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Winners and Losers of the Champions League Group Stage

The 2024 Champions League Trophy  (The UEFA Champions League trophy via Getty Images)
The 2024 Champions League Trophy (The UEFA Champions League trophy via Getty Images)

With the draw for Europe’s biggest stage taking place a few weeks ago, the matchups are decided. The teams who are to be eliminated and the teams to go through are also decided. Some fans’ hearts are broken, while others continue to dream of going to Wembley in June. Let’s recap the drama of the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League Group Stage. 

This year’s competition works just like previous ones. Groups are made up of four teams, with only two making it to the knockout stage, while the third gets sent to the Europa League. Each team plays the other teams twice. Any tie in the rankings will be determined by goal difference.

While some might have seen Group A as one of the most predictable groups, the UCL (UEFA Champions League) never fails to disappoint with upsets. Group A, consisting of Bayern Munich, Kopenhavn, Manchester United and Galatasaray, was predicted to be dominated by Germany’s Bayern Munich and England’s Manchester United. However, United continued to follow their bad form by crashing out in the group stage, with only 4 points earned out of a possible 18 becoming the group’s last-place team. On the other hand, Danish Champion Kobenhavn ran away with the second qualifying spot with 8 points at Galatasaray’s expense.

Both Groups B and C were pretty straightforward and met fan expectations. In Group B, England’s Arsenal and Dutch side PSV Eindhoven went through, with France’s Lens and Spain’s Sevilla going out, while in Group C 14 time Champions League winners Real Madrid and Italy’s SSC Napoli went through over German club Union Berlin and Portuguese club Braga.

Groups D and E were very competitive. Inter Milan and Real Sociedad went through in Group D, while Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg went out. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Lazio went through in Group E, with Feyenoord and Celtic going out.

“The Group of Death,” the nickname given to Group F, did not fail to disappoint in excitement and shock. All teams were understood not to be underestimated and were seen as continental powerhouses. Many placed German club Borussia Dortmund as the group’s possible last-place team, such as internet commentator HRVizak in their predictions.

However, to his surprise and that of many others, Dortmund won the group with 11 points, taking the first-place qualifying spot. Original group favorites, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), took second place with 8 points.  Last year’s semifinalist, Italian giant AC Milan, got third place in the group as a result of a goal difference with PSG, while returnee Newcastle came dead last with 5 points. 

Both Group G and H were straightforward as well with reigning champions Manchester City breezing through the competition with Red Bull Leipzig going through as well at the expense of Swiss club Young Boys and Serbia’s FK Crvena Zvezda. In Group H, Barcelona and FC Porto made it through beating Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp. 

As of now, the Round of 16 draw has happened, with the more notable games being Inter against Atletico Madrid and Napoli against Barcelona. Each match will have two legs, providing a home game for each team, and the scores will be added up to aggregate to allow the winner to move on to the next round. 

Regardless of who wins this next round and who becomes champion in London on June 1st, these upcoming games will surely be as entertaining as this group stage was.

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About the Contributor
Johan Garcia Rosales, Sports Writer
Hey I’m Johan, I’m one of the Sports writers in The Gallery. I’m Junior, and I enjoy expressing my ideas and thoughts through any outlet I can. I’m a Liverpool fan, I love photography and overall like to have a good time. 
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