UEFA Champions League – 10 highlights of Quarter Finals 1st leg
First leg of an enthralling UCL midweek just passed by with ties hanging in fine balance. Results as they stand are –
Juventus 3 Barcelona 0
Dortmund 2 Monaco 3
Bayern 1 Real Madrid 2
Atletico Madrid 1 Leicester City 0
Following points strike out from the first round of matches as we look forward to discovering Semi Finalists of 2017:
Ronaldo still top of the tops
Amidst all the drama coming out of the Real dressing room for the last couple of weeks, Ronaldo once again seems to have hit scoring form right when it matters the most. Although the winger doesn’t seem to have the signature pace he once possessed, Ronaldo has swiftly transformed into a goal poacher. Two clinically taken goals inside the box made him the first ever player to reach 100 UCL goals.
Bayern miss Lewandowski threat
After the first half corner goal from Vidal, Bayern were not able to impose themselves on Real’s weakened centre back pairing of Nacho and Ramos. Muller looked out of sorts, caught offside on numerous occasions, as Real played a high defence line. Bayern lacked Lewandowski’s incisive threat, on the ground as well as in the air.
Bayern vs Real still open
Although Real have taken 2 away goals back to Bernabeau, Ancellotti said the tie remains opens for both teams. Bayern must score at least 2 goals at Madrid next week to have any chance of progression, but one can’t convincingly bet against that happening. With attacking options like Douglas Costa, Sanches and Coman to call from; Bayern must believe they can do this.
Barcelona have serious Away troubles
Barcelona’s recent away form has been worrying and shambolic at times. The 4-0 defeat to PSG in Paris was soon followed by 2-0 loss at Malaga,all but ending hopes of toppling Madrid in La Liga. Now a 3-0 loss at Turin. These will be marked as defining results for Louis Enrique. Certainly, back to the drawing board for Barcelona.
Dybala announces arrival
It’s not easy to overshadow the likes of Suarez and Neymar. It’s almost unheard of to walk out of a match featuring Messi, the media singing to your tune alone.Whoever hadn’t heard of the young Argentinian Dybala or seen his “Gladiator” goal celebration, now knows it all. Two world class finishes within the first 25 minutes of the tie put Juventus in control. His fighting spirit and overall forward play ensures the world take notice of football’s next generation superstar. Dybala has arrived!
Juventus in control, favorites to go through
Having clinically broken Barcelona down at Turin, Juventus have firmly grabbed the driving seat. Juve dismantled Barca dominantly and commanded attention of the footballing world. One can’t possibly visualize the Juventus defence capitulating like PSG at Camp Nou. It’s a case of staying compact and focused on Wednesday; two qualities all Italian teams are drilled with.
Leicester City will go all out at King Power Stadium
The foxes put in a solid display at Vicente Calderon as they came up against Simeone’s Atletico. Although Leicester didn’t do anything out of ordinary, they did put on a solid performance overall. Apart from the controversial penalty given away by Albrighton as he barged into Greizmann, which looked like it was outside the area; Leicester had limited troubles in keeping out Atletico. They would be quite happy to come back home just 1 goal down and will draw motivation from their win over Sevilla in the round of 16.
Atletico must avoid complacency in second leg
With Huth missing through suspension and Wes Morgan unlikely to play through injury, Atletico will fancy getting the job done at Leicester. Although, with nothing else to play for and possibly the last European night for a while, Leicester will be fired up to put on a memorable display. Stranger things have happened in football than overturning of a 1-0 deficit. Atletico must bring their best on what could be a very tricky night in store.
Football unites Dortmund & Monaco fans at tragic hour
As news of three serial blasts near the Monaco bus outside Westfalenstadion emerged, the rivalry surrounding UCL Quarter Final encounter was enveloped by anxiety and melancholy. Monaco center back Bartra needed medical attention and the match was postponed to Wednesday night. Travelling fans decided to stay and the home fans opened their doors to whoever needed it. A great example of the emotions the game invokes, the beauty of sport as it is.
Mbappe and Monaco catch Dortmund off-guard
Dortmund seemed off the pace on Wednesday night as Monaco got off the blocks quicker. Mbappe once again highlighted his brilliance with a clinical brace helping Monaco take home a 1 goal advantage and cushion of 3 away goals. With the attacking options available on both sides, another high scoring game to look forward to in the second leg.