Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

We’re halfway through Champions League Matchday 3 and these groups are starting to get interesting following Tuesday’s results. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Real Sociedad, Inter Milan, and Lens continue an unbeaten start to Champions League play but only Real Madrid and Bayern have a perfect nine points out of nine as they continue to show that they’re top contenders for the Champions Leauge title. Inter also had a comfortable victory over RB Salzburg but it was a day for defenses with only 18 goals across the eight matches.

Let’s looks at some takeaways from Wednesday’s matches:

Matchday 3 scores

Galatasaray 1, Bayern Munich 3
Inter 2, Red Bull Salzburg 1
Manchester United 1, Copenhagen 0
Sevilla 1, Arsenal 2
Lens 1, PSV 1
Braga 1, Real Madrid 2
Benfica 0, Real Sociedad 1
Union Berlin 0, Napoli 1

Perfection continues for Bayern, Real Madrid

Both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were met with tough away trips to Galatasaray and Braga, respectively, but both passed those with flying colors. Starting out the match, Bayern were under pressure as the intimidation in RAMS Park could be felt throughout the world.  Even for a side that has played everywhere in the world at competitive levels, this Galatasaray side were able to unsettle Bayern entering the half on level footing after Mauro Icardi scored a penalty.

But the difference between a good team and a great one is that great teams adjust to hostile environments and eventually get the job done and Bayern did just that scoring two second half goals to pull away and secure the points after doing almost the same last matchday against Copenhagen. It’s a gear that Bayern lacked last season and that the addition of Harry Kane — who had a goal and an assist in the match — brings to the club. This is why Bayern will be a hard team to bounce from Champions League play but they have company in the contenders category.

Real Madrid went through a similar scenario facing Braga with a defense that has been under pressure in recent weeks. Rodrygo opened the scoring quickly and Jude Bellingham kept his good run going scoring yet again but Braga are never out of a game scoring a goal of their own and pushing for an equalizer in the closure of the match. But in the end, it was Madrid that secured all three points because that’s what they do in Champions League.

Los Blancos are the most successful team in the competition for a reason and as long as Bellingham can continue to put up Cristiano Ronaldo-esque numbers, there’s no reason why they won’t be able to continue to do so. There are questions to ask about if Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior can carry the team if Bellingham drops off but until that drop-off happens, there’s no stopping the Englishman and his squad.

Christian Eriksen galvanizes Manchester United

The first half of games hasn’t been kind to United as they haven’t led at half in their last five matches as execution has been poor and defensive injuries have made them susceptible to falling behind early. Despite now winning three straight matches, it feels like things are closer to a collapse than the team doing well. But out of all the results that feel like potential turning points for the Red Devils, the win over Copenhagen could actually be one.

Booed off the pitch at the half, United came back out with Christian Eriksen in the XI instead of Sofyan Amrabat to pick up the pace in midfield and the execution on the pitch. Eriksen would eventually find Magurre for the go-ahead goal but in true United fashion, they weren’t able to close out the match without a few more theatrics. 

Scott McTominay who has been one of the biggest contributors to late winners to the Red Devils, almost unraveled a win that they desperately needed by conceding a penalty with a high boot in the box. Jordan Larssonson of Henrik Larsson, who had a brief spell with United scoring one goal — stepped up to take the penalty but Andre Onana stood taller, guessing correctly to go right, extending a strong hand to make a save sealing the victory. Boos quickly tuned to cheers as Old Trafford was the scene of rapturous applause. Ahead of facing Manchester City on the weekend, United have a chance to start quite the run of form if they can build on this but it’s up to Erik ten Hag to figure out how to get the United that has appeared in the second half of matches to do so to start the game.

Moving in different directions

Union Berlin vs. Napoli felt like the latest edition of lose and your manager’s seat might reach the boiling point. Union Berlin are now winless in their last nine matches since defeating newly promoted Darmstadt and everything feels off in Germany. Rudi Garcia and Napoli were able to take advantage riding a single goal to victory but it certainly wasn’t comprehensive by any sense of the term.

Neither side created many chances but all they needed was one Giacomo Raspadori finish due to how poor Union Berlin have been. Not being able to play Champions League matches at their own stadium due to it not meeting UEFA regulations for the competition, Champioons League has turned Union’s season into a search for consistency. There is the theory that being at too high of a level in Europe can turn some of the feel good stories of domestic leagues apart and we may be witnessing a case right before our eyes.

How to watch

All of the Champions League action can be found on Paramount+ this season, while CBS Sports Network  will also carry UEFA Champions League Today before and after the main slate of games. CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports Golazo Network will also air select matches on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The Golazo Network will also be the home of the Golazo Show on both days.

On both days, Champions League coverage will continue with The Champions League on the Golazo Network, which airs after the UEFA Champions League Today post-match show. Wednesday’s episode of The Champions Club will be followed by a new episode of Kickin’ It, which will feature a sit-down interview with former U.S. men’s national team forward Jozy Altidore. Scoreline, the Golazo Network’s new show recapping the day’s action, will air after Kickin’ It.

Wednesday’s schedule

All times Eastern

Wednesday, Oct. 25
Time
How to watch

Barcelona vs. Shahktar Donetsk

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+

Feyenoord vs. Lazio

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

UEFA Champions League Today pre-match

2 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

The Golazo Show

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Paris Saint-Germain vs. AC Milan

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Newcastle United vs. Borussia Dortmund

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Young Boys vs. Manchester City

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Antwerp vs. Porto

3 p.m.

Paramount+

RB Leipzig vs. Crvena zvezda

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

Celtic vs. Atletico Madrid

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

UEFA Champions League Today post-match

5 p.m.

Paramount+. CBS Sports Network

The Champions Club

6 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Kickin’ It

7 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Scoreline

8 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

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