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Champions League Takeaway: Real Too Real for Lampard, Milan Spoil Napoli’s Party, Benfica Limp in Lisbon & Celestial City Batter Bayern

12 April 2023

Hello Rank Squad!

It’s time for the Champions League Takeaway – an immediate review of everything that went down in the Champions League this week as we had our first round of quarter final matches. Every matchweek, we’re going to be ranking the three key takeaways from each of the games played that week, and looking at the games through that Ranks FC lens, to give you a sense of everything that we learned from each game.

We start with Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Chelsea at the Bernabeu, where Frank Lampard’s Blues lacked real dynamism, and the spark and trickery of Vini and Valverde made them pay. We try to find some positives for Chelsea too, but ultimately this one felt like a bridge too far for a team lost with where they are right now.

Then in Part 2, we head for Milan, where Napoli were once again quashed as the Rossoneri came out on top in an all-Italian affair. We talk about the power of San Siro, Napoli’s nightmare evening in the North, and Milan’s refusal to kill the game off – will that cost them in Naples? Three B’s headline Benfica 0-2 Inter, where Bastoni’s long passing is given its due credit, Benfica’s wilting under the lights is discussed in terms of fatigue and experience, and Barella’s return to Europe’s top tier of midfielders is heralded – he remains Inter’s big-game Mr. Reliable. Finally we turn our attention to Manchester, to the most impressive performance of all 8, where City’s intensity made Bayern melt in the Manchester malaise, the Barnsley Beckenbauer John Stones ascended to the throne of his namesake against his old club, and Dayot Upamecano had an evening we’re sure he’d love to forget.

It’s Ranks!

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