Top 5 Stories from this Week’s Champions League Action: Lo Stile Juve, and a New Sheriff in Town

Another exciting Champions League matchday ends with conflicting results for the Italian clubs. The Milanese giants once again left the pitch disappointed, as their status within their groups are getting more and more complicated.

On the other hand, Atalanta and Juventus both won their matches 1-0 on Wednesday, saving the blushes for Serie A. So let’s check out the major stories from this week’s action in football’s elite club competition, while mainly focusing on the four Italian sides.

A New Sheriff in Town

Ok this is beginning to get seriously spooky. Using the term “déjà vu” is simply not enough to emphasize on the situation. In the first matchday of the competition, Inter lost at home to Real Madrid. In their second outing, Simone Inzaghi’s men were held to a goalless draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Nerazzurri falling short on the European stage is not exactly a shocking occurrence in itself, but earning almost the exact same results against the exact same opponents from last season is just uncanny.

Following the draw, we felt that the absence of Borussia Monchengladbach and the addition of some Moldovan club (who never played in the Champions League before) should play in the Italian club’s favor… And boy we were wrong.

Sheriff announced their arrival on the big stage with a debut win over Shakhtar, but they absolutely shocked the world by beating Carlo Ancelotti’s Real away from home in what could only be described as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.

Will Inter end up paying the price for the new Sheriff’s arrival with another disappointing early qualification?

Bravery is not Enough for Milan

For the second matchday in a row, Milan left the pitch with much less than what they deserved. Well, they left empty-handed, while they deserved to leave… not empty-handed.

The Rossoneri were the superior side against Atletico Madrid in their first UCL clash at San Siro for almost eight years… At least until Franck Kessié left them with a man down for almost an hour of play.

A lot has been said about the harsh dismissal and the last-minute dubious penalty, but besides the referee’s controversial performance, Stefano Pioli’s young players showed that they need more shrewdness in order to earn results, because talent and bravery won’t be enough at this stage.

Gasperini’s Maturing Team

Speaking of shrewdness, here’s a team that is beginning to truly mature. In their third Champions League participation, Atalanta are no longer everyone’s favorite Italian underdog. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are now a serious challenger for any other European side.

Subsequently, the Orobici are producing less and less crazy performances with flocks of goals on both ends. On Wednesday, Duvan Zapata and company maintained their composure against Young Boys, and only needed one goal to seal all three points and sit on top of their group.

Less excitement, more efficacity.

Lo Stile Juve is Back

If Atalanta are developing, then Juventus are making a step backwards. However, sometimes this could be a positive occurrence, especially when the new ways fail to produce the desired outcome.

Against Chelsea, Max Allegri turned back the years, as the Bianconeri reverted to the good old Lo Stile Juve, pouncing on counter attacks and fiercely defending the slightest of leads.

Whether it will always work or not remains to be seen, but one must admit that it takes a really good plan to upset the reigning European champions.

New Clubs, Same Outcome

Away from the Italian clubs, we witnessed the two greatest strikers in the competition’s history (at least numerically) adding to their astronomical tallies.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo might be wearing new jerseys this season, but these two monsters will simply keep on scoring wherever they go, even at their relatively advanced ages.

Some like them, some don’t, but let’s enjoy their delightful presence while it lasts.

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