While there were no English teams in action during last night’s NextGen ties there was still plenty of interest in the results from a UK perspective with teams from Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa’s groups all in action.
Barcelona 3 v 1 VfL Wolfsburg
Firstly to Group 1 where Barcelona sealed a place in the second round and all but guided Spurs equally safe passage. The Catalan side, still smarting from their North London humbling earlier in the month, took the lead in the 16th minute through Adama Traore. The table toppers then opened up a two goal advantage before the break when Sandro tucked the ball away.
With just four minutes remaining the German outfit grabbed a goal back to give them hope of survival but Alain Ebswelle’s 90th minute finish ended all hope for VfL who are now out of the competition. Barcelona have now played all their fixtures and sit top of the Group on 11 points and Spurs are just three points back with a game in hand. Anderlecht are the only team who can catch them but the Belgian side will need to win both games to stand a chance. Anything other than victory in Germany for the Brussels outfit and the game at Hotspur Way on the 13th December will see Spurs gunning for top spot just two goals behind Barca on goal difference.
In Group 4 Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon have qualified for the next stage as winners after downing Celtic in Lisbon. A goal from one of the tournaments outstanding players Mane sent them on their way and despite a consolation goal from Lewis Kidd for the Glasgow side they failed to find an equaliser in a result that sees them bottom of the group.
It leaves the remaining three teams capable of qualification in a crunch set of ties next Wednesday. Aston Villa are currently in the hot seat on seven points and if they win there is nothing the chasing PSV or Celtic can do in their match in Holland that will change it. However if Villa falter in Portugal it gives either PSV or Celtic the chance to sneak through.
Borussia Dortmund 2 v 2 Rosenborg BK
Finally in Group 5 Liverpool still have a chance of qualifying after Rosenborg and Borussia Dortmund drew at the Stadium Rote Erde. A second half equaliser from the German side just about kept them in contention while the point was enough to secure qualification for Rosenborg. It leaves Dortmund, Inter Milan and Liverpool fighting for the other spot with the next game a massive fixture between Liverpool and Dortmund at St Helens next Wednesday. Defeat for The Reds and they will be eliminated.
You can view the Groups here ….
What do you make of our English sides chances?
image: © tchacky