Champions League winners and losers: Paul Pogba's accuracy is way off; Sane scores unbelievable free kick
There were more losers than winners on this day
The Champions League group stage concluded on Wednesday, and now there are just 16 teams remaining in the competition. But before we turn the page to the round of 16 with the draw on Monday and the competition returns in 2019, you are going to want to know who the winners and losers of the day were.
While it did not have as much drama as Tuesday, Wednesday filled with goals, some moments that will make you scream ouch and more. Here are the winners and losers from Wednesday:
Winners: Group winners ... for now
Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Juventus all won their respective groups on the day, and that's good news for them and other group winners. Nobody wants to be matched with either of the three to start the knockout stage. So group winners instead have to worry about the likes of Lyon, Ajax and Manchester United, all considerably easier teams to beat than these three giants.
As for which teams the big boys are going to want to avoid in the draw -- Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.
Loser: Paul Pogba's accuracy
Paul Pogba did his best Romelu Lukaku impression on Wednesday, missing an absolute sitter against Valencia. It came in the first half after Carlos Soler's opener for the Spanish club, and it was a chance that was harder to miss than make. Yet Pogba somehow did this:
Loser: Phil Jones' accuracy
Unlike Pogba, Phil Jones actually scored. So why is his accuracy a loser? Well, he scored in the wrong goal.
Winners: Golazo lovers
Leroy Sane took over for City as Pep Guardiola's club won the group, and the German scored both goals in the 2-1 win. His first, however, was simply out of this world. Look at this free kick from range into the right side of the goal:
Are you seeing this, Joachim Lowe?
Loser: Thomas Muller ... and Nicolas Tagliafico
Every young player aspires to be like their old, but could Thomas Muller's idol actually be Nigel de Jong? Muller absolutely destroyed Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico with a dangerous foul late, one that resulted in a red card. Look at this:
Ouch. And Muller now misses out on the first leg of Bayern's round of 16 clash.
Loser: Real Madrid's lineup
Having already won its group, Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari fielded a lineup mixed with youth and veterans. There was highly rated young Brazilian Vinicius Junior, staples like Toni Kroos and more. Now, even with a lineup that hasn't played together much at all, the expectation, at worse, was for Real Madrid to maybe tie.
And what they got was their worst ever loss at home on European competition:
Losers: Americans who plan on watching the draw
Get ready to lose some sleep if you want to watch that UCL draw. It's set for Monday morning at 6 a.m. ET. It's usually a quick reveal, and doing so on Eastern Time or Central Time isn't too bad. But those further west, good luck.
Feel free to sleep in and check out CBSSports.com as we'll have analysis of the draw after it happens. The draw will air on fuboTV (Try for free).
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