“Splendid.” “ Superb.” “Mr. Champions League.” These were the headlines that appeared on several tabloids on Wednesday morning. It’s already become what we have come to expect from Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 33-year old gave a reminder to those who cared he was still the man, weighing in with two goals and one assist: once again the big man for the big occasion. However, many would seemingly forget he is only a part of a machine, weld by Zinedine Zidane.
Keylor Navas pulled a great stop at 1-0. Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal put in one of the most disciplined defensive performances ever. Paulo Dybala and his Juventini bandwagon had seen their wheels come off in 5-minutes.
Douglas Costa was a scam which is merciful comment given he was past shambles. Alex Sandro failed to do the job of keeping Carvajal in the Madrid half. Chelsea would be silly to splash €70m on him. Chiellini and Buffon were total opposites of what they were against Spurs.
It must be disturbing that another Champions League journey is near end. Allegri is the only man who leaves with his head intact. It’s sad he may not be there much longer.
Wasteful Sevilla were made to pay the price against Bayern. When you don’t take your chances at the highest level, you get punished.
Franck Ribery looked like the player who finished in the ballon d’Or top3 in 2013. Bayern are unbeaten under Heynckes but that record won’t last if teams employ Sevilla and RB Leipzig’s press correctly. Isolating Javi Martinez and James Rodriguez will be crucial.
You should be happy when your team has a hand in 5 goals, not when you are in Eusebio dI Francesco’s shoes. AS Roma did everything right save scoring two goals and assisting another two Barcelona goals to be in the deficit column.
Alisson Becker was nothing like the Messi of goalkeepers. Maybe because there can be only one Messi on the pitch. Roma weren’t as bad as the scoreline suggested but they would be left wondering what could have been.
Gegenpress triumphs again. Twice is the amount of times that City players were tied in knots in the build-up to Liverpool’s goas. The defensive frailties and attacking numbness would make one think it was Liverpool in the blue shirts. City’s biggest hurdle isn’t the three goal deficit they must overturn, it is the league title they must wrap up.
Mesut Ozil put in another masterclass. A clear indication the Europa League is child’s play for him. Seeing him in an Arsenal shirt is disturbing. Kudos to Aaron Ramsey who is finding solace and showing the calibre of player he is; a Europa League star.
Diego Costa assisted one, and Jeremy Matthieu another. Scratch that… Jeremy Matthieu assisted both goals. The Frenchman went to sleep twice. Atletico punished them the only way they do. Sporting have a mountain to climb in Lisbon.
Special mentions to the Red Bull sides… Who hold precarious advantages. Two away goals are pricey at any level, and as Lazio showed on Thursday, they aren’t as solid defensively as we think.
Leipzig on the other hand are experts at scoring away, their 1-0 lead will give them confidence ahead of a long 90minutes at the Velodrome.
As we look forward to the second legs of this encounter, how do you think all these teams will fare? Will deficits get overturned? Which four teams do you think will go through to the semi-final of the Champions League and the Europa League?
Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.
Author: Tosin Adesina
A football purist.