European Storylines of the Week #1295

European Storylines of the Week #1295

Cristiano Ronaldo Rescues the Ship but Problems Still Remain

We saw some absolute Dramatics at Old Trafford in the Champions League this week. Manchester United has not exactly gotten off to the Premier League’s best start and certainly are underwhelming the expectations coming into the season after the unbelievable transfer window. In terms of the squad that they have, there’s certainly no reason why they shouldn’t be pushing for the league title. Even if they don’t win it considering everything they need to be in that conversation, they certainly haven’t been a team like a Brighton Hove Albion are ahead of them in the table, and at the moment, they are not in the top 4 which is a huge problem. Manchester United lost to Leicester City over the weekend, including conceding a goal right from the kickoff after scoring. It ended up being a 4–2 loss. It was a horrific start against Atalanta; they were at home; fortunately, if this match was played away from home in Bergamo, the result could have been entirely different. Merih Demiral and Mario Pasalic scored in the opening half-hour as Atalanta held on to a 2–0 lead slowly, but surely Manchester United came back. After Atalanta lost one of their best defenders through injury, they were demoralized from it, not to mention they were missing several key pieces going into the game. Marcus rashford got a goal back for Manchester United, then Edinson Cavani scored the equalizer. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner with less than 10 minutes to go to complete the turnaround. An emotional victory for Manchester United, considering the game could have gone a very different way. Old Trafford exploded when Ronaldo scored the game-winner, but all things considered, the victory that they got may have been very fortunate. Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Manchester United when they needed it the most. This is exactly the type of things he can bring to Manchester United as I said over the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t going to dominate games individually, but he’ll score goals and come up in big moments because that is what he has done his whole career he’s not the player he once was but games like this he can show these types of moments that make a big difference. It was quite an emotional victory for Manchester United, considering they’re not playing all that well and they needed this to jumpstart their confidence. You could project that this is exactly what they needed before the biggest match of the season against Liverpool, but the performance itself was sloppy at times on the other side of the coin. Even coming off this emotional victory, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. Ole Gunnar solskjaer has been at the club for many years; they have yet to win a trophy with him in charge, and it seems like he’s not comfortable with the pressure of delivering with a squad like this. Collectively he’s done an outstanding job of keeping Manchester United afloat in the Premier League, constantly making the Champions League each season; the Liverpool game could determine everything Manchester United will go into the Liverpool game on an emotional high, but this will only escalate. The Manchester United Squad should be fighting for the top of the league instead they’re struggling with teams like Aston Villa and Leicester City this is Breaking Point for Manchester United everything will come down to this moment not to mention they’re going to have to play Atalanta in Bergamo a place where no Italian side likes to play it will be a significantly less enjoyable occasion this is why there’s so much pressure on the way they perform before that an incredible victory with late heroics but Atalanta gave them headaches for large portions of the game which made the victory so emotional but even with that there’s plenty of concern to be made even though Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero Manchester United buying him wasn’t what they needed Manchester United never has struggled scoring goals continually having Fred and Scott mctominay in the Midfield is the big issue Ronaldo has been very important for Manchester United but he’s not in a stage where he can single-handedly overpower some of Manchester United deficiencies it will be very interesting to see what adjustments are made and how Manchester United will react they have a a very difficult run of games ultimately it will make or break this Manchester United season as a whole we will have to just watch the events unfold.

Ajax the Sleeping Giant Turns Dortmund Inside out

There was a lot of drama in the Champions League, specifically on Tuesday; Mohamed Salah in Liverpool winning a thriller against Atletico Madrid, a thriller in Paris as PSG came from behind to beat RB Leipzig; dominating performances from Inter Milan and Real Madrid Porto getting the better of AC Milan and so forth. So much drama in the Champions League an endless supply of it, but nothing we witnessed in the Champions League this week was more shocking than what we saw in Amsterdam. Ajax, with two straight victories, has them standing on the top of the group going into the game; they welcome Dortmund, a team that is finally starting to catch the Rhythm in the Bundesliga this season, overriding high intensity and high momentum going into this game after an awe-inspiring performance at the weekend the stage was set for what was expected to be an absolute belter at the Johan Cruyff Arena. However, even though the game had drama, not the slightest type of drama that we expected. Dortmund erling haaland, Jude Bellingham, Marco Reus, Matt Hummels, and so many more have a very good squad with so many outstanding players, yet they were living their own nightmare in Amsterdam. Ajax is a very respectable team, one of the biggest clubs in World football historically, and always seems to thrive in these European competitions, especially under the tutelage of Erik ten hag, so by many aspects is expected to be a hugely competitive game between a pair of European hopefuls. It turned out to be a true drubbing. Ajax ripped Dortmund apart throughout the 90 minutes, not giving them a prayer in this game; they never stood a chance. Ajax dominated from start to finish; they were able to slow down the freight train of erling haaland; he hit the post ones in this game, which was the closest Dortmund got to scoring. Ajax opened them up early and often. A free-kick deflection gave them a 1–0 lead just 11 minutes into it. Daley blind gave him a second, then in the second half, Antony and Sebastien Haller did the rest it was an incredibly one-sided dominating performance in Amsterdam from Ajax; they ripped them apart regularly, earning a 4–0 victory Ajax could be the Dark Horses of this competition this season they have a lot of young players a great young coach, and they know how to handle the moment. They are currently top of their group, having only conceded one goal that was their second game in a row in the Champions League in which they have had a clean sheet; they may not have names that can scare you, but Ryan gravenberch, Nicolas tagliafico, Sebastien Haller David Neres, Antony, Edison Alvarez are quality pieces and even though they do not have a superstar per se big play incredibly well together and are Off to the Races in the Champions League the question is can they do it again in Germany maybe not to this extent. Still, they certainly are capable. Ajax is a team that has a lot of credibility and a positive reputation in European competitions once again against Erling Haaland, and Dortmund Ajax were a sleeping giant that put Dortmund to sleep in Amsterdam with the Dutch providing a knockout punch.

Bayern Munich A level Above the Rest

Bayern Munich is a finely-tuned machine; they are the best team globally, and I’m not sure they can be stopped. Bayern Munich was on a pathway to win the Champions League back-to-back if it wasn’t for the injury of Robert Lewandowski. It is the only thing that derailed them. Had he been able to play against PSG, they would have beaten them; then they would have beaten Manchester City and Chelsea. They are still the best team globally, and they have significantly separated themselves from anyone else. They are the favorites for the champions league, and rightfully so, Manchester City Chelsea Liverpool all have incredible quality and should have the capacity to go in a deep run in this competition; however, Bayern Munich has a significant step on everyone else. They have the best 11 in the competition; they are an institution of winning, and as good as some of these other teams, there’s a big gap between Bayern Munich and everyone else. The one thing that needed to be questioned ahead of the season was the weather in not Julian nagelsmann had what it takes to fulfill the pressure and Ambitions on Bayern Munich. He did incredibly well with Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig; he certainly had the profile to be able to handle it. However, now that we’ve seen him in the Bundesliga and the Champions League, there’s no doubt he can make the necessary adjustments when things start to heat up. That genuinely was the only question that needed answering; everything else was already in their favor. PSG has a super team Manchester City is phenomenal Chelsea and Liverpool all have the materials to get it to the next level and to get their hands on the European Cup. However, All Things Considered, Bayern Munich is just a level above everyone else. There might be other teams that look better on paper, but in actuality, in terms of how the team played together, Bayern Munich is far superior to anyone else. Bayern Munich should be the overwhelming favorite to win the Champions League. I said this for many years. Bundesliga teams give Bayern Munich more difficulty than anyone else; when everyone is fit, there’s no way to break them down; the most antagonizing and terrifying thing about this Bayern Munich team is that they fixed their only significant weakness that they had last season. Last year defensively, it was a major issue that has completely evaporated; during this campaign, the Acquisitions of Upamecano from RB Leipzig has made a significant difference. They have the best player in the world in Robert Lewandowski, who is scoring at an unbelievable rate this season. Yet, again, you look at the other attacking options they have with Leroy Sane, Serge gnabry, Jamal musiala, Thomas Muller in the Midfield; they have Marcel Sabitzer, Joshua kimmich, Leon goretzka, among others; defensively, they have components better difficult to deal with as well. In goal, they have Manuel Neuer; there really isn’t any significant weakness. On the weekend in the Bundesliga, they ripped apart the number two team in the league scoring five goals in 37 minutes; they have beat Dortmund this season as well very early in. In the Champions League against Benfica Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv, they have scored 12 without conceding a goal; this might not be the strongest group out there, but if you watch Bayern Munich play in style, they play the way Julian nagelsmann as control the team and the way they dictate the opponents there’s just not a team in the world that can really hang with them right now. As long as Robert Lewandowski does not get injured the entire season, I don’t see another team in Europe that has a shot of beating them; they have significantly separated themselves from everyone Leroy Sane looking antique from continuing to be that creative force in the attack Serge gnabry scoring in both of the games as well as forcing an own goal against Benfica Jamal Musiala the youngster that continues to improve and Thrive each game not to mention Robert Lewandowski cannot stop score based on the way the team is constructed I’m not sure they’re beatable in Europe they are just a different class.

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