Champions League 2013-14: Updated Group Standings Following Matchday 2
It has only taken two matches for each club to separate the contenders and pretenders in the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League.
The top squads in Europe have competed against two of the three teams in their group in the first phase of the event. While the remaining four matches will play a big role as to which sides advance to the knockout stage, there is already a relatively clear picture in many instances.
What we do know is that the top clubs from last season like Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid will remain contenders to win again this time around.
Here is a full look at the updated standings after two sets of matches in Champions League.
Neither Manchester United nor Shakhtar Donetsk could take control of Group A as the two sides ended up with a 1-1 draw. Still, it seems clear that these are the two best clubs in the group and should each be able to advance to the knockout stage.
When Manchester United get a chance at a home rematch, however, the Premier League champs should be able to pull ahead.
Real Madrid simply have too many scoring options to defend, and its plus-nine goal differential after two matches tells you everything you need to know about this group.
However, the race for second should get very interesting. Galatasaray and Juventus played to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday and should remain in contention for a spot in the knockout stage over the next couple of months.
Paris Saint-Germain made a lot of high-profile moves in the offseason and they are clearly paying off with another dominant showing in UCL play. The squad beat Benfica 3-0 after earning a 4-1 win over Olympiakos in the previous match.
With Anderlecht unable to score once again, the only excitement in this group will be whether Benfica or Olympiakos can earn second place.
After an impressive 3-1 win over Manchester City, it is clear that Bayern Munich is set on repeating as European champions. With six points already, there is little chance that this squad does not at least reach the next stage.
Fortunately for Manchester City, the club remains in good shape to stay in second place. CSKA Moscow will fight hard for that spot, but the Premier League team has the talent to stay near the top of the table.
Chelsea made up for a disappointing loss in the first match with a strong 4-0 win over Steaua Bucuresti. However, the next match against Schalke 04 will be a lot more telling about the team's chances going forward.
Until then, either of those two clubs or FC Basel are capable of coming away with a group victory.
In one of the tougher groups in the tournament, Arsenal have taken a commanding lead thanks to wins over Napoli and Marseille. That being said, this section is far from being decided.
Borussia Dortmund are the defending runner-ups in this event and should be tough to beat at home. Napoli also have a chance to either win or finish in second as this group remains a toss up even after the two matches.
|4||Zenit St Petersburg||1||-2|
Atletico Madrid has proven to be a legitimate contender in La Liga, and as a result are a team to beat in Champions League. The squad has two impressive wins over Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Porto to take control of the group.
While Porto currently stands in second place, do not be surprised to see Zenit St. Petersburg put together some better showings in the coming weeks.
Barcelona had a hard time scoring without Lionel Messi, but it is clear that this is still is the best club in Group H. Cesc Fabregas tallied the only goal in a 1-0 win over Celtic to add to the previous dominant performance against Ajax Amsterdam.
As far as the second spot in the knockout stage is concerned, it would truly be unsurprising to see any of the remaining clubs advance. AC Milan has the talent to win, but it will need to keep up its consistency to stay in second place.
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