Haaland out to interrupt all of the data
After Erling Haaland twisted his ankle in Saturday’s thrashing of Bournemouth, there was scepticism about risking him in opposition to Younger Boys forward of a tricky run beginning with a visit to Chelsea on Sunday within the Premier League, stay on Sky Sports activities.
However Haaland, who was second behind Lionel Messi at this 12 months’s Ballon d’Or awards, is pondering of a a lot larger image when he applies the strain on Pep Guardiola to let him play.
After ending because the Champions League’s prime scorer in two of the final three seasons, he is aware of simply what’s required to take dwelling that prize. He did not wish to miss the possibility so as to add to his tally in opposition to one of many weaker groups within the competitors.
Haaland did not waste his likelihood, both, scoring twice to take his whole to 39 Champions League objectives in 34 video games. At simply 23, he can already set his sights on Cristiano Ronaldo’s report of 140.
The Norway striker wants 102 objectives to surpass Ronaldo which, at his present fee, would take 89 extra video games. There is a lengthy strategy to go, however Haaland is on his manner.
Howe’s Newcastle rotation backfires
Eyebrows have been raised when Eddie Howe named his Newcastle group for the 2-0 loss at Dortmund. Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon – two of the 4 attacking gamers accessible at his disposal – named on the bench had little sense to it.
Sure, the Magpies boss has to rotate his injury-hit squad sooner or later: Howe naming eight substitutes out of a doable 9 reveals how fragile this Newcastle group is depth-wise. However absolutely the sport to rotate was not the Champions League group recreation the place defeat leaves qualification out of your arms.
In rotating so closely, Howe gave Lewis Corridor and Tino Livramento their full Champions League debuts – and each Dortmund objectives exploited this inexperience. Corridor, booked after 9 minutes, might solely permit Marcel Sabitzer to float by him and cross for Niclas Fullkrug’s opener.
And Livramento, who impressed going forwards, couldn’t get shut sufficient to Julian Brandt for the second on the break.
Bringing Almiron and Gordon on for the second half did enhance Newcastle in Germany, however such enchancment will depart the Magpies pondering ‘what if’. Howe’s makes an attempt to preserve and rotate didn’t repay this time.
Actual Dortmund return after Bayern blow
The dimensions of the duty that Newcastle have been dealing with in Dortmund shouldn’t be underestimated. That crushing 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich suffered by Edin Terzic’s group was an anomaly. Dortmund at the moment are unbeaten of their different 27 dwelling video games since August of final 12 months.
Each managers made three adjustments to their groups from the weekend however that was the place the similarities ended. Terzic was in a position to introduce Niklas Sule, Felix Nmecha and Karim Adeyemi – three of Dortmund’s most spectacular performers on the night time.
Livramento and Corridor had solely began within the Carabao Cup this season previous to being thrown in right here. Livramento did effectively however it was powerful for Corridor. He was hooked at half-time. When Newcastle introduced on Lewis Miley, Dortmund turned to Marco Reus.
If there’s a query for Terzic and his group, it’s whether or not a psychological block now exists in opposition to their nice Bundesliga rivals. This was the kind of front-foot show one expects of Dortmund inside their very own stadium. They have been meek by comparability in opposition to Bayern on Saturday.
Dortmund have misplaced 9 of their final 10 in opposition to them now. It won’t be decisive in a title race however progressing deep within the Champions League calls for besting the perfect. Regardless of their nice report, and nights like this, Terzic’s Dortmund nonetheless want to indicate they will do this.
One other harsh lesson for Celtic
It was an evening of distress for Celtic in Madrid as Atletico taught them a painful lesson after that they had a participant despatched off for the third time on this season’s marketing campaign.
The Champions League is unforgiving and, though Daizen Maeda’s purple card was harsh, it seems to be the identical errors on repeat for the Hoops.
Celtic have been unfortunate at instances however their failure to choose up a couple of level will not be merely all the way down to that.
Is it merely the gulf at school or is a few of it psychological?
Brendan Rodgers managed to win away within the Champions League throughout his first spell in cost, however dropping Jota and Carl Starfelt simply after his return to the membership has not helped this season.
Solely main funding within the squad will see the Scottish Champions choose up spectacular wins, like that well-known victory over Barcelona precisely 11 years in the past.