We all love the UEFA Champions League! For the past two weeks, football fans were treated to a scintillating, entertaining and magical night of good Champions League football.
No stopping the Spaniards
The UCL knockout stages are usually where the drama and the intrigue happen. 5 English teams entered the round of 16 for the first time in the tournament’s history.
However, just 2 scaled through to the last 8. Sevilla advanced to the last 8 for the first time in over 3 decades and join the other Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona who dissolved PSG and Chelsea’s resistance respectively.
Atletico Madrid who had played two finals in 4 years being the only Spanish team to fall behind at the group stage.
Madrid is gunning for their 13th Continental glory and 3rd triumph in a row. A resurgent Barca inspired by Lionel Messi will cherish another taste of European glory.
Sevilla may be the weakest team entering in quarterfinals but after that upset at Old Trafford, Montella’s men obviously have earned some respect.
An El Classico final this season would be a delight to see, uh?
2 heads are better than 5
Expectations were high when 5 English teams qualified for this season’s UCL, the expectations even went higher when all 5 crossed to the round of 16.
However, when the chips went down only a few stood fast. Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea exited in the most bizarre manner, Spurs threw away a vital goal advantage in front of the Wembley fans against an experienced Juventus team. United?
Had their destiny in their own hands but preferred to allow visiting minnows, Sevilla to go ahead. Chelsea were thrashed last night at Camp Nou. In a game, Lionel Messi got his 99th and 100th UCL goals.
Liverpool made the best out of their game against Porto, scoring 5 at Portugal. But it’s Manchester City who looks convincing to shake off the obstacles of the quarterfinals among the two English teams still in the competition.
PSG can’t buy the Champions League…. They just can’t!
Oh no, you play to win it, you don’t buy it. The Arab money inflow into the PSG project so far has yielded enough French Ligue 1 trophy no doubt, but fans taste for a particular scarce trophy which they lack in their cabinet. The UCL trophy.
PSG’s acquisition of Brazilian playmaker Neymar, and the addition of promising French playmaker Kylian Mbappe was a pointer that the Paris club were making a statement finished first in the group stage ahead of Bayern Munich got pundits talking.
But it just took Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid men just 120 minutes to separate the boys from the men. Two losses in both legs meant PSG have to check back next season.
PSG’s Unai Emery won 3 Europa leagues with Sevilla, but let’s agree they’d need a UCL material in the dugout to tinker the team.
If Courtois is the clown, then Conte is leading the circus show
Last night, Chelsea suffered their latest defeat so far in the season. Antonio Conte who won the PL in his first season looks like he has completely lost the plot this time around. Lying 5th on the PL – meaning they won’t be retaining their title and may miss out in next season’s UCL.Yesterday’s game saw Lionel Messi run Chelsea ragged, opening score with just 3 minutes into the game, assisted team-mate, Ousmanne Dembele for the Frenchman’s first Barca goal and then rounded three Chelsea defenders to thump in his 2nd for the night through Courtois’ legs.
All fingers pointed at the man in Chelsea’s goal, Thibaut Courtois (who is still trending on twitter) for conceding in the most outrageous manner, twice! Hope Belgium doesn’t meet Argentina at some point in Russia.
Nevertheless, Chelsea’s boss Antonio Conte should get some knocks. his actions and inactions so far this season culminated in yesterday’s performance.
Let’s not talk about some of the players he brought in during the transfer or his tactics. That’s for you dear reader to judge. Conte still have a lot of homework to do back on the domestic front and he can’t afford to completely lose the trust of his employers.
Bayern Munich, the Bavarians thrashed Besiktas in both legs to go into the last 8 even though they finished 2nd behind ousted PSG in the group stage. They are the only German side left in the competition
Juventus, for showing maturity in the face of Tottenham’s tempest. After conceding 2 goals in Turin, Juve scored twice in London against fast-paced Spurs team that seemed determined.
Lionel Messi, he has carried his Catalonian club all season, scoring in both legs against Chelsea. Scoring 100 UCL goals in just 128 games.
Besiktas, for shipping in 8 goals against Bayern. We know they’re playing against an attacking minded Munich team, what happened to just 6 or 7 goals…. But conceding 8??
PSG, for failing to deliver on their biggest test of the season. Everyone expected a crunch tie against Madrid, but it all looked like Madrid against another small club in both legs.
The draws for the last eight will take place on Friday, Let the entertainment continue!
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