Champions League

Chelsea continuing to excel, Carrick gets off to a winning start: Talking points from UCL fixtures

Arjun Singh Devgan
Michael Carrick got off to a winning start as manager of Manchester United in the Champions League
Michael Carrick got off to a winning start as manager of Manchester United in the Champions League / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

The Champions League is widely considered to be the most prestigious club competition in the world and the fixtures last night gave us some interesting results, with a number of top clubs in action.

Here, we take a look at the talking points from the fixtures.

1. Carrick gets off to a winning start

Michael Carrick
Villarreal v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Michael Carrick got his interim reign as manager to the best possible start as he led his side to a positive result, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho getting on the scoresheet to hand them a 2-0 win over Villarreal.

The Red Devils came into this game on the back of a humiliating loss to Watford in the Premier League and the players did come to the party to ensure that they have qualified for the knockout stages.

Carrick still has a lot of work to do and needs to sort out the side's defence as they were once again saved by David de Gea in goal, with the Spaniard returning to the form that made him the best goalkeeper in the world.

2. Chelsea showing why they are considered favourites to defend their crown

Timo Werner
Chelsea FC v Juventus: Group H - UEFA Champions League / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel have emerged as one of the best clubs in the world, with the German making the team hard to beat and brilliant when it comes to tactics.

The Blues once again showed why they are so hard to beat with the club thrashing Juventus 4-0 to progress to the knockout stages, and this means that they have progressed from 18 of their 19 group stage participations in the competition.

3. Xavi has a lot to work on at Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez
FC Barcelona v SL Benfica: Group E - UEFA Champions League / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Xavi's debut European game as manager ended in a nil-nil draw, with the Catalan giants as usual dominating the possession, though they continue to lack that extra bite up front.

It will be interesting to see what changes the Spaniard makes when it comes to their style of play, considering that they still look a shadow of their former selves on the pitch.