The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Matchday Four has come to an end with teams putting in intriguing performances in the hope of qualifying for the Round of 16. As is customary, the Champions League games were a delight to watch and here the FootballCastle gives you a quick summary of the most intriguing results of the European midweek.
Copenhagen vs Manchester United
The seven-goal thriller between Copenhagen and Manchester United proved to be the most interesting game of Group A as Man United were defeated away from home after not being able to capitalize on their early two-goal lead.
Rasmus Hojlund had scored twice to put the Red Devils ahead but Copenhagen managed to equalize against ten men before the first half ended. A third goal by Bruno Fernandes wasn’t enough to keep Erik Ten Hag’s men in the lead as Copenhagen once again equalised and remained in the game before Roony Bardghji came off the bench to net a stunner that sealed all three points for Jacob Neestrup’s team.
Therefore, the English side are currently bottom of the group with three points and two more games against Galatasaray and Bayern Munich who have already secured qualification to the next round of the competition after a 2-1 win against the Turks.
Real Madrid vs Braga
It was a particularly memorable matchday for Spanish clubs with record European champions Real Madrid securing passage to the Knockout stage after a convincing three-nil win against Braga with Brahim Díaz, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo all on target in the game.
Los Blancos are comfortably at the top of Group C with 12 points while they were even able to hand star man Jude Bellingham the night off.
Real Sociedad vs Benfica
Three early goals were enough to seal the game for Basque side Real Sociedad as Mikel Merino, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea all scored while Brais Mendez missed a penalty kick in the first 21 minutes of the game. In the 49th minute, Rafa Silva netted Benfica’s first goal in this season’s competition after three previous defeats in the group.
Meanwhile, Sociedad and Inter Milan now have ten points each and are tied atop Group D after the Nerrazzurri’s 1-0 win away from home against RB Salzburg.
Atlètico Madrid vs Celtic
Atlético Madrid had a comfortable home win against Celtic on Tuesday Night which put them in the driving seat in their group albeit with a single point ahead of Lazio. Álvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann both scored two goals each, with Samuel Lino and Saúl Ñíguez also getting on the scoresheet for a 6-0 victory which is Atleti’s biggest in the history of the competition.
Celtic currently have only one point and sit at the bottom of the group after four matches with Lazio’s one-nil win against Feyenoord enough to move them a point above the Dutch champions.
AC Milan vs Paris Saint-Germain
This season’s Group of Death has lived up to its billing as Borussia Dortmund were able to gain all three points at home to Newcastle United with one goal in each half to keep them at the top of Group F with seven points.
However, AC Milan‘s 2-1 victory over PSG at the San Siro swung the group wide open as the Italians are now seated in third place, a single point behind the Parisian giants with Newcastle last in the group with four points. Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud scored to achieve a huge win on the night as they had to come back from an early opener from Milan Skriniar.
Notably, all four clubs in Group F are still in with a shout of advancing to the next round and the points available in the final two fixtures will determine who gets out of this fascinating group.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Barcelona
Barcelona suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk as Danylo Sikan grabbed the only goal of the game in the 40th minute. The Ukrainian side were playing their ‘home’ match in Hamburg, Germany amidst the ongoing conflict in their nation and gave a good account of themselves in their second win of the competition.
Despite the result, Xavi’s side are still joint-top in Group H with Porto as Belgian side Royal Antwerp are seemingly destined for the exits without a point so far.
The next round of the Champions League is going to be intense and several clubs are still in the hunt for a qualification spot in the final two matchdays. Certainly, the most intriguing part of the competition will see teams up their game while the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid already look like the best candidates for European glory come June 2024.