We're past the midway point of the Champions League group stage, so time to recoup dropped points is running out. A few of the group favorites were handed some tough results, while other teams showed they might be ready to swoop in and capitalize. Here are the best storylines you might have missed from Wednesday's slate.
Dortmund do more than just qualify
It wasn't the prettiest win by any means, but Dortmund did what they needed to do at the Signal Iduna Park to ensure their place the knockout round. Adrian Ramos' lone goal was enough for BVB as they hung on and booked passage to the Round of 16 with the win. It gets even better for the German side, though. With Legia Warsaw's stunning 3-3 against Real Madrid, Dortmund are now in pole position to win their group ahead of the Spanish giants. It won't be a walk in the park, but Thomas Tuchel's men now control their own fate. They host Legia next on Nov. 22, but it's the final match of group stage that'll probably decide Dortmund's fate. They'll travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Dec. 7, where just managing a draw could be enough to see them through as group winners.
Sevilla look like the real deal
It may be time to take Sevilla seriously. They’ve hung around in La Liga and are even with Atletico Madrid, three points out of first. They earned a draw at Juventus in the Champions League, too. And on Wednesday, they thrashed Dinamo Zagreb, 4-0. All they do is win. Against good teams, bad teams, in La Liga or in the Champions League, it doesn’t matter. They’re getting results. We’ll see what happens this weekend against Barcelona, but it looks like Sevilla are for real.
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Leicester make history yet again
Leicester are destined for a midtable finish in the Premier League, but it's in part because they’ve put all their eggs in the Champions League basket and that decision is paying off as they creep ever closer to advancement in the competition. Jamie Vardy still hasn’t gotten going and Riyad Mahrez isn’t getting much help, but it doesn’t matter because their defense has been unreal. They haven’t conceded a goal in the Champions League yet, making them the first team in the history of the competition to start with four clean sheets. Things will get tougher in the knockout stages — they’re being helped by their weak group right now — but they’re taking care of business. Especially at the back.
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Tottenham's string of disappointing results continues
Spurs needed a win at home (well, Wembley) to stay in control of their own destiny in Group E. Instead, they lost, 1-0, and it was deserved. They had chances to score, including penalty shouts and a great Eric Dier free kick that rattled the bar, but they also conceded plenty chances themselves. The problem for Spurs is not just their loss or even their standing in Group E, though. It’s that they’ve now gone six straight matches without a win across all competitions. They’re undefeated in the Premier League, but that’s due to draws, and they’re not out of the Champions League, but they’re looking up at Monaco and Bayer. All is not well at Tottenham.
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Legia Warsaw steal a crucial point from Real Madrid
Legia Warsaw still have some fight in them. They might be bottom of Group G, but they gave Real Madrid just about everything they could handle, even after going down 1-0 after just seconds, pulling off a fantastic 3-3 draw against the defending European champs. They’re not rolling over for anyone.
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Juventus' midfield stagnates again
Juventus stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Olympique Lyon, and they still haven’t figured it out in the midfield. Manager Massimiliano Allegri still hasn’t figured out how to get the best out of new signing Miralem Pjanic, and Juventus as a whole look like a team who lost two of their best midfielders in the last two years. The draw puts them in real danger of not winning what appeared to be a very winnable group for the Italians.