This season’s edition of Europe’s Premier Club Competition has started with some expected results along with wild finishes through the first two match days of the group stage. Although there were some slight changes in time and location because of the death of Queen Elizabeth, the tournament has gone mostly uninterrupted through its early stages.
Through the first two sets of competition, the leading scorers are playing for top-flight clubs; Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, and Kylian Mbappe all have scored three times for their respective clubs. The biggest surprises, without a doubt, are Napoli and Club Brugge sitting at the top of their groups. Both clubs are ahead of much more prestigious teams who are favored to win their groups. Napoli is in first place ahead of Liverpool and Ajax in group A. The Italian team has the most significant goal differential in the tournament after embarrassing Liverpool 4-1 and dismantling Scottish club Rangers 3-0. Club Brugge sits atop group B after defeating German Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 and the Portuguese side Porto 4-0. While it’s not guaranteed that either side makes it to the knockout stage, it’ll be fun to watch as they try to advance.
The most disappointing team through two games is Chelsea, who lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb, leading them to fire manager Thomas Tuchel, before drawing RB Leipzig 1-1, placing them last in Group E with 1 point. While the Blues can fight their way back, they probably won’t make it through to the knockout round at this rate.
Group C, the “Group of Death,” has lived up to the hype. Bayern Munich defeated FC Barcelona 2-0, putting them first in the group as Robert Lewandowski lost to his former team. One top team will have to play in the Europa League, as not all Bayern, Barcelona, and Inter Milan can reach the knockout stage.
This version of the Champions League has been entertaining. With match days starting back up on October 4th, many fun storylines should fill up the tournament until the last day of the group stage on November 2nd, when the knockout stage begins.