The 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage does not begin until next month, but we saw some movement in the competition this week with the final play-off round second legs taking place on CBS All Access. On Tuesday, Ferencvaros, Dynamo Kiev and Olympiacos advanced to the group stage. Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg, Krasnodar and Midtjylland all joined the group stage party on Wednesday with wins.
Here’s a look at this week’s action and the schedule:
Krasnodar 2, PAOK 1
(Krasnodar advance 4-2 on aggregate)
Former Newscastle midfielder Remy Cabella scored the winner for the Russian side this evening, though that was more for the sake of specifically winning the second leg than it was winning the tie itself. Krasnodar were set on that front as soon as they scored the opener of the game, thanks to an own goal in the 73rd minute.
Salzburg 3, M. Tel-Aviv 1
(Salzburg advance 5-2 on aggregate)
American manager Jesse Marsch takes his Austrian side into the group stage after an emphatic performance Wednesday evening. In seemingly a perfect juxtaposition, Maccabi’s coach, Giorgos Donis, was sent off after receiving two yellow cards for dissent from the sideline. Patson Daka shined for Salzburg with a two goal performance.
Midtjylland 4, Slavia Praha 1
(Midtjylland advance 4-1 on aggregate)
Scoring didn’t exactly come quick and easy for the Danish side at first, as they actually trailed for the first hour of the match. But once Sory Kaba got the first goal of the evening, the dams burst offensively, as Midtjylland put a quadruplet past their Czech foes.
Ferencvaros 0, Molde 0
(Ferencvaros advance 3-3 on away goals)
For the first time in 25 years, the club from Hungary is back in the UCL group stage. After a nice 3-3 draw on the road, they held on at home for a scoreless draw to advance. They’ll be arguably the biggest underdog in the competition, but they won’t care.
Dynamo Kiev 3, Gent 0
(Dynamo Kiev advance 5-1 on aggregate)
Dynamo Kiev cruised into the UCL group stage with a 3-0 win over Gent where goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan faced 24 shots, 14 on goal, saving all of them. The hosts benefited from two penalty kicks, but it was Vitaliy Buyalskyi’s ninth-minute goal that set the tone and was enough to make this one comfortable when it comes to the scoreline. He did it with a lovely little flick that caught everybody by surprise.
Omonia Nicosia 0, Olympiacos 0
(Olympiacos advance 2-0 on aggregate)
Another goalless draw, but it was more than enough for Olympiacos to advance to the group stage once again. The Greek champs are into the group stage for the 20th time in their history after a game that they deserved to win but didn’t need to.