Tag Archives: ucl

Money Teams Have Their Chance.

Two of the worlds wealthy clubs may meet in a European semi-final.

Man City face test of youth on road to glory

Despite all their domestic success in the past decade, Manchester City have only made it to one Champions League semi-final in that time. On the brink of a 5th Premier League title in under a decade, in yet another League Cup Final, and having reached another FA Cup semi-final, it’s almost a given that Man City will take home at least one trophy this season. But the quadruple is the word on their minds. The Citizens have the opportunity to win every competition they participated in this season, having only been absent from the Community Shield.

Standing in their way is a German side with a young superstar who is being touted for World Superstardom. Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is this seasons Champions League top scorer, and has been linked with a move to giants around the world, including Manchester City. Dortmund have a habit of developing young players into superstardom rather than buying already established players. The likes of Jadon, Sancho, Youssoufa Moukoko, and Jude Bellingham are on their books and all look like they’ll become big players for wherever they end up.

Man City have a slender advantage going into the 2nd leg. De Bruyne put them 1-0 up, before Dortmund had a goal scandalously ruled out by VAR. They did however get an equalizer through veteran Marco Reus. As important as that goal will be the winner, scored by another young superstar Phil Foden, could prove crucial. Dortmund need to either score and keep a clean sheet, or win by two goals. A 2-1 win for the Germans will see the game go to extratime. City are clear favorites with their team of established stars supplemented with younger talent.

Dortmund have had a difficult season this year domestically. In the Bundesliga, they find themselves in a Europa League place, 7 points off the Champions League places having failed to challenge at all for the title. They will be favorites for their DFB Pokal semi-final against 2nd tier opposition Holstein Kiel (who incidentally eliminated Bayern Munich). Manchester City however are favorites for all remaining competitions they find themselves in. It wouldn’t quite be a miracle if Dortmund find their way through, but it would involve their young talent rising up and City’s established stars failing to do so.

PSG look to right wrongs

Another game involving a player set to dominate World football. Mbappe scored 4 goals in the last 16 against Barcelona, and now has 2 in the first leg against the European and World Champions. The other part of the narrative around revolves around a present great that is absent. Bayern Munich had 12 shots on target laast week, if Lewandowski had been playing last week they could have won 12-3. But instead PSG took their chances and defended doggedly and won the away leg 2-3.

The French champions have shown they have learned some lessons from last seasons final defeat. Pochettino came in to the team having not won a trophy in his lengthy spell at Spurs, but took just 12 days to lift the Trophée des Champions. The manager and the team seem to be entering a defining era. While PSG have not been short of domestic success, the lack of a European title leaves a dent in their recent history.

Their opponents Bayern Munich have looked as though they are in an era of European dominance. The only out and out super team in last seasons competition, they were as good as the Barcelona side that should have won 3 in a row. Of course they didn’t. And Bayern are now without their biggest superstar of all, Lewangoalski. They have Muller, Goretzka, Kimmich, and an abundance of other talent. But not their biggest goal threat. PSG have multiple goal threats, but not quite the pedigree.

Bayern were poor defensively in the first leg, that likely won’t happen again. Chances will be harder to come by for PSG. But the magic man Mbappe can create things. Will Bayern have a bad day again? Will PSG have a good day or one of frustration?

Investments of Billions bring plenty of silverware, but they haven’t brought the big one yet.


Champions League Last 16 Week 1

The Champions League last 16 got underway this week with 4 first leg ties. Here’s a look at each game.

Mbappe Masterclass For Last Seasons Runners-Up

Despite taking an early lead through a dubious penalty Barca were outplayed by PSG. Messi converted from the spot after De Jong was deemed to have been brought down, although it appeared he may have tripped over his own feet. The goal was well-earned with Messi pulling the strings from a deeper position than usual. PSG had struggled to have much presence in the opposition box, but a neat touch from Mbappe gave the French champions an away goal before halftime. Idrissa Gueye came off for the away side at the break, having arguably been lucky to stay on the pitch. Mbappe and Keane scored within 5 minutes of eachother past the hour mark to put the French side in firm control. Mbappe rounded off his hattrick late on.

FT Barcelona 1-4 PSG

Barcelona 1-4-3-3

Ter Stegen, Dest (Mingueza), Pique (Puig), Lenglet, Alba, De Jong, Busquets (Pjanic), Pedri (Trincao), Griezmann (Braithwaite), Messi, Dembele.

PSG 1-4-2-3-1

Navas, Florenzi (Kehrer), Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Paredes, Gueye (Herrera), Kean (Danilo), Veratti (Draxler), Mbappe, Icardi.

Liverpool Return To Winning Ways At Leipzig

Before the game a center-back injury crises for Liverpool looked to hand the advantage to Leipzig. However it was the English Champions who took control of the tie with two away goals from Salah and Mane. Both goals involved poor defending from the Germans, with both Salah and Mane finding themselves with just the keeper to beat after lapses. Leipzig’s best chances game at either end of the game with Olmo hitting the post after 5 minutes and Hwang Hee-Chan shot just wide in injury time.

FT RB Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool

Leipzig 1-4-3-3

Gulacsi, Mukiele (Orban), Klostermann, Upamecano, Angelino, Sabitzer, Haidara (Poulsen), Kampl (Hwang Hee-Chan), Nkunku, Olmo, Adams.

Liverpool 1-4-3-3

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson, Alcantara (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Wijnaldum, Jons, Salah (Williams), Firmino (Shaqiri), Mane.

Porto Take The Lead But May Rue Late Juve Goal

It looked set to be a tale of defensive errors at the start of each half with Porto looking very much in control of the tie. Goals from Iranian top scorer Taremi in the 1st minute, and Marega in the 1st minute of the second half gave the Portuguese side the lead thanks to some uncharacteristically disastrous defending from the Scudetto holders. Porto could have sealed the tie with a third, but instead Juve found themselves back in it with a late away goal from Chiesa. Juventus had further chances late on with Ramsey and Morata making the difference.

FT Porto 2-1 Juventus

Porto 1-4-4-2

Marchesin, Manafa, Mbemba, Pepe, Sanusi, Corona (Ndiaye), Uribe, Sergio Oliveira (Francisco Conceicao), Otavio (Luis Diaz), Marega (Grujic), Taremi.

Juventus 1-4-4-2

Szczesny, Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini (Demiral), Alex Sandro, Chiesa, Rabiot, Bentancur, McKennie (Morata), Kulusevski (Ramsey), Ronaldo.

Wonderkid Haaland Gives Sevilla Norwegian Nightmares

Last seasons Europa League winners have it all to do if they are to advance in the Champions League this season. Things started brightly with Suso giving the Spanish sides the lead. However Erling Haaland was the difference maker with an assist and two goals in the first half. First Haaland set up Dahoud for the equalizer, before putting Dortmund, who are struggling for form in the Bundesliga, ahead. Haaland made it 1-3 just before halftime. Sevilla got one back late in the game through de Jong, but will need to score at least twice if they are to continue their UCL journey,

FT Sevilla 2-3 Dortmund

Sevilla 1-4-3-3

Bono, Navas, Kounde, Diego Carlos, Escudero, Jordan (Rodriguez), Ferando, Rakitic (Gudelj), Suso (de Jong), En Nesyri (El Haddadi), Gomez (Torres).

Dortmund 1-4-3-2-1

Hitz, Morey Bauza, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro (Passlack), Dahoud (Meunier), Can, Bellingham, Reus (Brandt), Sancho, Haaland.