Champions League: How Premier League Teams (And Celtic) Rated On Matchday 2

There was a sense of deja-vu on Champions League Matchday Two, at least for the English clubs involved in the competition.

While Manchester United and City strolled to victories, and Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea won away impressively, Liverpool again dominated but failed to put away limited opposition. Celtic, meanwhile, registered its most impressive European victory in several seasons. Here’s how they, and the Premier league teams, rated.

Manchester United @ CSKA Moscow

Even without the injured Paul Pogba (and Marouane Fellaini, who remains important to Jose Mourinho), United ran a steamroller over CSKA Moscow. What should have been a difficult away trip became, thanks to Romelu Lukaku and some horrendous defending from the home side, a stroll to the top of Group A. Basel hammering Benfica in Switzerland means everyone else is now pretty much fighting for second in the group behind United.

Grade: A

Chelsea @ Atletico Madrid

Woah, that was impressive. Chelsea marched into the Wanda Metropolitano, not as intimidating yet as the old Vicente Calderon in terms of atmosphere but still a tremendously difficult place to visit, and fully deserved a victory given to them by a last-minute goal from Michy Batshuayi. Antonio Conte’s team created multiple chances against Atletico’s suffocating defense and midfield, while limiting the Spanish side’s best attacking player in Antoine Griezmann to half-chances. If Chelsea takes four points from the double-header against Roma, it should win what looked like a tricky Group C.

Grade: A+

Tottenham Hotspur @ Apoel Nicosia

It wasn’t always easy for Spurs in Cyprus but in Harry Kane Mauricio Pochettino has a genuine world-class striker. Kane’s hat-trick means Tottenham is level at the top of Group H with two delicious matchups against Real Madrid and their former player Gareth Bale to come. Borussia Dortmund’s surprising ineptitude means Madrid and Spurs should be fighting it out to win the group.

Grade: A

Manchester City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Once Kevin De Bruyne had opened the scoring with a delicious long-range strike, City had little problem in easing past their Ukrainian opponents. Napoli’s surprising opening-day defeat to Shakhtar means City’s path to winning Group F is simpler than it might have been.

Grade: A

Liverpool @ Spartak Moscow

It’s no good creating two games’ worth of goalscoring chances if you can’t put them away. Call it profligacy or bad luck, but games like Tuesday night’s are becoming a recurring theme for Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League and in Europe. Liverpool should still qualify from a weak Group F, along with Sevilla. But what should have been easy progress to the knockout rounds now looks like a struggle.

Grade: B-

Celtic @ Anderlecht

Anyone can be beaten handily by Paris Saint-Germain, as Bayern Munich showed on Wednesday night. With a vibrant performance and 3-0 victory in Belgium, Brendan Rodgers’ team put themselves forward as serious challengers to Bayern to claim the runner’s-up spot in Group B. At the very least, Celtic should now progress to the Europa League.

Grade: A

Join the Discussion