There were mixed results for English teams in the six games played yesterday in the Next Gen Series. With 23 goals scored it was an exciting day of action which saw Manchester City eliminated, Aston Villa through to the next round and results conspiring against Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. Liverpool also stayed in contention with a dominant win.
So what does it all mean?
Wolfsburg 2 v 3 Anderlecht
Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of qualifying for the second stage without kicking the ball were decimated within 37 minutes as Belgian outfit Anderlecht rushed into a 3-0 lead against Wolfsburg in Germany. Goals from Leander Dendoncker, Nathan Kabasele and Michael Heylen helped lift the Purple & White within two points of Spurs with one game remaining. Despite a brave second half comeback from the German club Group 1’s final automatic qualification spot will go down to the final game when Spurs welcome Anderlecht to Hotspur Way. Anything but defeat will see the team join Group leaders Barcelona in the second round while a loss would see them waiting to see if they qualified as one of four best third placed teams.
Paris Saint-Germain 2 v 1 Manchester City
Manchester City are now officially out of the competition as PSG booked their place in the final 16. Manchester City went 2-0 down in the first hour of proceedings as they struggled to contain an impressive PSG side. A Marcos Lopes penalty acted as consolation in the 77th minute but City are now third with no chance of adding to their tally of five points. That puts them behind Olympiakos, Anderlecht and Liverpool as other third placed teams who have accumulated six points with games remaining.
Sporting Lisbon 1 v 5 Aston Villa
PSV Eindhoven 1 v 0 Celtic
Aston Villa left nothing for chance as they romped to victory against Sporting Lisbon to qualify for the last 16. Irish striker Michael Drennan bagged a brace to go top of the goalscoring charts on five goals and with Graham Burke and Janoi Donacien adding gloss to the scoreline Villa finish second on 10 points. PSV also assured themselves of safe passage as a best third placed team with a 1-0 win over Celtic who finish bottom of Group 4.
Liverpool 3 v 0 Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool’s comeback in the competition continues as they now have a real shout of qualifying for the next round after winning their second game in a row with a 3-0 triumph over Borussia Dortmund. Captain Conor Coady scored two goals in the first 25 minutes as Liverpool dominated the opening period and Adam Morgan’s fourth of the competition settled matters with 13 minutes remaining. Liverpool can qualify in second place if Inter do not beat Rosenborg and then succumb at Langtree Park; or they can go through as one of the best third placed sides.
Athletic Bilbao 5 v 0 Marseille
Bilbao lived up to their billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites by thumping Marseille at San Mames. A double from Gorka Santamaria along with goals from Inaki Williams, Unai Lopez and a Sofiane Bechar own goal saw the Basque club race into second spot and dumped Arsenal to bottom of the Group. Arsenal face Bilbao next week at Underhill where victory will take them top of the Group; however defeat would spell curtains for their NextGen Campaign.
What do you make of the day’s action?
image: © nicksarebi