On the last day of the Champions League group stage, Real Madrid CF turned their situation around and finished first in their group. Meanwhile, FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC and Atlético de Madrid finished second in their groups and will have more complicated crosses, in view of the next draw on Monday 14th December.
The possible rivals are
Real Madrid: Porto, Lazio, RB Leipzig or Atalanta
Barsa: M City, Bayer M., Chelsea, B Dortmund, Liverpool or PSG.
Atletico: M City, Juventus, Chelsea, B Dortmund, Liverpool or PSG.
Seville: M City, Bayer M., Juventus, B Dortmund, Liverpool or PSG
The white team has a much more affordable next Champions League play-off than expected and much better than the other Spanish teams.
The first leg of the round of sixteen will be held in February on 16, 17, 23 and 24. While the decisive return matches will be played on 9, 10, 16 and 17 March. The top of the group will play the first away match and the return home match.
Real Madrid played against Borussia de Monchengladbach, perhaps the best game of the season. There is no doubt that when the key players are fresh and motivated the team works.
Courtois had no job, but he gave a master's degree in how to play with his feet. Mendy was firm and confident, without contributing much in attack. Ramos changes the team when he is on the pitch. He covered Pléa very well and was able to score with his head if not for Sommer who made a superb save. Varane with the captain at his side improves, although he has to recover his best version. Lucas Vázquez a machine. Up, down, assisting in the second goal, he is in a splendid moment of play and physical.
Modric, another of the highlights. When he is in good shape, he is unrivalled at the Madrid helm. An artist who was able to finish off the game with a goal, but there was offside by Varane. Kroos, more of the same, positioning, infinite perfect passes and helping his team-mates. Casemiro, without being bad, has to improve, work on his speed and not abuse the long passes that mostly do not reach their destination.
Vinicius, without reminding us of the player of a few months ago, but he continues to improve and always tries to do so. The definition and the last pass can be improved. Rodrygo very well. The right wing together with Lucas was the area where Madrid caused the most danger. In fact, two crosses from the right were the two goals of Benzema who went down to receive, opened holes and scored. It seems that it is again the Benzema of last year.
In the 74th minute Asensio and Arribas, a player from Castilla, came out. It seems that Isco can have his minutes counted at the Bernabeu. The player from Malaga has to work hard if he wants to stay in the team. The same as Marcelo, Mariano and Jovic. When Carvajal and Valverde recover it will be more expensive to have minutes available.
Barça committed suicide on Tuesday at the Nou Camp. They had everything in their favour to at least draw or lose by two goals and enter the hype on Monday in the draw for the second round.
But the team culé left walking and Juve the opposite. This Barça does not have confidence, does not have quality and its leader is thinking about next year.
Messi did not play badly, but the typical play with Jordi Alba is not enough to mark a whole Juventus. The change of Arthur for Pjanic is not understood by anyone. On Tuesday the Brazilian player was infinitely better than the culé. Dembelé was injured again. Griezmann disappeared, Lenglet slow...... has two months the Barcelona to change many things or the equipment that touches to them in the eighths will return to leave to the azulgranas in evidence with an important goleada.
Atlético suffered to qualify, but this suffering doesn't worry the team. They didn't play a good match, they lacked control of the game. The Austrian team of the Salzburg had several clear occasions. Oblak had to work hard. The mattresses were in a group where being first was almost impossible with the reigning champions, Bayern de Neuer, Lewandowski, Müller, Kimmich and company. He has become the bogeyman for the teams of the drum 1. Liverpool already suffered from this last year.
Sevilla also qualify as second and will have a very tough rival. It was difficult for them to qualify from first place when they were in the group with Chelsea. In fact, the London team in its visit to the Andalusian city did not reserve its star players. He knew that not being in the hype 1 could be very complicated. On the other hand, the Sevillian coach did reserve (he used his starting eleven against Real Madrid on Saturday) and he did not want to burden the starters with matches. Result 0-4.
The four Spanish teams will be in the round of sixteen. We will see the crosses on Monday.