Micah Hamilton scores for Manchester City

Champions League Matchday 6 Review

The 2023/24 Group Stages are now at an end, with the Round of 16 draw just on the horizon.

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Group Stages have finally come to a close, with the fates of all clubs now confirmed. Some were comfortable going into the final group game with their spot in the Round of 16 already assured, whilst others had plenty of work to do to progress to the next round of European football’s premier competition.

The teams who had already secured a top-two spot in their group were Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Real Sociedad, Inter Milan, Lazio and Manchester City. However, the only clubs in this list who had confirmed top spot ahead of matchday six were Bayern, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

So, in the final round of group stage action, there was still some work to do for those looking to confirm top spot in their group.

Newcastle United, AC Milan, Lens, Galatasaray, Manchester United, Copenhagen, FC Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Paris Saint-Germain, and Shakhtar Donetsk still had the opportunity to secure a top-two spot. Copenhagen, PSV and PSG all successfully made it into second place in the end.

Shakhtar Donetsk, Lens and AC Milan had to settle for third place, which saw them at least secure a place in the first knockout round of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League. However, unfortunately for Newcastle and Manchester United, they are both out of Europe after finishing at the bottom of their respective Champions League Groups.

The final Group Stage tables are as follows (Q – Qualified for Round of 16, EL – Europa League):

  • Group A: Bayern Munich – 16pts (Q), FC Copenhagen – 8pts (Q), Galatasaray – 5pts (EL) & Manchester United – 4pts.
  • Group B: Arsenal – 13pts (Q), PSV Eindhoven – 9pts (Q), Lens – 8pts (EL) & Sevilla – 2pts.
  • Group C: Real Madrid – 18pts (Q), Napoli – 10pts (Q), Braga – 4pts (EL) & Union Berlin – 2pts.
  • Group D: Real Sociedad – 12pts (Q), Inter Milan – 12pts (Q), Benfica (EL) & RB Salzburg – 4pts.
  • Group E: Atletico Madrid – 14pts (Q), Lazio – 10pts (Q), Feyenoord – 6pts (EL) & Celtic – 4pts.
  • Group F: Borussia Dortmund – 11pts (Q), Paris Saint-Germain – 8pts (Q), AC Milan – 8pts (EL) & Newcastle United – 5pts.
  • Group G: Manchester City – 18pts (Q), RB Leipzig – 12pts (Q), Young Boys – 4pts (EL) & Red Star Belgrade – 1pt.
  • Group H: Barcelona – 12pts (Q), FC Porto – 12pts (Q), Shakhtar Donetsk – 9pts (EL) & Royal Antwerp – 3pts.

PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 1 – 1 Arsenal (England) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal had already confirmed themselves as winners of Group B before their game against Eredivisie outfit PSV Eindhoven on matchday six at the Philips Stadion. It was a 1 – 1 draw in the end – Eddie Nketiah gave the Gunners the lead late on in the first half before Belgian forward Yorbe Vertessen restored parity in the early stages of the second half.

PSV are the club that made it through to the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in second place with a point enough to knock out Lens, who had beaten Sevilla 2 – 1 on the same night.

Manchester United (England) 0 – 1 Bayern Munich (Germany) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich had already made it to the Round of 16 as Group A winners, but Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United still had the opportunity to go through in second place if they got the win against Bayern if Copenhagen failed to win. Unfortunately, the Red Devils lost 1 – 0 thanks to a Kingsley Coman goal midway through the second half (70’).

These results saw United knocked out of Europe entirely after finishing bottom of their Champions League Group with 4 points to their name. Copenhagen went through in second in the end.

Lens (France) 2 – 1 Sevilla (Spain) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Lens had the opportunity to go through to the next round alongside Arsenal with a win against Sevilla. If the Ligue 1 side won, they would have to rely on PSV losing their game at home against the Gunners. Unfortunately for Lens, they could not go through even after winning 2 – 1 because PSV and Arsenal drew 1 – 1.

Lens do at least remain in European Football with them through to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages after finishing third place in Group B with 8 points, 1 behind PSV in second place.

Copenhagen (Denmark) 1 – 0 Galatasaray (Turkey) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Reigning Danish Champions, Copenhagen made it through to the Round of 16 in second place in Group A after Lukas Lerager scored the winning goal in the early stages of the second half. Although, he was later sent off in the 90th minute.

Galatasaray went through to the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds in third place with 5 points to their name.

Napoli (Italy) 2 – 0 Braga (Portugal) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Italian Champions Napoli took on Portuguese side Braga in Group C. Napoli knew they were definitely finishing in second place with Braga too far behind and group winners Real Madrid too far away. The Serie A side ended the group stages on a high thanks to a 2 – 0 win, with the goals coming from Victor Osimhen (33’) and Serdar Saatçi’s own goal (9’).

Braga are also through to the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds.

Union Berlin (Germany) 2 – 3 Real Madrid (Spain) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Real Madrid are going for their 15th UEFA Champions League/European Cup crown, and they had already sealed top spot in Group C in comfortable fashion. Despite falling behind, Los Blancos managed to prevent German counterparts Union Berlin from claiming their first ever win in the UEFA Champions League, winning 3 – 2.

Real’s goals came through Joselu (61’, 72’) and ex-Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos (89’). As for Union, they scored thanks to Kevin Volland (45+1’) and Alex Král (85’).

Inter Milan (Italy) 0 – 0 Real Sociedad (Spain) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Inter Milan and Real Sociedad had already secured the top two spots in Group D and battled for top spot on Tuesday night. Ultimately, it ended up being a 0 – 0 draw, which saw Sociedad confirmed as Group Winners, with Inter settling for second place following this game on matchday six.

RB Salzburg (Austria) 1 – 3 Benfica (Portugal) – Tuesday 12th December 2023

Both clubs were already out of the UEFA Champions League ahead of this match on Tuesday. The winner of this match is the side that would be able to go on and compete in the knockout rounds of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League.

And so, after goals from Angel Di Maria (32’), Rafa Silva (45+1’) and Arthur Cabral (90+2’). Luka Sučić scored the only goal of the game for Salzburg in the second half (57’).

Now that we have gone through all of the action to have taken place on Tuesday, lets move on to the UEFA Champions League Matchday Six action to have taken place on Wednesday night. We start with Manchester City’s game against fellow one-time European Champions Red Star Belgrade at the Stadion Rajko Mitić.

Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) 2 – 3 Manchester City (England) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

As with Real Madrid and Arsenal, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City had already secured their place in the UEFA Champions League Round Of 16. The reigning European and Premier League Champions were 3 – 2 winners on Wednesday night, which left them with a 6 point gap ahead of second place following the sixth and final round of Group Stage matches.

City’s goals came thanks to academy graduates Micah Hamilton (19’) and Oscar Bobb (62’), whilst the former Leeds United midfielder scored from the penalty spot in the latter stages of the second half. Hwang In-beom (76’) and Aleksandar Katai (90+1’) both scored for the Serbian hosts.

Newcastle United (England) 1 – 2 AC Milan (Italy) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United was the other English side to feature in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Magpies knew that if they won and PSG failed to beat Borussia Dortmund, they would make it into the Round of 16. Newcastle did lead, but they lost out on second place in Group F after losing 2 – 1 against the Rossoneri.

Brazil international Joelinton gave the home side the lead after half an hour elapsed (33’). However, goals from ex-Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic and former Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze turned it around for AC Milan, giving them the win. This saw the Italians claim third while Newcastle was knocked out of Europe completely after this result, meaning that they were to finish at the bottom of the group in fourth place after six matches.

RB Leipzig (Germany) 2 – 1 Young Boys (Switzerland) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

RB Leipzig had secured their place in the Champions League’s Round of 16 ahead of matchday six, but they also knew they could not catch up with Group G winners Manchester City. Leipzig did win 2 – 1 in the end after Benjamin Šeško (51’) and Emil Forsberg (56’) found the back of the net for the home side. Ebrima Colley scored Young Boys’ only goal of the game (53’).

Young Boys managed to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League with a third-place finish.

Atletico Madrid (Spain) 2 – 0 Lazio (Italy) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid confirmed themselves as the winners of Group E after they got a 2 – 0 win at the Estadio Metropolitano against Italian heavyweights Lazio. On Wednesday night, Antoine Griezmann (6’) and Samuel Lino (51’) scored the all-important goals for the hosts.

Lazio made it into the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 alongside their Spanish counterparts, with 4 points already separating themselves and 3rd place Feyenoord.

Celtic (Scotland) 2 – 1 Feyenoord (Netherlands) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic were already out of the Champions League, but they nonetheless wanted to end their 2023/24 European campaign with a win against Feyenoord. The Bhoys did just that, beating their Dutch counterparts 2 – 1 at Celtic Park.

Luis Palma scored from the spot (33’) before Lagerbielke scored the winning goal in second-half stoppage time (90+1’). Newcastle United loanee Yankuba Minteh scored the only goal for the reigning Dutch Champions (82’). Feyenoord finished third, so are still through to the first knockout round of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League.

Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 1 – 1 Paris Saint Germain (France) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

No one in Group F had confirmed their place in the Round of 16, but German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund were the closest to doing just that with 10 points. Their opponents on Wednesday, Paris Saint Germain, were 3 points behind them in second place.

A 1 – 1 draw was enough to see Dortmund through as Group F winners and PSG went through after Newcastle United’s defeat against AC Milan on the same evening. Karim Adeyemi (51’) opened the scoring for BVB before Warren Zaïre-Emery restored parity for the Parisians (56’).

FC Porto (Portugal) 5 – 3 Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

The game between FC Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk was perhaps the most entertaining of matchday six. Ahead of the game, the two clubs were level on 9 points each, so the winner of this match would seal their spot in the top two alongside FC Barcelona.

FC Porto qualified for the Champions League Round Of 16 in second place after a 5 – 3 victory against their Ukrainian counterparts. Galeno (9’, 43’), Mehdi Taremi (62’), Pepe (75’), and Francisco Conceição (82’) were the goal scorers for the Portuguese side. Shakhtar’s scored through Danylo Sikan (29’), Eguinaldo (88’) and an own goal from Stephen Eustáquio (72’).

Royal Antwerp (Belgium) 3 – 2 FC Barcelona (Spain) – Wednesday 13th December 2023

The final game to be reviewed from the UEFA Champions League Group Stage Matchday Six is between Royal Antwerp and FC Barcelona. It was a shock result as Antwerp, who had previously failed to gain a point in the previous five matches, managed to get a 3 – 2 win against the five time European Champions. Arthur Vermeeren (2’), Vincent Janssen (56’) and George Ilenikhena (90+2’) scored for the reigning Belgian Champions, whilst Ferran Torres (35’) and Marc Guiu (90+1’) scored for the Catalan giants.

Now that the Group Stages of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League is now over, all eyes will be on the draw for the Round of 16 on Monday 18th December 2023 at 11am (UK Time).

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