of other things happened on the European scene. We take stock.
Bayern Munich, already qualified, has chained a fifth success in a row in its group. The Bavarians struggled to dispose of Dynamo Kiev (1-2) but once again, they could count on their Polish weapon. Robert Lewandowski, contender for the Golden Ball next Monday, could also have been included in the Puskas prize (that of the most beautiful goal) within a few weeks. At the start of the match, he scored a sumptuous acrobatic kick on the snow-covered Ukrainian lawn.
Kingsley Coman offered the break (42nd) to Bayern, before seeing his opponent reduce the gap at the end of the match.
Ronaldo saves Carrick’s premiere
The Mancuniens are dropped in the Premier League but will see the knockout stages of the Champions League. As often, the Red Devils relied on Cristiano Ronaldo in the last quarter of an hour to get rid of Unai Emery’s Villarreal, who had so far dominated the debates. With his mischievous lob, the Portuguese scored his 140th goal in C1. Released, the Red Devils then ensured their success on a counter concluded by Jadon Sancho (90th).
For his first match as interim head coach, Michael Carrick had made strong choices: Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes, less successful for several weeks, was left on the bench unlike Donny van de Beek, shunned during the mandate of “Ole” Solskjaer, and Frenchman Anthony Martial.
Barça de Xavi will have to wait
There is still work to be done. The Catalans version Xavi did not really gain momentum on Tuesday, three days after their snatch victory in the derby against Espanyol (1-0). While they could secure their place in the top two of Group E, they stumbled over Benfica Lisbon (0-0).
Barça remains 2nd in Group C with 2 points ahead of Lisbon, but will have to scratch his qualification on the lawn of Bayern Munich who had corrected 3-0 in the first leg.
Juventus slapped by Chelsea
Beaten in Turin (1-0) in the first leg at the end of September, the Blues took their revenge. And it was salty at Stamford Bridge: four goals to zero. The gang in Tuchel boned Rabiot and others, well helped at the start by a contentious goal then carried by their collective superiority.
Thanks to this benchmark success, the Premier League leaders also validated their ticket for the round of 16 in February. Note also the miraculous defensive rescue of Thiago Silva when the score was still only one to zero.
Tuchel, on the other hand, lost N’Golo Kanté to injury in the first period. He felt “a sharp pain in the knee”, informed the coach at the end of the meeting.