Matchday five in Champions League brought a bitter truth for the Spanish sides. Apart from Real Madrid, all of them will have to fight over their spots in the knockout round after squandering their chances to pick up maximum points.
La Liga winner last season, Atletico Madrid wasted their opportunity to put them on a safety position after not only failing to secure three points but losing 1-0 to AC Milan. A late goal of Junior Messias has forced Diego Simeone’s side to face a do-or-die match against FC Porto on the road. A win would seal their name in the round of 16 while a draw would definitely kick them out of any European competition, especially if Milan could win over Liverpool at the same time. The game in Dragao stadium would be intriguing as the home side is also in need of points to qualify. Both sides only shared spoils in a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.
Barcelona is facing a tricky situation too. They did manage to avoid another loss while hosting Benfica but a stalemate result certainly indicates how dreadful their attacking sides are. The limited options upfront due to the absence of Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite pushes Xavi to only rely on the inexperienced forward beside Memphis Depay, whose clinical finish is still not consistent. Blaugarana had several chances to score in Benfica’s backline. Yet, only two of which were dangerous. One was from Yusuf Demir whose strike hit the crossbar. Another one was from Frankie De Jong’s last minute header which was denied by Benfica goalie, Odysseas. Sergio Busquets and Co would have a challenging task ahead in the final game as they need to pick up a win in Bayern’s home turf. A draw might not be enough since Benfica have the advantage to seal a win and play host against Dynamo Kiev.
Europa League champions Villareal also struggles to progress. This midweek they suffered another loss while welcoming the hurtful Manchester United under the caretaker Michael Carrick. Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho became their nightmare. The Yellow Submarine would have to travel to Bergamo to take on Atalanta in the final group fixture. A draw would be enough but Gian Gasperini’s men would certainly aim for three points for their own slot and Villareal seems to have a hard time scoring with the injury of Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno.
Last but not least, Sevilla did manage to salvage three points after thumping Wolfsburg 2-0. Joan Jordan and Rafa Mir bagged their winning goal. Julen Lopetegui’s men needs another victory on the road on matchday six against Red Bull Salzburg, which should be a doable task. However, a draw result would put them in uncertainty as their fate will be depending on Lille result versus Wolfsburg. If the current French Champion wins or also is held in a draw, the Andalusian side shall go down to Europa League again. Yet, they would simply head to the exit if Lille is beaten by the German side, which is very likely considering their positive trend since Florian Kohfeldt took charge.