I bet you might end up saying, “Depends on which side I’m on.” Smart answer if you said that. If you didn’t, don’t feel bad. Football has been crazy – has gotten even crazier these days – enough to make people have “mixed feelings” with every game.
To the Bayern fan who saw his team make a comeback from 2 goals down to win the game against the Italians 4 – 2 and qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League, football could be overwhelming. On the flip side, to the Juventus fan, football could be painful. Football is that crazy!
And we had plenty of crazy this week.
The Curse of the “Away Goal”
Valencia, after going down a goal to Ath. Bilbao in the first leg of the Europa League, managed to score the first two goals in the return leg at home. Superb! Then came the 74th minute and they conceded the “highly dreaded” away goal – after trying so hard to finish off the game earlier by trying to score more goals, all to no avail. The end result? Valencia 2, Athletic Bilbao 2. But here, some goals are more important than the others. Bilbao had scored one of those goals. Bilbao marched on. Valencia fell out… despite the game ending in a draw.
Bus-stop. Hearts broken.
Welcome to European Football.
The Champions League and Europa League Draws
UEFA, as if to put the icing on the cake of what had already been a breath-taking week of European football, released the quarterfinal draws of the UCL and EL. It was more like dessert.
Atletico Madrid was picked as the side to face Barca. Who better to dare the MSN gang than Diego Simeone’s Daredevils?
PSG was paired with Man. City. Talk about the Clash of the Super Rich Titans
Talk about icing on the cake!
First it was Bayern Munich that came back from 2 goals down to win the game 4 – 2. Then Espanyol reaped the fruit of being persistent as they scored two against Athletic Bilbao after conceding the first goal of the game. Southampton was next.
The Saints needed only the 2nd half of their game against Liverpool to reply the Reds’ first two goals and then score the match winning goal while Villarreal forced Barcelona to a 2 – 2 draw after going down 0 – 2. Napoli also enjoyed a comeback win against Genoa as they won 3 – 1 after conceding first.
To the weekend and…
Gigi Buffon stole the show in the Italian Serie ‘A’. The legend became more of a bigger deal than he already was before. The Italian became the first goalkeeper in the history of the league to go 974 minutes without conceding a goal. That’s approximately 11 games. Titan! Legend and some more.
The EPL Top 10 is buzzing
Leicester has started dreaming and want to run away with the Premier League. Tottenham is hot on their heels. Arsenal is 11 steps behind, Man. City is playing like they prefer the Europa League to the Champions League while West Ham obviously wants some European football. Man. United just beat their cousins – big deal! Bragging rights too! Southampton climbed at the expense of Liverpool – the lion’s Mané was messed with – who have two games in hand, Chelsea remain unbeaten and I’m still totally unsure of Stoke City.
Sounds like Mourinho is going to Old Trafford afterall. Heard a pre-contract has been agreed. Looking forward to the future Manchester derbies already!
I don’t know what it is but there’s something obviously wrong with Ikorodu United of Lagos. The players, in their game against Giwa FC, “hugged the ball” too much, made irrational decisions – and passes too – and looked sloppy. Little wonder they lost at home again. The new coach sure has a lot on his plate. He needs to promote this team to the NPFL because they seem to be stuck in the league they came from.
Imagine you’re a goalkeeper. Your team concedes two penalties in a game. You’re so good, you saved those two penalties but you and your team lost the game 3 – 0. Ironic right? Well, that was the situation in the game between Philadelphia Union and New England in the MLS.
The international break is in town. I hope Nigeria’s Super Eagles gets the better of Egypt. I hope I can write about the games too.
Cheers to a great week ahead my friend! ♡
Your comments are highly welcome. Little, next to nothing, delights a writer more. I’d like to hear from you. What do you think?
Rotimi Daramola is a full time footballing polygamist that loves watching football and is in love with writing about the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and engage him on Facebook (Rotdavdara) on Twitter @rotdav and on LinkedIn
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.