Champions League winners and losers: Buffon's dream still alive, Liverpool becomes a nightmare draw
Here are three winners and three losers on the day
Matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage saw half of its matches played on Tuesday, and there was no shortage of wild moments. Overall in the eight matches, there were three draws and five games that had a winner and loser. But outside of the results, who were the other winners and losers on the day? Here are three of each from the day's games.
Winner: Gianluigi Buffon
There isn't much missing from the Italian goalkeeper's trophy case, but the one cup that has eluded him is the Champions League. He lost three finals with Juve but is still alive in his first year as PSG's goalkeeper. There's no denying this is one of the best and last chances he'll have to win the cup, and the stacked Parisian squad has what it takes in terms of talent to do it. The club has fallen short time and time again, but adding UCL-experienced players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Buffon over the last couple seasons should only help this team when it gets deep into the cup. Buffon has been one of the greatest goalkeepers of the last 30 years, and there's no denying that him holding the UCL trophy would just feel right.
Winner: Liverpool's management
Spending over $70 million on a goalkeeper always seemed bonkers, yet Liverpool did it this summer (and so did Chelsea). Bringing in Alisson from Roma seemed risky just because of that financial obligation, but it has paid off. The Reds have given up just six goals in 16 Premier League games, and they are in first place. But over in the UCL, he saved Liverpool with a late stop on Arkadiusz Milik. Imagine what he could have done in the Champions League final?
Loser: Group winners
Every group winner should have been praying that Napoli finished second. But now either Dortmund, Barcelona, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or (probably) Juventus will have to take on Liverpool in the round of 16. Can you just imagine a Liverpool-Barcelona or a Real Madrid-Liverpool UCL final rematch? Things are going to get wild during Monday's Champions League draw, which you can watch at 6 a.m. ET on fuboTV (Try for free).
Winner: Mauricio Pochettino
The Tottenham boss had a lot of pressure on him, and it appeared as if his team would need more than three points from the last two games to escape the group. And he got his team to deliver, even when it wasn't firing on all cylinders in attack. Tottenham got the 1-0 win over Inter Milan on Matchday 5 and followed that up with a huge 1-1 draw at Barcelona on Tuesday to finish as group runner-up. With all of the money invested in this team, crashing out of the knockout stage would have been devastating, but he continues to prove he can do enough to keep his team competitive in all competitions.
Loser: Carlo Ancelotti
It's his first year at Napoli, so we can't be too hard on him. But he's a coach that has won this cup at AC Milan and Real Madrid. Now, Napoli isn't either of those clubs, but not getting out of the group is probably going to drive him out of his mind. The chances were there in the last two games to get the points needed, yet it wasn't meant to be. So there's only one thing left, and.
Loser: Luciano Spalletti
Inter Milan is another team that really blew it. With Tottenham failing to win at Barcelona, all Inter needed to do was beat PSV, which they already did on the road. Yet they couldn't do it. As has been the case with Inter over the last several years, they'll take one step forward and then three steps back. This team is up there with some of the most talented, but when it comes to teamwork, they have a long way to go. And that teamwork, that organization and chemistry, it all falls on Spalletti. So far, not good.
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