Three down, three to go. Halfway through the group stage of the Champions League, some conclusions are now coming into focus. Bayern Munich still looks like the team to beat; Cristiano Ronaldo remains Real Madrid's top dog despite Gareth Bale's arrival and Barcelona isn't looking quite as fearsome as it was under Pep Guardiola.
Here are 5 other thoughts to chew on from this week's matches:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, not for the first time, hogged the limelight with four goals against Anderlecht. Rightly so. His third goal was particularly spectacular, a right-footed thunderbolt from well outside the box.
The hat trick took only 19 minutes, which also showed how porous the Anderlecht defense was. Ibrahimovic got his fourth just past the hour.
But take note of the other player who scored Wednesday in the 5-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain: Edinson Cavani. In 14 games, that was the first time both Ibrahimovic and Cavani have found the goal in the same match when playing together.
If that is proof that PSG's 84 million euro ($115 million) strike partnership is now starting to gel, then the rest of Europe should tremble.
The referee should have done more for Yaya Toure, according to Europe's top executive in the international players' union.
Bobby Barnes told a FIFPro congress on Thursday that the officials in Wednesday's Champions League match failed to do enough after Manchester City midfielder complained about racist abuse during his team's 2-1 win at CSKA Moscow.
"The player, having done what was asked of him to notify the referee, quite rightly expected that the referee would go speak with the safety officer, and the (UEFA) protocol agreed is that the safety officer should make a stadium announcement warning the fans that if the chants do not desist that the game will be stopped," Barnes said. "We're very disappointed that a clear agreed protocol which is designed to deal with these situations was not effected."
He also urged UEFA to impose "a meaningful sanction."
"The player is very upset as indeed are other players, not just black players but all players at the club," Barnes said in a story posted on the FIFPro website.
Toure, an Ivory Coast international, said he told match referee Ovidiu Hategan about the chants. He also appealed to UEFA "to do something strong."
KAKA, THE RETURN:
Kaka looked like a player reborn as AC Milan held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.
The Brazilian set up Robinho's ninth-minute goal, playing a swift one-two with his compatriot, and was a constant thorn in Barcelona's side, with flashes of the verve, skill and footballing intelligence that once ranked him among the world's best.
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