There was tons of action for Croatians in Champions League this week! Atalanta’s Mario Pašalić scored the opener at Old Trafford vs. Manchester United Wednesday night with a sharp tap-in right in front of goal. Atalanta would take a 2-0 lead against the Red Devils, however, Man United would roar back to a 3-2 victory capped off by an 81st minute winning header by Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s good to see Pašalić on the board with a start in Champions League as he usually comes off the bench to play the super-sub role.
Real Madrid blanked Shakhtar Donetsk Tuesday night in a 5-0 win. Luka Modrić had one of the most accurate and precise passes you will ever see, assisting on Vinicius’ goal to make it 2-0 in the 51′. The man is 36 years old and still doing stuff like this at the top level. Simply amazing!
Josip Stanišić (21 years old) came on for Bayern Munich in the 77th minute of a blowout game against Benfica. Bayern would win 4-0 with Stanišić assisting on the fourth and final goal, feeding Leroy Sane in the box with a cool pass after blazing down the right wing. Sure, the game was out of hand, but we have a young defender playing Champions League ball for Bayern Munich. There’s something to be said for that.
Croatian defender Joško Gvardiol came on for RB Leipzig in the 70th minute against PSG Tuesday night and nearly put his side up with a header following a long free kick. Gvardiol did not get enough on his head as the ball glanced well wide of the right post. In injury time, Gvardiol was called for a penalty following a long VAR review. It appeared as if Gvardiol got a piece of the ball but it doesn’t matter anyways as Mbappe missed from the spot. PSG won 3-2.
The Croatian young guns were out in full force for RB Salzburg in their 3-1 win over Wolfsburg. Luka Sučić (19 years old) played the full 90 minutes with a 7.6 rating while his compatriot, Roko Šimić (18 years old) made his Salzburg AND Champions League debut in the 87th minute. Sučić looked solid in midfield with tons of pace and was fearless to shoot from long range. He had a wonderful dribble where he took on two Wolfsburg defenders at the same time, megging one in the process.
Lille goalkeeper, Ivo Grbić, posted a clean sheet versus Sevilla on Wednesday in a 0-0 draw. Grbić made six saves during the match as the reigning French champions now find themselves with only two points from their first three Champions League matches.