It was a case of goals galore on match day 3 of the Uefa Champions League. Briefly.co.za makes 4 important observations based on last night’s action.
1. Borussia Dortmund are red hot again
Bayern Munich are perennial winners of the Bundesliga so it’s always a notable achievement when a team displaces them from the top of the domestic log.
Currently, Dortmund is that team as they’ve already amassed 20 points in the German top flight.
Based on their Champs League victory in 1996 and their impressive period under Jurgen Klopp, many felt it was only a matter of time until the sleeping giant awoke.
It seems to be holding true in the Champions League as well as they inflicted the worst defeat of Diego Simeone’s managerial career.
Atletico Madrid were thumped 4-0 at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.
2. Written off earlier but now he’s the fastest to 50 goals
Mohamed Salah took the EPL by storm last season as he broke a host of records.
The most lauded record was that of top-scorer in a 38-game season, netting an astonishing 44 times.
The Egyptian king has had a much slower start to this campaign leading to many labelling him a “one season wonder”.
However, he scored twice on Wednesday and in the process, smashed the record of the fastest player to 50 goals for Liverpool.
Having achieved the feat in only 65 matches, he beats club legends such as Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, amongst others.
3. Poor transfer window makes Spurs pay
As the saying goes, “you live by the sword, you die by the sword”.
At the moment, Tottenham Hotspurs seem to be falling into the latter category.
Their business model mirrors that of their London rivals, Arsenal.
The logic is sound – build a bigger and better stadium to boost long-term revenue, reduce the transfer spend by developing home-grown youth players and bank on great coaching as well as a good youth system to deliver results on the pitch.
Arsene Wenger did an incredible job sustaining top 4 finishes on a shoe-string budget at the Gunners.
However, even Arsenal reached their ceiling with this approach and eventually invested heavily following their first finish outside of the top 4 in Wenger’s reign.
Here’s the damning stat for Tottenham – it is the only club in the Champions League not to have signed a player in the window and the first EPL team since 2003.
Spurs are finding it difficult to balance the books with results on the pitch.
4. Money can’t buy European royalty
When Qatar Sports Investment bought PSG, their mission was to build the club into a European power-house.
After pumping in more than 1 billion pounds in player transfers over the last 7 years, PSG is the undisputed king of France.
However, this is where their dominance ends.
After monopolizing the Ligue 1 title, the club shifted its focus to the Champions League.
Unai Emery was brought in as a tactical mastermind with European success with Seville. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were bought for a king’s ransom and yet, European success still eludes them.
Emery was eventually sacked but new manager, Thomas Tuchel, seems to be experiencing similar challenges.
They’ve flattered to deceive against Liverpool and Napoli thus far. Based on current results and form, this is not the year that they announce themselves as UCL favourites.
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