Champions League Round of 16 Week 1
Champions League Returns With A Bang
What a great start the Round of 16! I enjoyed watching every game. I won't go in to detail about Tuesdays games because you would have already read something about them. I will focus on the two Wednesday games though. I have a lot to say about Madrid and Liverpool.
Before you leave. If you want to check out the scores quickly scroll to the bottom.
Man City storm Basel.
This game was as one sided as it could get. From the start City showed dominance and continued what they started this season in the league and group table. At the moment they can't seem to stop scoring goals.
In the end it was a solid 4-0 win for City and no one can argue with it. It didn't look like a champions league match up.
Aguero bagged his 14th goal of the season, which is rather lower than usual even with injuries. Gundogan stole the show for me. 10/10 for performance and showed great class, he appears to be picking up some form since returning from injury. He is really turning into the player they wanted when they signed him.
I think it's clear to say City are now more than guaranteed Quarter Final football. I would be shocked if they don't get there. Football can be very unpredictable sometimes though.
Gundogan stole the show for me.
Juve Surrender 2 Goal Lead
For the first half an hour of the Juventus .v. Spurs game I thought we were about to witness a 5 goal game. A lack of experience by Spurs showed in the first 10 minutes. They obviously didn't expect the pace of football Juve had. But after 30 minutes Spurs started to find their feet and showed just how good they are.
Kane came close to a goal close to the 30 minute mark but Buffon pulled off a great save to deny him. However, only 5 minutes later Kane showed just how ice cold he really is. Taking the ball around the worlds best keeper and slotting it home. I don't think you could many players who would be composed enough to do that to Buffon.
Juve looked to regain a 2 goal lead with a penalty at the brink of half time. Sanchez made another reckless challenge. It's becoming a real problem for Spurs. They need to sort that part of his game out in my opinion. The penalty was well earned by Costa, who showed just how fast he really is.
Unfortunately Higuain hit the crossbar and missed out on his hat-rick. He was inches from scoring, although Lloris did read the situation and stood tall in the center of goal.
The game finished 2-2 from a wonder free-kick by the set piece master, Eriksen. A great low driven free-kick caught everyone off guard and it has now given Spurs a massive advantage for the next leg as they have 2 away goals.
Kane showed just how ice cold he really is.
Madrid comeback from the dead.
First off, I'll start by saying this game was a great example of how important a good defense is as important as a good attack. If not for the keepers and defenders it could have been a 9 goal game easily.
The game started off how we all hoped, with a 2nd minute volley by Ronaldo which almost gave his team the lead early on. Madrid continued the pressure with a incredible counter attack. Marcelo picked the ball up at the halfway line and picked out a pass for Ronaldo which looked near impossible. I mean he didn't even have vision of him he just knew he was going to be there. Insane! This great move of play was met with a wonder save from Areola who stopped it with his face.
The game goalless until Neymar made a great assist for Rabbiot who slotted it in the net past Navas. He wouldn't be the first player on my prediction list for first scorer if I'm honest. It was great goal none the less. A few minutes later Areola pulled off a great save from Benzemas first shot of the game, which came from just outside the box.
Ronaldo then got the chance to equalize and break his ow record. Kroos earned his team a questionable penalty. In my opinion it was a penalty with the way he was pulled back but he went down too easy which I always hate to see. Either way Ronaldo scored a powerful penalty and has now scored more than 10 goals in a champions league 7 years in a row.
The game finished 3-1 to Madrid from a tap in shot by Ronaldo who had to adjust his body towards the ball. Right place right time and stayed focused on the ball to finish it. Marcelo then killed the game off with a great finish and a deserved goal. He was my MOTM for the game as he always is. He's great at defending and deadly on the attack, you can't ask for much more.
Best game of week 1 ?
In my opinion it was a penalty with the way he was pulled back but he went down too easy which I always hate to see.
Liverpool deadly again.
This game was my game of the week. The blistering pace from Liverpool and deadly attacking force just continues to blow my mind every game. I still can't get my head around how fast they can catch a team on the counter attack. And they keep that pace up all game !
The first half wasn't too one sided. Porto put pressure on Liverpool but never finished their chances. To top that off they practically gifted Liverpool the first goal. Poor goalkeeping let in a very soft shot from Mane. You could see the frustration from the keeper as he watched it go in.
Mo Salah showed once again why he is such a great signing for Liverpool as he scored the most composed goal I have seen in a while. The ball came to him right in front of goal with the keeper and defender on him he tapped the ball over the keeper and put it past the defender. The man just keeps on giving.
The second half was painful to watch for Porto fans. It was mostly Liverpool. With the chances Porto got they didn't do anything with them. Karius had a fairly easy clean sheet. For the third goal Liverpool gave Porto a taste of their counter attack force. They were simply too fast for them. They drew Porto up the pitch then capitalized on their mistake. In the end it was a simple tap in for Mane but a great attack either way.
The fourth goal showed us how strong Mane is, still sprinting forward as someone grabs on his shirt. He carried on until he was free from the grip and gave Bobby Firmino a simple finish. The finish was topped off by a classic Firmino celebration, karate kicking the air.
The game was finished with a wonder strike by Mane from outside the box who you could tell wanted his hat-rick.
Overall it was a great team performance again by the men in red and they have given themselves an easy second leg. We will most likely see Liverpool in the quarters. I'll be shocked if they manage to bottle it now.
For the third goal Liverpool gave Porto a taste of their counter attack force.
© 2018 Josh Collinson