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UEFA Champions League 2018-19: 3 talking points from Group G's final day matches (Real Madrid, Roma, Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Moscow)

Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G
Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G
Vishal

The Match Day 6 action in the UEFA Champions League 2018-19 season saw three-time defending champions Real Madrid face off against CSKA Moscow at the Santiago Bernabeu. Roma, who had also qualified, faced off against Czech side Viktoria Plzen.

The primary battle in Group G was for the Europa League third-place spot between CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

Let's look at the 3 major talking points from Match Day 6 of the UEFA Champions League Group G matches:

#1 Real Madrid suffer historic home defeat to CSKA Moscow, but still top group:

Real Madrid had already suffered a 1-0 away defeat to CSKA Moscow earlier in their Champions League campaign. Despite that loss, Madrid were assured of a top spot in Group G already before the start of this match.

Several of the regular starters were rested in favour of the academy players and the result was not what Santiago Solari would have expected. Chalov and Schennikov scored before halftime to hand CSKA Moscow a two-goal advantage before Siggurdson added a third to pile more misery on to a hapless Madrid defence.

The result was a historic defeat for Real Madrid as they had not lost twice to the same team in the group stage of the Champions League since they were beaten home and away by Juventus in 2008-09.

Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G
Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G

Solari accepted responsibility for the loss: "I did not like the second half. I must take responsibility for the team that I fielded and the game I am proposing, with many young guys"."It has helped us to give them experience and they need it: young players, players who need rest and those who come back from injury. It is not a path of roses". "We do not like the result. We had confidence in a victory."

#2 Roma runners-up in Group G despite a loss to Viktoria Plzen:

AS Roma were already assured of second spot in Group G going into the match and they looked like a team who had not much to play for as well. The likes of Pastore did not offer enough creativity for Roma and they had little in terms of attack going forward.

Jan Kovarik secured first blood for the hosts with a 62nd-minute strike before Under equalised for Roma. But it was Tomas Chory's goal minutes later which secured Viktoria Plzen a place in the Europa League, as they beat Roma 2-1 to pip CSKA Moscow to third place in Group G.

Di Francesco's team did not perform well
Di Francesco's team did not perform well

The Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco was particularly critical of his side's performance and said he did not get the desired response from his side.

"These games help us to reflect and I did not get the response I wanted," Di Francesco said. "To play for Roma we all must produce more, starting from the coach. They were able to get the better of us too often. "We started well, controlling the ball, but then allowed them to cause us big problems and we cannot afford that, even if for Viktoria Plzen it was the last-chance saloon".

#3 CSKA Moscow narrowly miss out Europa League spot to Viktoria Plzen:

CSKA Moscow claimed a big win over Real Madrid away at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Czech side needed to equal the number of points as CSKA. Plzen had a better head-to-head record over their Russian rivals and thus a win over Roma would have been enough for them.

Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League Group G
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League Group G

Despite CSKA Moscow humiliating Madrid in their own backyard, the win was not good enough for the Russians as Viktoria Plzen defeated Roma as well. With the match tied at 1-1, Chory's goal proved to be the winner and paved the way for the Czech side into the Europa League.

Plzen have defied expectations in a very tough group finishing third ahead of CSKA Moscow as they now shift their attention to Europa League in the new year. Meanwhile, CSKA are without European football and have their full focus on the domestic league moving forward.

Edited by Victor R. Lopez M.

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