The three most disappointing teams of the Champions League group stage

Napoli haven’t lived up to the hype in Europe

Six rounds of fixtures, 48 games and approximately 4,320 minutes of football later, the final standings in the Champions League group stage have been decided. Only 16 teams remain in the tournament, with the rest either eliminated entirely or dropping down to the Europa League.

Of those sides who failed to make the grade, here are the teams who failed most spectacularly. Expectations were high for this lot, but results were very poor indeed.

Borussia Dortmund

Despite making a strong start to their Bundesliga campaign under former Ajax manager Peter Bosz, Dortmund have dropped off markedly since then. Nowhere have they struggled more than in Champions League Group H, where they were brushed aside twice by Tottenham and drew both their games with APOEL Nicosia.

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Though they gave Real Madrid a good game at the Bernabeu, four defeats and two draws is a horrendous return for the 2012/13 finalists. Currently down to sixth in the Bundesliga, it’s been a grim few months for BVB.

Atletico Madrid

This might be a bit of a controversial choice considering that they only lost once at the group stage, but Atletico’s Champions League campaign was undeniably lacklustre.

Twice finalists in the last four seasons, Atletico limped out of Group C and will now taste the thin gruel of Europa League football. Diego Simeone’s men roundly outplayed Roma in their two matches against the eventual group winners, but a loss to Chelsea and two draws against winless Qarabag – with which they will be particularly disappointed – were enough to send them out.


Napoli

Since Maurizio Sarri started coaching Napoli in 2015, they have become one of the most highly rated sides on the continent. Widely tipped to win Serie A this season, they were also the thinking man’s tip for European success.

The thinking man doesn’t know better than anyone else, as it turns out. Despite their swashbuckling attacking football Napoli could only finish third in Group F, even losing their final fixture to rock-bottom Feyenoord.

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Special mentions: Having rollicked to the semi-finals last season on the back of six goals from Kylian Mbappe, Monaco were terrible in Europe this time around. The Rouges et Blancs finished bottom of Group G and failed to register a single win, which regardless of having lost Mbappe and several other key players in the summer is fairly dire.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid won’t be too happy with finishing second to Tottenham in Group H. That said, they finished second in their group last season and we all know how that turned out.

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