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Champions League 2nd Leg Preview || Can Roma and Bayern comeback ?

We are one match away to know who will be in champions league final. This week’s second leg clash starts with Real vs Bayern at Santiago Bernabeu and ends with Roma vs Liverpool at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich –

Real Madrid have won their away game by 2-1 and that makes them favorites to go in the final  for third consecutive time. Bayern have to score minimum of 2 goals, provided Madrid doesn’t score, but it will be very hard to restrict Real Madrid at home.

Ronaldo has scored heavily in this fixture over the years and will be hoping to get few goals as he missed being on score sheet in the first leg.

Bayern Munich has to put in extra ordinary performance at Bernabeu. Specially Lewandowski needs to be lethal and clinical. James Rodriguez would like to contribute in this cause as we hope.

If Bayern knocks Madrid then it would be an upset for Madrid given that their pedigree in this competition is so high.

My prediction is 3-2 to Real Madrid in the second leg so they are going to Kiev.

Roma vs Liverpool –

Last time these two teams met, they produced 7 goal thriller. I wonder what will happen this time. Roma were given some hope by Lovren in the first leg. 

They need an early goal to make this tie interesting and nervy for Liverpool. Man City got that early goal but Liverpool somehow managed to nullify those threats and came up with an away goal.

We need to look at few things here

  1. Barcelona were not good in first leg also but managed to win, so Roma deserved to win with the way they played both legs.
  2. Man City were unlucky not to get a goal in the second leg, but Liverpool somehow managed to get goals.
  3. Liverpool kept a clean sheet at Home against City so they had that advantage.
  4. If Liverpool seat back then it makes them vulnerable, so it depends on how they approach the game.

So it’s all ifs and buts, but at the end of the day the team who is going to hold their nerve under pressure will get through.

It’s a big night for both clubs as they would not have thought this during the season that they can go in the champions league final.

I hope Liverpool gets 2 goals to proceed further but it’s football and amazing things happen in football.

Let’s enjoy these two clashes and hope we will get to see some exciting football as we saw in the first leg.


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Champions League Semi Final Draw Reaction

Great Draw ! that was my reaction as it happened today during champions league draw. Everybody expected Mancity vs Barca but Roma and Liverpool showed that they can beat anyone if they play at the highest level.

Bayern vs Real –

They both met last season in the quarter finals and Real won that battle. Though there were dubious decision made in that tie. Having said all that Real Madrid are still favorites to go in the final as they have got know-how and experienced squad to handle those situations over the last 3-4 years in the champions league.

On the other hand Bayern Munchen are well rested and they also have quality players at their disposal to cause enough damage to Los Blancos in the names of Robben and Ribery. But they were not tested much till now in this year’s campaign and that might hurt them at this stage.

Certainly it’s a tasty tie and players from both teams will be looking to fight it out for that Final’s spot.

Liverpool vs Roma –

Who would have thought that these two teams will meet each other in the semi final. Certainly Mo Salah wouldn’t have thought this. As he meets his former club where he had 2 brilliant seasons.

The way Liverpool are playing in the champions league is amazing and it is very hard to contain their front three. First leg is at Anfield and it will give Liverpool great advantage to get that lead going into the second leg as they did against City. 

But Roma did manage to overturn 3-0 deficit against Barca. So it would be mistake to underestimate Roma at this stage.Both teams have players with lot of character and fans full of passion. It will be one hell of an atmosphere in this clash.

We will talk more about it day before the game as we will be having more information related to their form and players availability.

We will come back with another blog which will be related to weekend premier league matches. Till then enjoy the game.

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Champions League Review || Expect the unexpected

I had a feeling that something special is going to happen during this champions league quarter-final second leg round. I was expecting comeback from Sevilla but boy did Roma proved me wrong.

Roma Vs Barca –

What a night they had in Rome. “Rome was not built in a day” ! Tremendous result in heir campaign. We knew that Barca were pragmatic this season and were getting the results but Roma fully deserved that victory over them.

Messi and Suarez were not effective. On the other hand Edin Dzeko was superb. He just fought for his life and brought Roma back in the game and Manolas to finish it off.

Allison was not tested the way he should have been. To sum things up it was the “Perfect Game” for Roma. Karma is a bitch ! What goes around that comes around for Barca as they did last season to PSG.

ManCity Vs Liverpool –

As we expected City started the game with barrage of attacks and they got a dream start with a goal within just 2 min. Although there was a case of foul on Van Dijk but VVD should have cleared that away.

Though I support Liverpool but Man City should have got that second goal by Sane. It  could have shifted the momentum of the game. Having said that Liverpool came back in the second half very well as Mo Salah finished it off. Cool as a cucumber. He did it again for Liverpool.

Firmino just rubbed salt in the wounds of Mancity players later with great pressing by him against Otamendi and netting past his compatriot. City should have started with Kun Aguero and Kompany in this big game but in hindsight we can always say that. Over the two legs Liverpool did well to knock them off.

Real Madrid Vs Juventus –

Given the lead of 3 goals everybody thought it is very unlikely that Madrid would squander this one. As we saw great fight back from Juve but it’s fair to say that Real did not defend that well for 2 Mandžukić’s goal and K.Navas committed a blunder to help Matuidi to score a simple goal.

Dybala’s ommision turned out blessing in disguise as Mario came back in starting XI and even commentator said before the game that his aerial ability might cause damage. Credit must be given to amazing crosses that he received from Khedira and D.Costa, but Boy! that was a great header.

Real came back in the last-minute and guess who ? Yes it’s Cristiano Ronaldo. As he always delivers in the champions league and specially in later stages. The leap that he got to place the ball into the path of Lucas Vazquez was amazing. Many fans thought that it was a wrong decision and ref also made a bad call sending Buffon off.

If you see replay and think rationally it was clear that Bentia pushed him from the back and obstruct by placing foot ahead of his chest. It shows that it was a penalty. Credit must be given to ref Michael Oliver having made that great decision in such a huge game. Reaction of Buffon every football fan can understand because we do love him, but at the end of the day this game is above everyone no matter what your status is and if you are bumping into referee aggressively then it’s hard to argue against.

Bayern vs Sevilla – 

I expected Bayern to score few goals but they did not. I was hoping Sevilla to cause an upset. Game was boring and both did not create enough chances. It was about getting in to the semi final for Bayern. It’s not their fault that they had weaker opposition.

They were able to rest few players and as they have sealed league title they can focus on champions league better than other teams.

What a crazy week of football this was !!

We will come back again with the reaction from champions league semi final draw that is going to happen on Friday 4pm IST. Till then keep following this space

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Can Pep do it ? || Champions League quarter final leg 2 preview

So it’s been some week for all football fans around the world. We witnessed City’s defensive weakness against Liverpool and Manchester United. Can Pep do it ?

Having said that it’s not over until it’s over. Manchester City have enough attacking potential to exploit any defense. If anyone can, Pep can ? 

Let’s go back to early season encounter between these two. City scored 5 goals past Liverpool.City is as lethal as they were at the start but for Liverpool many things have changed.

  1. Defense – with big Virgil they have got the solidity and composure. Plus it’s helping Karius in a big way. Robertson is machine on that left side offensively and defensively too
  2. Midfield – Ox’s addition to midfield has brought some creativity though we know Coutinho’s loss is huge.
  3. Atmosphere – As I said in my previous blog that Liverpool fans create some magical atmosphere that gives players extra push to get the best out of them on a European night.

It’s about getting it right to go through semis. 

Big miss for Liverpool will be Henderson with his leadership ability because in big games that’s the important thing. For Liverpool some body have to step up to fill in his shoes. Who’s better than Milner ?

City would be happy with Kun Aguero coming in to the squad. He has been brilliant for them since he arrived and world-class striker to speak. Pep failed tactically in first leg so he would definitely start Sterling tonight.

If City scores early then it might create doubt in minds of LFC players. If Liverpool scores early then City might collapse because they will have to score 5 past Liverpool and then it will open up nicely for Liverpool’s attacking trio as City will try to attack heavily and may commit mistakes.

I do not want get ahead of myself and predict because some games you can not predict. That’s the beauty of it and I am going to enjoy every second of this mouth-watering clash.

Safe to say other big guns such as Barca, Real and Bayern Muchen will be safely go through semis as they have got great results. I personally think that if Sevilla can cause upset it would be a quite story.

I hope we will see scintillating stuff in this second leg, but the question is Can Pep do it ?


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Manchester United spoils City Party || Stalemate at Mersyside || EPL Saturday Review

Well Well Well ! Just when you thought EPL was sealed tonight Pogba had different plans. That was some game at Etihad. Anti Climatic it was ! Manchester United Spoils City’s Party.

I would have written about it tomorrow but it is better time to express just when the game ended.

Liverpool and Manchester United scored 3 each against City within a week and it will hurt Man City fans a lot. As they have been dominant force throughout this campaign.

Raises a question why EPL teams did not do it against City ?

But it raises a question. why no one really pressed city since season began ? May be if someone had attacked them the way Liverpool and Man United did this week, then other teams would have played against them that way. Every team was so bothered about their possession and attacking flair. No team ever got going against City.

Having said all that it does not take credit away from City’s stellar season, but it poses a question that every team who were beaten by City was mentally on the back foot given the reputation that they earned over the course of this season.

I hope this two results that City got against top sides shows that in next season City will be challenged by teams such as Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea (if they change their manager). Guardiola has to change his system and tactics accordingly to deal with it because Man City are not Gaurdiola’s Barca as this City team gives away ball high up the pitch if  they get pressed heavily.

Still there is no denying that they are a week away from the title.

Mersyside Derby that didn’t really matter ? || Stoke fought but falter

Earlier this game week we saw Mersyside Derby and though I am a Liverpool fan still was not impressed with the game and I understood that we rested our top players for second leg against city.

Everton could have snicked one right in the end and could have earned bragging rights but as expected it ended 0-0 draw.

Other matches included great win by Newcastle as Rafa is keeping them in safe zone.Stoke fought hard but they were undone by Eriksen and Harry Kane’s shoulder as proclaimed by him.