Happy Wednesday! The Champions League lived up to the hype yesterday and seems poised to do so yet again today. I'm Pardeep Cattry with the latest.
📺 Footy fix
All times U.S./Eastern
Thursday, Nov. 30
🇪🇺 Europa League: Liverpool vs. LASK, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
⚽ The Forward Line
🎥 VAR steals the Champions League show
Newcastle United nearly pulled off another Champions League upset over Paris Saint-Germain yesterday, but a controversial penalty call deep into stoppage time allowed the French champions to end the match 1-1. Newcastle's Tino Livramento was penalized for a handball, but manager Eddie Howe was one of many who believed it was not a penalty based on a deflection and the fact that the player's arm appeared to be in a natural position.
CBS Sports' rules analyst Christina Unkel said after the match that she also is not a fan of the current interpretation of the handball rule and expects changes to be made soon. That said, she shared that referee Szymon Marciniak applied the law correctly.
- Unkel: "As you can see, the ball is there, played through and what is it? An extended left arm that creates essentially a barrier. Once that left arm is out, even though there is a deflection, that no longer is part of the interpretation and the analysis but since it's a barrier, it's preventing that ball from crossing in. This is an expected VAR recommendation for a handling offense."
Though a PSG goal seemed in the cards for much of the game, it was far from an impressive outing from Luis Enrique's side. Despite dominating throughout the second half, Jonathan Johnson notes that the French champions were complacent in front of goal, despite posting 32 shots.
- Johnson: "Newcastle can feel unlucky at not holding on to their one-goal lead in Paris, but the truth is that they were pinned back as Les Parisiens attacked at will for over 30 minutes of the second half. The real damage, as is often the case with the French champions, was done by PSG to themselves. … Seven shots on target, 14 off, 11 blocked shots and 67% possession for one contentious single goal from a harsh penalty awarded via VAR is not good enough from a PSG point of view in a home game that could have sealed their safe passage to the knockout phase with a win, instead."
The point puts PSG in the driver's seat to clinch a round of 16 berth, but Group F is destined for one more dramatic day. The simplest scenario for the French side is a win at Borussia Dortmund, who are already through to the round of 16 and need a draw to lock up top spot in the group. Newcastle will host AC Milan, a match in which both sides must win and also need Dortmund to do them a favor by winning.
Dortmund was one of a handful of sides that clinched spots in the next round yesterday. Barcelona recovered from a 1-0 deficit to beat Porto 2-1, while Atletico Madrid and Lazio booked their berths with wins of their own. Manchester City, meanwhile, came back from 2-0 down to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 and ensure they would finish top of their group.
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🔗 Midfield Link Play
🔴 Showdown in Istanbul
Today's action kicks off with Manchester United's trip to Galatasaray, and though neither side will be knocked out of the competition regardless of the result, an underwhelming showing could put a massive dent in either side's round of 16 hopes. United are bottom of Group A with just three points, while Galatasaray are just one point ahead but got the better of the English side when they met at Old Trafford on Matchday 2.
United are coming off a 3-0 win over Everton on Sunday but were out-possessed and outshot by the opposition, once again raising questions about their form. As Thierry Henry said during yesterday's Champions League Today post-game show, today's matchup might be a difficult one for Erik ten Hag's team.
- Henry: "I just watched their game against Everton and I thought, apart from the goal of [Alejandro] Garnacho, I thought that Everton should have scored after that. … People thought they were going to lose there and they managed to win so you have to give them that credit but to go and find yourself in that situation, to go to Galatasaray now and it's a must-win game, it's going to be a tough one because Galatasaray are doing well at the minute. They have some tricky players that can hurt you."
Elsewhere in Europe today, Arsenal can secure a berth in the last 16 with a win or draw against Lens, while Napoli will need to beat Real Madrid to do the same. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, can claim first place in Group A with a win or draw against Copenhagen while Real Madrid can also earn that accomplishment with a win or draw. You can follow along as we keep you up to date on all the action.
🔗 Top Stories
☀️ Destination Miami: The Champions League studio show is in South Florida this week, which means the crew showing off their soccer skills, a guest appearance from Inter Miami's Ben Cremaschi, Charlie Davies popping into Publix and ordering a Cuban sandwich, plus banter from 40,000 feet.
🏈 Football meets soccer: The Miami Dolphins' Tyreek Hill stopped by the studio to talk his middle school soccer career, his team's Super Bowl chances, throw a pass to Clint Dempsey, make friends with Micha Richards and get left hanging by Kate Abdo.
⏪ UCL rewind: Here are the scores and takeaways from yesterday's action, including City's imperfect win, more on PSG's controversial penalty, and a potential death knell for Milan's Champions League campaign.
🇪🇺 Today in Europe: Here are the CBS Sports team's predictions ahead of today's action, plus Arsenal's ambitions and chances against Lens, Peter Schmichel's retelling of United's iconic night in Istanbul, and the latest on the UEFA coefficient battle.
🇺🇸 The Billion Dollar Goal: A new docuseries recalling U.S. Soccer's rise after the USMNT qualified for the 1990 World Cup will hit Paramoutn+ on Dec. 11, with the late journalist Grant Wahl serving as a supervising producer.
💰 The Back Line
💵 Best bets
- Champions League: Galatasaray vs. Manchester United, Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.
💰 THE PICK: More than 3.25 goals scored (+128) -- The last time these two faced off, they traded five goals between them. Another high-scoring match seems in the cards, especially since both defenses have been leaky throughout Champions League play -- Galatasaray have conceded nine goals in four games, and United have let in 11.
- Champions League: Real Madrid vs. Napoli, Wednesday, 3 p.m.
💰 THE PICK: More than 1.25 goals scored in the first half (+110) -- Real Madrid can lock top spot with a win or draw, while Napoli need a win to clinch a spot in the round of 16. It's a situation that will likely see both sides want to put the game to bed as early as possible, especially a high-scoring Madrid side with nine goals in four Champions League games.
📺 What's on CBS Sports Golazo Network
☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network's flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you'll never have to miss an episode.
📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+.
3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening): The leading women's soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. Just because the NWSL season is over doesn't mean that our coverage of the women's game is going anywhere. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT. NWSL offseason and European domestic season all winter long.
👟 Kickin' It (Tuesday, 7 p.m.): CBS Sports Golazo Network's new unfiltered interview show returns Tuesday Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch.
🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can't-miss goals from the day's action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.
📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports app, Pluto TV and Paramount+.