COPPA TRADIZIONE (S3) GROUP STAGE REVIEW Here's a quick glance at the group stage results: (Numbers and stats below include all games except Wolves/Sunderland and Palermo/Genoa) With the completion of the group stage, there were some surprising, and sometimes also predictable, results. Each group consisted of at least one team from each Serie, and only Group A finished in order of Serie level, with the A team getting 1st, the two B squads in 2nd and 3rd, and the lone C side in 4th. With the coppa providing a good measure of each Serie level, here's a breakdown on how the leagues fared against each other: Serie A: 6 in first, 2 in second, 2 in third, 2 in fourth Serie B: 0 in first, 3 in second, 5 in third, 1 in fourth Serie C: 2 in first, 3 in second, 1 in third, 4 in fourth Serie A vs. Serie B: 8-3-1 Serie A vs. Serie C: 9-0-5 Serie B vs. Serie C: 6-1-2 With 43 games played, surprisingly only 4 games ended in a draw. 4 teams (all Serie A) were able to go 3-0-0 in their group (Aston Villa, Werder Bremen, Spartak Moscow, Athletic Club). On the flipside, 6 teams ended up without a single point (Palmeiras, Celtic, Palermo, Genoa, Olympiakos, Ajax). What We Learned: 1) Between the Serie levels, the higher-rated Serie won the head-to-head matchup. 2) As voted upon, the "Group of Life" turned out to be just that. shiftee ran away with the group as Spartak Moscow, scoring 16 goals in just 3 games. The rest of the group combined for 4 goals. 3) Group G was labeled the "Group of Death", yet the clubs finished in a predictable order. Group E turned out to perhaps be the most level, as inconsistent results and low-scoring games kept it interesting until the end. 4) With the most goals scored in the group stage, it's no surprise that Spartak Moscow also has the leading individual goal scorer. Welliton found the net an astonishing 8 times, 4 more than the second-highest goal scorer. 5) As it always is with Zikry and Aston Villa, defense, defense, defense. Goalkeeper Shay Given was the only keeper to claim 3 clean sheets. Biggest Surprises: 1) The two Serie A squads that finished fourth. RedAL925 and PSV Eindhoven scored just one goal in 3 winless matches, while IJGator and Ajax finished with 3 losses and no goals. 2) Group C. Unlike Group A, this group actually finished in reverse order of Serie level, with rschwep and FC Koln taking the group. However, with the withdrawal of Bolton, FC Koln got by on just 3 points and +1 GD over the other 2 Serie A teams in the group. FC Koln was just 1 of 2 non-Serie A teams to win their group, as Sunderland or Wolverhampton will take Group H. Short End of the Stick: Perhaps the unluckiest person in the group stage was kaptainkracker1 and Fulham. Fulham finished tied for first in Group C with 3 points, yet a -1 GD was enough to eliminate the English side. Biggest Upset: Newcastle 3-4 Parma DrunkenSoldier and Parma have had a tough time in Serie C so far this season, while BESHIKTAS and Newcastle are battling for promotion to Serie A. With this result, Parma took second in the group, dropping Newcastle from the coppa. Thanks for getting these games in, and good luck to all who advanced to the Round of 16. Also, look for the Round of 16 preview to be up later tonight!