Tag: champions league

Champions League Round of 16 (Day 8)

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The last day of the round of 16 stage was not very nice to a couple teams, because these were the most lopsided scores of the round of 16. Besiktas and Chelsea left this second leg with a much bigger deficit against them.

FC Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea (4-1)

While Chelsea had a lot more chances to score a goal than the scoreboard might suggest they definitely were a class below Barcelona. This happened for a couple reasons:

Umtiti had a monster game in Barcelona’s back line, those chances I referred to earlier, he wasn’t having any of it. If there is any chance of him leaving. pay him all the money.

Barcelona offense, Messi is a master of moving the ball like it is glued to his feet and putting himself into favorable positions, which is why he should get major credit for his goals. I say this because the second most responsible was Courtois. Messi put it between his legs at the near post, not once but twice, one of which was the fastest goal of his career. To put more credit to this offense, Dembele looked like he fit right back in with Suarez and Messi, however Suarez still has yet to score this year’s iteration of Champions League.

The Chelsea defense overall played well, Alonso and Rudiger had overall pretty good outings but they definitely got stretched out, throughout the match it can be more attributed to the push for a high line to catch up after being behind by so much. Conte is not having a great season, it currently looks like Chelsea are the most likely to be left out of the top 4, if this happens it makes it even more sure that Conte will most likely get sacked.

Besiktas 1-3 Bayern Munich (1-8)

The match was not something to be remembered but the only real star of the show at this game was the cat which made it onto the field. The stats show a pretty even game in terms of possession and shots on goal, however it is clear that Bayern was playing with house money and already had the fixture locked down. Bayern is cruising into the quarterfinals, and Besiktas had a good run.

That’s all for today, I was running a little short on time and I am still human, thank you for viewing!

Champions League Round of 16 (Day 7)

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Well this one hurt, if you’re a fan of English clubs in the Champions, or especially of Manchester United. And relief if you’re a AS Roma fan for finishing the job when called upon, something Manchester couldn’t quite figure out.

Manchester United 1-2 Sevilla FC (1-2)

Sevilla deserved this game, no doubt about it, but United clearly set themselves up for limited success from the start. As you can tell from the line-up United fielded Mourinho went with a 4-2-3-1 with Matic and Fellani as the holding midfielders. While Matic is a game changer, this was the first start for Fellani since he returned from injury and also shows the style of play that Mourinho wanted to proceed with. He went with the “kick long balls at the big guy to get forward,” which credit to him was somewhat effective since passing on the ground was made difficult with Sevilla locking down the passing lanes on the ground.

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It was a rather negative approach, but a Mourinho approach, and the offense never looked quite dangerous. Lukaku was doing great at the holdup play and Rashford kept bringing great runs down the wing, while Lingard was actually a bit quiet. I will note, starting Rashford was a great idea, and Lingard was somewhat in form so these were understandable.

Here’s where my criticism of the line-up comes in, Sanchez has been mostly unimpressive in league play and still doesn’t look fully settled, Mata had a much greater impact off the bench, or even Martial would’ve been a better option. The most egregious decision overall was Fellani in for Pogba, how many managers would dare leave their record transfer back from injury for FELLANI back from an injury. There was no excuse for Mourinho. As the line-up sheet shows, Mourinho threw everything into attack after the late goals from Sevilla with 15 minutes to go. It was too little too late, those players should’ve started and this one will be primarily on Mourinho. The players were also to blame as well because they had multiple missed opportunities.

As enjoyable as this might be for the rivals of United, once again English football will be poorly represented in the latter stages of the Champions League, which isn’t really great for any Premier League fans.

Oh and last note on this game, I don’t want to be too thick about the reasoning for the outcome of this game, but credit to Sevilla’s manager, Vincenzo Montella. Montella managed the game well, Sevilla came with a purpose and his substitute Ben Yedder completely changed the game. The criticism of United was just so strong because the last 15 minutes when they were playing catch up was the most inspired football they played all night making it very obvious they were capable of pressing the Sevilla defense, but it was much too late.

AS Roma 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (2-2) [Roma goes through on away goal advantage]

The second game of the night where Roma went home on the second leg and took care of business. Dzeko was great on the night, he played his game well playing on the backs of the center backs waiting for a ball to put him through.

Shakhtar had the majority possession during the game but really didn’t do much meaningful with it. They had zero shots on goal. Roma easily neutralized them but let them have the ball to not get caught on a break.

Great Champions League games, that were close throughout the match, but each victor earned their right to the quarterfinals. Tomorrow will be the last round of Champions League before the break, stay here for the review!

Champions League Round of 16 (Day 6)

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It’s a late post but here, and it’s time to cover the thrilling finale to Champions League action until next week.

Manchester City 1-2 FC Basel (5-2)

City jumped on to the #playyourkids movement this game. They lost this leg, but overwhelmingly won on aggregate. Gabriel Jesus continues his blazing form by notching in the first goal after some great team play. Basel responded with a fumbled ball in the box, Elyounoussi would then put into the back of the net. Lang would put another in at the 71st minute, but it was all they would muster up against City.

Statview of the game: Manchester City controlled the possession as they normally do, 78-22 in their favor. However, the shots on goal were even at three a piece. Lastly, Basel definitely had the edge at fouls, getting called on 11.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Juventus (3-4) 

Spurs’ fans everywhere are gonna be up late thinking of what could’ve been in the next round. It all looked so promising and in true Spur’s fashion, that’s when it all went downhill. Son scored to put them ahead at home, and 3-2 on aggregate. Then the second half came around and Higuain took it upon himself to lead the comeback putting them level after a great cross, and a defense of statues. But things at this point are still okay, Spurs would still go through on the away goals.

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Spur’s fans at Wembley

Then bombing down the left side comes Paulo Dybala, the Argentine, Juventus forward. His finishing was great and put them even on away goals and ahead on aggregate. After this Allegri was content to trust his world class experienced defense to see the result out, and they did. Spurs still looked dangerous on the attack and were literally inches from scoring the equalizer which would send them to overtime, but it was not meant to be.

This one goes out to the Spurs’ fans, but Gigi Buffon fans will be happy to see the chance at a Champions League trophy is not completely gone yet. Next week, more Champions action, its gonna be great, come back here and be entertained. Thanks for reading!

 

Champions League: Round of 16 (Day 5)

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The most exciting time of the round of 16 is here! Day 5 took its fair share of victims, most notably today however, Unai Emery..

Liverpool 0-0 FC Porto (5-0)

Salah and Van Dijk are the notable names that started the game on the bench. This is understandable since Liverpool are coming into this game five goals ahead on aggregate and they will have a crucial derby game this Saturday against Manchester United. There was plenty of chances for Mane and he just kept narrowly missing. Unfortunate for Porto and Liverpool fans as well, as it ended a scoreless affair.

Paris St-Germain 1-2 Real Madrid (2-5)

While PSG showed signs of life in the first half, none of their attacking players could get it done. It’s somewhat understandable missing Neymar and being behind already by two goals, but they have so much talent Emery is still to blame here. After the offense finally started getting real chances the whistle was blown for the end of the first half and Real Madrid was able to regroup.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the second half by putting away Vazquez’s cross with his head. It felt like a demoralizing blow. Matters only got worse with a Verratti red card. Not until Cavani scored an equalizer did they seem to regain the faintest hope. Which was quickly stomped out a small while later with Casemiro’s shot taking a nasty deflection past Areola. The rest of the game was just a training exercise for Real Madrid. Zidane lives to fight another day as Real manager and has kept showing his skill for managing the game.

The quarterfinals are next and the draw should be announced this Friday, stick around here to read about it.

Champions League: Round of 16 (Day 2)

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The last day of this week’s Champions League match ups has finally come to an end. And the most anticipated round of 16 match between PSG and Real Madrid did not disappoint.

FC Porto 0-5 Liverpool

Liverpool took care of business on the road just like Manchester City did yesterday. The goals kept falling to this dangerous offense, Mane bagged the hat trick, while Salah and Bobby Firmino got one each as well. Liverpool took the wheel and never let go, the goals kept coming and the defense held strong with a clean sheet. With this help Liverpool will be able to focus much less on the return leg and focus more on the league.

Real Madrid 3-1 Paris Saint-Germaine

Real Madrid gets the win at home, and what a way to do it. This round of 16 draw is gonna be a big decider for the fate of each manager, with each team having so much pressure to perform in this tournament. Both teams started the game quite aggressively, not always characteristic of the first leg of a draw. Leading to the first half ending in a tie, with PSG netting that crucial away goal.

There’s a couple things that Unai Emery is going to think here at the half time, this Real Madrid team hasn’t been in the best goal scoring form, and you already have the away goal, a 1-1 result would be great to take home. So at the 66th minute he takes out Cavani and puts in Meunier, a very defensive minded substitution. In my opinion, as soon as you make the decision that attacking isn’t a priority, you’re at a huge disadvantage, you cannot trust a team with the quality of Real Madrid to not have multiple great chances for 20 minutes.

Now here’s where Zidane made the right choice, between the 68th and 79th minute, he makes three key offensive substitutes bringing in Vazquez, Bale and Asensio. Instead of being complacent he pushed for another goal knowing the return leg at PSG was going to be as challenging as it gets. Asensio makes an instant impact, and passes the ball into the corridor of uncertainty where Ronaldo hits it home off his knee. To put the icing on top Marcelo scores one more time to make it three, his work rate this game was nothing short of incredible.

The whole entire defense of Real Madrid shined this game, Varane made multiple great clearances, and Ramos made many goal saving blocks maybe preventing some goals that could’ve thrown the momentum of this match the other way.

PSG’s goal keeper Areola was having a great game right up until those last goals, and Emery’s attempt to salvage the game with the Draxler substitution was too little too late.

Real Madrid is in a great position to go through now, but it would be a mistake to count out a team with as much talent as PSG, it’s gonna be a nail biter.

Both return legs for these fixtures will be played on March 6th.

 

Champions League: Round of 16

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The first matches of the round of 16 finally were played today. If you wanted goals then you definitely got your money’s worth.

Juventus 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Juve got off to a flying start thanks to a quick set piece goal by Higuain. Quickly after, Juve put another one in from the spot after earning a well deserved penalty.

Tottenham’s attack couldn’t be counted out and as soon as the second goal went in Kane looked dangerous to score. Allegri’s men sat back and just tried to absorb the pressure and it didn’t work out at all. Kane beat Buffon after receiving a great pass and put it in the back of the empty net. The onslaught wouldn’t stop until Spurs gave up another penalty, this one would give Higuain the hat trick, and he hit the crossbar. Spurs went into the half only one down, but surely Juve’s defense can hold at home. It didn’t. Eriksen scored from a free kick by blasting a shot on the ground to Buffon’s right, he’s gonna want that one back.

The game ended 2-2, a truly great result for Spurs, being 2-0 down away. They never stopped fighting and you have to give them credit for that. The draw isn’t over of course, there’s still another leg, but if they play like this again it’s hard to see them not passing.

FC Basel 0-4 Manchester City

The match that never quite looked it would go any other way, and actually ended much worse than expected. Basel, the same giants that took down Manchester United just a season ago looked to try and repeat. However, this City squad is still on fire and it seems everyone in the lineup has a burning itch to score screamers. Gundogan, Silva, and Aguero all got on the score sheet with great goals. They utterly dominated the match with Basel only getting one or two real chances.

Next leg will be at Manchester City’s home and it seems this draw is done and dusted. It would truly take a miracle to have Basel even get close.

The second leg for both matches will take place March 6th.

Thanks for reading, tomorrow will be day 2 of round of 16, it should be another great day of football.