Latest scores: Porto 2-0 Atlético de Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Club Brugge. As things stand, it’s Leverkusen who’ll go into the Europa, with Atléti going home; for that to change, Atléti must either draw or win, or Leverkusen must lose.
The group stages of the Champions League has been criticised for years and rightly so: it exits to make money, not because it’s the best way of structuring a competition. But the attitude to it of people in England has also been criticised and rightly so: the richest clubs strolling through to the knockouts doesn’t make it necessarily boring.
But tonight’s entertainment is a hard sell because, of the four groups in action, only one is in the balance. Marseille v Spurs can be followed with Scott Murray – Spurs need a point and Marseille need a win along with a draw in the other match, Sporting v Eintracht. Sporting, meanwhile, are through with a draw, and also if they and Spurs both lose; Eintracht need to win.
Otherwise, Rangers need a five-niller to pip Ajax to Europa League playoff action, and course we’ll also be covering Liverpool v Napoli. If the former beat the latter’s 4-1 result when the teams met in Italy, they’ll top the group, but the game should be fun regardless of consequences. All of which is to say: it’s on!