Champions League Matchday 4: Game-by-game preview

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Get the lowdown on the next 16 matches as the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage continues.

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé celebrate a Matchday 3 goal for Paris

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé celebrate a Matchday 3 goal for ParisAFP via Getty Images

There is no let-up in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage schedule; get abreast of the next batch of fixtures coming up on Matchday 4.

Tuesday 11 October

Copenhagen vs Man City (18:45 CET)

“He’s just ridiculous. It’s just not human, the stuff he’s been doing since he signed,” said Jack Grealish of, who else, Erling Haaland after his double in City’s 5-0 win against the Danish side last time out. The Norwegian marksman was even substituted at half-time to keep him fresh for this latest assignment – worrying given Copenhagen coach Jacob Neestrup said his team “were simply overpowered” in the first meeting.

Maccabi Haifa vs Juventus (18:45)

Highlights: Juventus 3-1 M. Haifa

Highlights: Juventus 3-1 M. Haifa

The relief was palpable in Turin on Matchday 3 as Juventus beat Maccabi Haifa to break their Group H duck, but the Bianconeri will be acutely aware they need to follow that up with another victory given they still trail Paris and Benfica by four points. The return to fitness and form of Ángel Di María and two-goal Adrien Rabiot is timely for Massimiliano Allegri, who was gushing in his praise of the pair after that 3-1 win: “Di María is an extraordinary player; it was his first game in a long time. Rabiot is a player who has grown a lot, matured physically and has a little more room for improvement.”

Dinamo Zagreb vs Salzburg (21:00)

Highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb

It’s bottom versus top in Group E, but only two points separate these teams after Noah Okafor’s winner sent Salzburg to the summit on Matchday 3. Much like the section as a whole, there was little to choose between the sides in that encounter, and defender Dino Perić is bullish about Dinamo’s chances in this game and qualification: “We have two more matches at Stadion Maksimir. We feel very good at home; we have already defeated some big teams there and I hope we can do it again.”

AC Milan vs Chelsea (21:00)

Highlights: Chelsea 3-0 Milan

Highlights: Chelsea 3-0 Milan

The Blues’ 3-0 defeat of Milan at Stamford Bridge offered promising signs for manager Graham Potter. “You saw the appetite of the players; we got control of it and offered a threat,” he said after that victory. “The boys have been really open, responsible and honest. They’ve been fantastic to work with.” Milan need a similar improvement if they are to turn the tables here, with midfielder Ismaël Bennacer saying after the first meeting: “It hurts to lose this way. In the Champions League, we need to raise our level. We’ll rewatch the game and work on our mistakes.”

Shakhtar vs Real Madrid (21:00)

Highlights: Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Highlights: Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Coach Igor Jovićević was proud of the way his Shakhtar team stood up to Real Madrid in trying circumstances in Spain last time out. “Madrid deserved to win and they might have scored more,” he said, “but we played with bravery and took risks and, in the end, might have grabbed a 2-2 draw.” Carlo Ancelotti forgave his charges their profligacy at the Santiago Bernabéu, knowing that the right result this week will take his side through: “Obviously, intensity is very important, but you can’t have it to perfection all the time.”

Celtic vs Leipzig (21:00)

Highlights: Leipzig 3-1 Celtic
Highlights: Leipzig 3-1 Celtic

With just the one point after three games, Celtic are not having an easy time of it in this season’s group stage, a 3-1 loss at Leipzig last time out pushing them to the bottom of Group F. An injury to captain Callum McGregor was an additional concern for coach Ange Postecoglou, who was disappointed that his side were “too negative” at times. Leipzig’s spirits are higher, but they are also set to be without a key performer, goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi suffering a cruciate injury.

Dortmund vs Sevilla (21:00)

Highlights: Sevilla 1-4 Dortmund

Highlights: Sevilla 1-4 Dortmund

Dortmund can feel optimistic as they head into their rematch with Sevilla, knowing that the right combination of results could see them seal a knockout berth at the end of the night. Edin Terzić will hope his side’s 4-1 win in Seville on Matchday 3 marks the end of a recent sticky patch, the coach noting: “We found another gear and were able to keep things tight at the back.” Sevilla will look to do something similar in their first game following the long-expected departure of boss Julen Lopetegui.

Paris vs Benfica (21:00)

Highlights: Benfica 1-1 Paris

Highlights: Benfica 1-1 Paris

The Group H rivals remain level on points at the top following a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, crowned by an exceptional Lionel Messi goal. However, sports daily O Jogo spoke for many in Portugal by flagging up Benfica’s impressive performance as they went “eyeball to eyeball” with Paris, the draw extending Roger Schmidt’s unbeaten start as Eagles coach to 15 games (W13 D2). The result left Paris boss Christophe Galtier in a similar situation after 13 Paris matches (W11 D2).

Wednesday 12 October

Napoli vs Ajax (18:45 CET)

Highlights: Ajax 1-6 Napoli

Highlights: Ajax 1-6 Napoli

The 6-1 victory in Amsterdam was Napoli’s biggest ever European away win (and matched their biggest UEFA margin of victory, home or away). “Divine” was the one-word headline in local paper Il Mattino the following morning, but Napoli will expect a response in Italy, their Georgian sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia saying, “[Ajax] are a good team and have very good players. They need to keep going.” Ajax, meanwhile, hope to prove NOS.nl wrong, the website having written: “This Ajax team are out of place in the Champions League.”

Atlético vs Club Brugge (18:45)

Highlights: Club Brugge 2-0 Atlético

Highlights: Club Brugge 2-0 Atlético

Most assumed that Club Brugge’s dream start in Group B would end against Atlético last time out, but Carl Hoefkens’ side produced another outstanding performance, local paper Het Laatste Nieuws writing: “Club Brugge are the best ambassadors Belgian football could hope for.” Atlético hit the bar in the 2-0 loss and are bottom of the section as the return game looms into view, but Diego Simeone is not one to concede defeat, saying: “We’re not throwing in the towel. There are three matches left for us to put things right.”

Did you know?
Club Brugge have yet to win in four games in Madrid (three defeats against Atlético and a draw against Real Madrid) despite scoring seven goals in those previous visits to the Spanish capital.

Rangers vs Liverpool (21:00)

Highlights: Liverpool 2-0 Rangers
Highlights: Liverpool 2-0 Rangers

Keeper Allan McGregor stole some of the limelight at Anfield, keeping the Matchday 3 scoreline respectable as Jürgen Klopp’s side aimed to cut loose and leave early-season woes behind them. Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst said, “After our first three [group stage] games, our development has been positive,” but they have yet to score or pick up a point in Group A. Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson knows the Light Blues are not a spent force: “We have another tough test coming up… at Ibrox. That will be a really difficult game for us.”

Leverkusen vs Porto (21:00)

Highlights: Porto 2-0 Leverkusen
Highlights: Porto 2-0 Leverkusen

New coach Xabi Alonso will hope to tap in to predecessor Gerardo Seoane’s positive spin on Leverkusen’s 2-0 loss in Porto on Matchday 3, where he cited “a very good all-round performance” and concluded: “We are only disappointed with the result.” Patrik Schick had a penalty saved in Portugal, but Leverkusen will be confident that they can get a better result in the return encounter, though defender Wendell feels equally optimistic for his Porto side: “If we maintain the same spirit, the same hunger for the fight, we will hardly lose against any team.”

Barcelona vs Inter (21:00)

Highlights: Inter 1-0 Barcelona

Highlights: Inter 1-0 Barcelona

With just three points after three matchdays, Barcelona are not in a happy place, coach Xavi Hernández conceding: “We should have put in a better performance [in the 1-0 loss at Inter]. This defeat leaves us in a very difficult position.” Simone Inzaghi’s Inter put some shaky performances behind them to win, even without Marcelo Brozović and Romelu Lukaku. However, they can expect a tougher game at the Camp Nou, Xavi adding: “In the Champions League, we have three finals left – and that’s how we’ll treat them.”

Plzeň vs Bayern (21:00)

Highlights: Bayern 5-0 Plzeň

Highlights: Bayern 5-0 Plzeň

“Bayern showed their quality, which was out of our reach,” shrugged Plzeň boss Michal Bílek after his side’s 5-0 loss in Munich on Matchday 3, and if the Czech champions will have limited expectations for the return fixture, the coach at least wants to see them give a better account of themselves: “We mustn’t give them even a little space; we must try to recover balls we lose in the attacking half and return back to the block at speed.” Six points clear of third-placed Barcelona, Bayern would take a big step towards the last 16 with another positive result.

Tottenham vs Frankfurt (21:00)

Highlights: Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham

Highlights: Frankfurt 0-0 Tottenham

A 0-0 draw in Germany was about fair last time out, with many of the plaudits going to Frankfurt defender Makoto Hasebe, the 38-year-old having helped to shackle Harry Kane. He may find that harder to do at White Hart Lane, but Spurs will be mindful of the Europa League holders’ strengths. “They are tough to play against, very good on the counter,” defender Clément Lenglet told UEFA.com. Eintracht boss Oliver Glasner, meanwhile, may have some new plans for the return leg: “There are a few things I noticed which I told our analyst about.”

Sporting CP vs Marseille (21:00)

Highlights: Marseille 4-1 Sporting CP

Highlights: Marseille 4-1 Sporting CP

Having taken a first-minute lead in the teams’ Matchday 3 meeting in France, Sporting’s evening soon unravelled, with Alexis Sánchez’s enterprising equaliser inspiring Marseille to a 4-1 win (helped by the dismissal of visiting goalkeeper Antonio Adán). “We will turn it around,” said coach Rúben Amorim, whose side still top Group D with six points. As for OM, they now have their first points on the board, and midfielder Amine Harit is feeling upbeat. “We anticipate a very difficult game in Lisbon,” he said. “We hope to continue where we left off.”