UCL Quarter Final Review – Leg 1

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City

Spurs vs City was always going to be an exciting clash as the Premier League Rivals go against each other thrice this month. City are currently 2nd in the Premier League table with a game in hand and are battling It out against Liverpool for the League title. Spurs on the other hand are 4th and will hope to finish in the top 4 this season.

The tie was an interesting one as both the teams had decent chances with Spurs having 4 of them on target and City having just one in the entire match. Sergio Aguero who has been lethal all season had a match to forget as he missed a penalty in 12th minute of the match. Spurs were attacking from the word go and did not let City dominate as they usually do. The first half ended 0-0, a very interesting second half was awaited as both teams would want to have their noses in front before the second leg in the Etihad. Finally, in the 78th minute a moment of magic was produced by Heung Min Son when he put one past Ederson and scored for the Spurs. The match ended 1-0 in favour of the Home Side. The second leg will be very interesting as Manchester City will look to pull some goals back and progress where as Spurs will look to defend the one goal advantage they have and put City out of the Champions league yet again.

City will be facing Crystal palace away whereas the Spurs host Huddersfield in the weekend League tie. Both the teams cannot risk not playing their strongest team as City are fighting for the title and Spurs are fighting for the all important top 4 spot. It will be interesting to see how the teams approach the second leg of UCL as both the teams have a lot on the line.

Prediction: Manchester City 3 -1 Tottenham Hotspur. City to progress with 3-2 on aggregate.

Liverpool Vs FC Porto

Liverpool have played some exciting football this season and are one of the two teams who could win the Domestic League this season. They currently sit at the top of the table with a one point lead to Manchester City with the later having a game in hand. FC Porto on the other hand are second in the Primeira Liga of Portugal with the same number of points as the league leaders Benfica who lead Porto with a goal difference of 12. With both the teams eying a spot in the Semi Final the draw was definitely going to be a mouth watering one.

Liverpool started the tie with a bang scoring 2 goals in the first half hour, They dominated the match against Porto right from the word go. Liverpool has a number of chances after the 2nd goal to bury the tie once and for all but they failed to convert them, the 1st half ended 2-0 in favour of Liverpool with Keita scoring in the 5th minute, courtesy a deflection from the defender and then Firmino scored a beautiful team goal to go 2 gaols ahead of Porto at the end of the 1st half. Porto were in no mood to let the tie drift away as they were Solid in the second half, though Mane put one in past the goalkeeper the goal was ruled out as Mane was offside. Porto tried their heart out to score in the second half but they were unsuccessful in doing so, they will have an uphill task in the Dragau as they will not only have to stop Liverpool from scoring but also score 3 themselves to have any chance of advancing to the Semi Finals of the UCL.

Liverpool will face Chelsea in the weekend League tie which is a big game in itself and will not be able to rest a lot of players as they are eyeing to win the league which they have not been able to win for over a decade. Porto on the other hand will face Portimonense away. FC Porto might look to rest some of their key players to give it their everything against Liverpool in the second leg.

Prediction: FC Porto 1-2 Liverpool. Liverpool to progress with 1-4 on aggregate.

Manchester United Vs FC Barcelona

This was one of the most awaited ties in the Quarter Finals as both teams are a huge brand in the World of Football, both teams have a very strong history with both of them winning their respective leagues a number of times and having conquered UCL as well on a number of occasions. Manchester united currently sit 6th on the table and are eying for that all important top 4 spot where was FC Barcelona are comfortably sitting on top of the table with a 11 Point difference over Atletico Madrid who are second. With both the clubs having such a big reputation the tie was going to be the one to look out for.

Barcelona started the game well with over 75% possession in the 1st 15 mins, they scored in the 12th minute with a Luis Suarez assisted own goal by Luke Shaw, but post the goal the domination of Barcelona started to decline as Manchester United started to dominate in the midfield. They started troubling the defenders of the opposite team, Fred and Mctimony were brilliant in the midfield as they started rotating the ball and started moving forward towards the goal. At the end of the 1st half the score line remained 0-1 in favour of Barcelona but United were the better side in the half. Barcelona knew that ManU will come all guns blazing in the second half and that is what happened, Diego Dalot had wonderful chance to level the score line to head past the Barca keeper in the second half but he failed to score, Barcelona started playing beautiful football in the last 15 minutes as they showed glimpses of their old self with their one touch passing. The highlight of the match was Smalling almost breaking Lionel Messi’s nose with a strong but legitimate tackle to win the long ball. Messi though had a game to forget as he did not do much. Barca though got an all-important win and an away goal with the final scoreline finishing at 0-1 in favour of Barca. The second leg will be interesting as Manchester United have beaten big teams line Juventus and PSG away from home. But they will have to work hard to progress to the Semi’s in Camp Nou.

Barcelona will travel to the bottom placed Huesca in their weekend league match, they will look to rest their key players and its almost evident that Messi will miss that match as he is undergoing Medical treatment for his Nasal injury. Manchester united will host West ham in their league match and they will also look to rest some players so that they can come back fresh for the UCL match.

It will be interesting to see if Barcelona will proceed as they will have the home and the away gaol advantage or if Manchester United can throw Barcelona out as they did to PSG after losing their home game. Whatever the result may be, it will be a feast for the football fans.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Manchester United with Barcelona advancing with 3-1 aggregate

Ajax vs Juventus

This was another interesting tie as the King of UCL Cristiano Ronaldo would be taking on the team that ousted his previous club Real Madrid in the round of 16. Juventus sit comfortably on top of the table with 20-point difference over the second places Napoli. Cristiano Ronaldo was making a comeback after his injury in this all-important clash. Ajax are also on top of the table in Eredivisie but they are level with PSV on points and are ahead because of the goal difference. Ajax though have been playing some beautiful football lately and we saw that when they defeated the reigning champions Real Madrid 1-4 in Madrid own backyard.

The game was a high intense game and to everyone’s surprise Ajax dominated Juventus throughout the game. They had more possession that Juventus and were rotating the ball beautifully. They had a lot of chances in the 1st half where they should have scored at least twice with them failing to convert the opportunities. And when you don’t convert your opportunities a team like Juventus will make you pay and they eventually scored in the 45th minute and who else but Cristiano doing what is does best and that is scoring goals, he positioning is the best in the game and he made sure he had no one near to him when he headed the ball into the back of the net, all that hard work by Ajax was destroyed as Juventus now had an all important away goal. Ajax though were not in the mood of giving up and they came with full force in the second half, they finally got their reward when David Nares scored a beautiful curler past the Juventus goal keeper to level the score line. The game ended in a 1-1 draw with Juventus having the away goal advantage. However, Ajax were the dominant side with 6 shots on target compared to Juventus having just 1.

Juventus play SPAL in their league clash over the weekend, they will play the tie with a lot of players rested as they have already won the league. Ajax will host Excelsior in their league match and they will also look to rest some of their players as they have the all-important tie against the Biconerri.

Juventus have the firepower to knock Ajax out but the creativity and determination of Ajax is something that can come to rescue.

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Ajax, Juventus to throw Ajax out with an aggregate of 3-2.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply