Midway via the Champions League group stage and solely Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Juventus (with out a lot assist from Cristiano Ronaldo to this point) appear to be serenely heading in the direction of the actual hostilities in February.

The excellent news is that 2018-19 appears unusually wealthy in sub-plots and refined narratives, and listed below are only a few of them.

Clean Ronaldo

The final season through which Cristiano Ronaldo scored fewer than 10 objectives within the Champions League was 2010-11. Heading into matchday 4 he’s but to internet for Serie A champions Juve, hampered in fact by his suspension which meant lacking the sport with Younger Boys on matchday two.

Ronaldo’s staff Autumn CL objectives in Sep/Oct
Manchester United 2008 0
Actual Madrid 2009 4
Actual Madrid 2010 1
Actual Madrid 2011 1
Actual Madrid 2012 5
Actual Madrid 2013 7
Actual Madrid 2014 3
Actual Madrid 2015 5
Actual Madrid 2016 2
Actual Madrid 2017 5
Juventus 2018 0

Even so, it means he goes into November and not using a Champions League aim for the primary time since his closing season with Manchester United, when he appeared in 5 group video games with out scoring, earlier than waking up within the spring as United progressed to their second successive closing.

Thus far in 2018-19, Ronaldo has an anticipated objectives (xG) determine of 0.25 in 119 minutes of Champions League soccer and, in showreel phrases, introduced an beautiful save from David de Gea at Previous Trafford.

Ronaldo v Dybala in entrance of aim
Ronaldo Dybala
Photographs 5 10
Photographs on track 2 6
Anticipated objectives 0.248 3.253
Precise objectives 0 4

His team-mate Paulo Dybala, in distinction, has had possibilities with an xG of three.25 in 168 minutes, the very best determine within the competitors this season, so it is not like Juventus aren’t serving up high quality.

All of which begs the query: is that this only a unhealthy autumn for Ronaldo, or is that this Ronaldo’s autumn?

Firmino – Brazilian’s objectives maths provides up

Firmino moved to Liverpool in 2015 for Ā£29m

The Liverpool switch committee’s choice to purchase Roberto Firmino may simply be understanding.

Because the begin of final season he has scored or assisted 19 objectives within the Champions League, greater than another participant in that interval and three greater than Manchester United have scored.

Simply his primary aim whole of 12 in only 14 months is as many because the mixed may of Diego Maradona and Bobby Charlton managed within the European Cup.

Sure, these gamers from older generations acquired fewer alternatives in a extra streamlined competitors, with the go-to instance right here at all times: Titus Bramble has performed as many European Cup/CL video games as Maradona.

However as soon as you have acquired a style for Firmino maths it is laborious to let go, so listed below are some extra sums: Firmino’s 12 European Cup objectives for Liverpool are as many as Michael Owen + Pep Guardiola ever scored, or Simply Fontaine + Vincenzo Montella, or simply Everton Soccer Membership, or Philippe Coutinho + Kevin Keegan, or Dennis Bergkamp + Ruud Gullit.

I imply, I might go on…

Sancho the noughties participant to beat

Sancho performed a key function for Dortmund in opposition to Wolfsburg on Saturday

Jadon Sancho’s footballing recreation of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet