Another evening of the Champions League has come and gone, leaving the usual trail of drama in its wake.
After a little stutter, Liverpool managed to overcome Genk at home while Chelsea pulled off a super fightback to draw 4-4 against Ajax on a barmy evening at Stamford Bridge.
It was a night with plenty of talking across the continent. So Sportsmail’s AMITAI WINEHOUSE has taken a look at 10 things we learned from Tuesday night’s action in the Champions League.
Liverpool already look like a team that can makes waves in the Champions League again
1. Liverpool CAN make it to a third final in a row
If it were not for Real Madrid’s achievements in the competition over the last few years, the notion would seem ridiculous. But Liverpool look like a team geared up to reach the Champions League final for a third season on the spin.
They have been unbeaten in their last 24 home matches in European competition (W18 D6 L0), since a 0-3 defeat against Real Madrid at Anfield in October 2014.
That record gives them an incredible platform on which to build, and given the talent they have on the counter, they are a team capable of picking up wins on the road. Combine the two and it’s quite the force.
2. But Liverpool’s once-solid defence needs stability
The fear for Liverpool over the last few years has been what happens if one of their front three goes down with injury. It turns out it might be the other end of the pitch they should worry about.
On Tuesday they had Joel Matip and Andy Robertson out of their starting line-up and once again looked wobbly without two key cogs of their back four. They now have no clean sheets in eight games, a spell that includes Alisson and Matip’s absences.
The Reds need that five-man foundation back sooner rather than later.
Liverpool need stability in defence again after a long run of games without a clean sheet
3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is truly shaking off his injury problems
A knee ligament injury can end careers and it is always interesting to see how players come back from them. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now seems to be back at a top level.
After a year on the sidelines, it took a while for him to shake off the rustiness but his recent impact in front of goal shows that he is ready to go.
He has scored four goals in his last four games, as many as in his previous 45 appearances for the Reds. That’s some asset for Liverpool to have in midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is hitting the heights again after his absence through injury
4. Frank Lampard and young charges have Chelsea fighting
Whatever the circumstances, Chelsea’s fightback in the second-half against Ajax was impressive and demonstrated what Frank Lampard is getting out of his young side.
They become just the third English side in Champions League history to come from three goals behind to avoid defeat and the first since Liverpool’s famous win in Istanbul in 2005.
On a fundamental level, Chelsea cannot be accused of lacking desire under their manager.
Chelsea’s kids managed an impressive fightback against Ajax on Tuesday evening
5. Chelsea’s defence will become a problem as competition goes on
There was, though, a reality check to be had from Tuesday’s game against Ajax — the Blues’ defence is a bit of a mess and needs serious improvement.
They conceded four or more goals in a Champions League match for the first time in over a decade and three in the first-half of a game in the competition for the first time ever.
Think on those great Chelsea teams of the past and they were built from the back. Lampard might want to look at that as an example to follow.
Frank Lampard needs to fix his side’s defensive problems if they want to progress
6. Jorginho becoming one of those rare guarantees from the spot
Stepping up to the spot once in a game is tough enough but giving the same goalkeeper the chance to face you twice seems like a chance for them to work you out.
Not in Jorginho’s case. After his two penalties hit the back of the net against Ajax, he now has 15 penalty goals in his career, with just the one miss back in November 2017 for Napoli.
He has never missed from the spot for Chelsea. At least Lampard knows that when his No 5 steps up, it is almost certainly going to go in.
Jorginho is becoming a rare guarantee in football when he steps up to the penalty spot
7. Erling Haaland already standing among the greats
It is easy enough to overhype a young player from a small sample size, but when that small sample compares to some of the best it is hard not to get on the hype train.
Erling Haaland became only the fourth player in the history of the Champions League to score in each of his first four appearances, with Alessandro Del Piero and Diego Costa among the others.
He also has seven goals over that four game spell, which no one else has come close to achieving. This is a serious striking talent already making an impact in Europe at an early stage in his career.
Young Erling Haaland is already posting records comparable with some forward greats
8. Collapses could cost Inter Milan in the Champions League
Antonio Conte’s post-match rant will make the headlines from Inter Milan’s loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Yet it might be worth noting the problems that are cropping up on the pitch.
They are third in their group and at risk of going out with an expensively assembled side. Damagingly, they have thrown away six points from winning positions in the competition this season already — on Tuesday and against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
That could be the difference between making the knockout stages and not. It is not good enough from a manager and set of players who should know better.
Inter Milan collapsed again from a winning position against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday
9. Lautaro Martinez deserves the interest he’s getting
A player thriving under Conte’s tutelage is Lautaro Martinez. His form in front of goal has already attracted interest from Manchester United and Barcelona.
And that is fully justified after the Argentine became the first player to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances for Inter since Samuel Eto’o against Dortmund.
Doing it on the big European stage demonstrates the fact that he is at an impressive level for a 22-year-old. The likes of United and Barcelona would do well to snare him from the San Siro.
Lautaro Martinez is justifying the interest in him with his goal return for Inter Milan
10. Lyon getting most out of striking talents under Rudi Garcia
An issue throughout this campaign has been Lyon’s inability to knit together their forward options. Sylvinho lost his job in part because he could not get the best out of them.
But Rudi Garcia got them a big win against Benfica on Tuesday night, with Memphis Depay and Bertrand Traore both scoring.
Garcia has managed to find a system that gets all their best players on the pitch at once. That, surprisingly, is a big deal at a side struggling for that just a few weeks ago.
Lyon are getting the best out of their forward options, like Memphis Depay (second left)