It took four rounds of play but the Champions League group stages is finally heating up.
If the group stages finished as they are now, then Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool would all be playing in the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan were five minutes away from an 9th consecutive Champions League game without a win, when two late goals not only gave Inter the win, but also propelled them to first place in the group. Next up for Inter are games against Barcelona and Rubin Kazan.
Nobody seriously expects Barcelona not to qualify for the knockout stages, but Barca fans have to be a little worried this morning after seeing their side effectively lose to Rubin Kazan over two legs. And Barca were very lucky to avoid defeat yesterday.
Bayern Munch finds itself four points behind Juventus with only two games to go. Bayern have to go to Turin to play Juve on MatchDay 6 and Bayern must be hoping that that game will mean something, but it looks like Bayern’s only hope of European glory this season will be in the Europe League.
Anther European power who has one leg out of the Champions League. Liverpool are in a more desperate situation than Bayern as they are 5 points behind Fiorentina with two games to go. Matchday 6 pits Liverpool v Fiorentina at Anfield in what will be an electric atmosphere if that game means anything.
Another big name that could still struggle to progress to the knockout stages is Real Madrid. Reports suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo could be out for three more months. Real is only one point ahead of 3rd place Marseille who they play on MatchDay 6 in France. Real are a very different team without Ronaldo and imagine spending all that money for a place in the Europa League?