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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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Champions League 2018 quarter final preview

This is it. The wait is finally over. Champions league quarter final games are few hours away. Every one who supports any one of the eight teams is very very excited and can’t wait to watch those games or should I say experience those nights ?I guess experience is the right word here.

Let’s look at all the fixtures and then discuss about it.

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Juventus vs Real Madrid-

It starts with two heavyweights of the tournament. yeah Juventus Vs Real Madrid. I mean how exciting it is for all football fans to witness this clash. We are aware of Real Madrid’s pedigree in this competition in spite of their domestic poor form. We experienced that in the last 16 clash against PSG when most of the football fans were rooting for PSG to tear Real Madrid.

At the end Real showed that they have won back to back champions league and they belong to this tournament more than any other team in the world.

As we know, Juventus have the experience and know how to play the game over two legs as they beat Barcelona last season but were beaten by Real in final which is a one off game.

It’s very difficult to predict but Real might edge this out to enter in semis but it’s Juventus so I want to see nail biting clash.

Sevilla vs Bayern and Barca vs Roma

I would not discuss more about games on Sevilla vs Bayern and Barca vs Roma as we are pretty sure that who will go through but I would like to see an upset. ( I got what I wanted, an upset check out review blog as Roma came back – Roma come back )


Liverpool vs Manchester City

Next big game is of course Liverpool taking on Manchester City. Two of the most attractive and exciting playing football sides in the England right now. But…There is always a but !

This tie will be decided by how well these two sides defend against each other, as we know both team’s attacking prowess will bang in goals for sure. Though I support Liverpool but recently Manchester City are playing football on another level. Just take recent game against Everton. Each pass of their play making had purpose in it and we have to appreciate it.

Few things work out well in Liverpool’s favor such as

  1. Klopp’s record against Guardiola is great.
  2. Liverpool presses higher up the pitch and that can cause City to make mistake.
  3. Most important one is facing Liverpool on champions league night these players have never experienced before.

We can talk about it for hours and hours but I hope to see great encounters and exciting football from all eight teams in the champions league quarter final stage.

In the end Football wins