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UCL Quarter Finals First Leg Review

by TREVANN HAMILTON

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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The first leg of the quarter finals for the UEFA Champions League recently happened and it's an understatement to say things are heating up. 
 

Tottenham Hotspurs vs Manchester City

Tottenham Hotspurs defeated Manchester City 1-0 on a goal from the ever reliable Son Heung-min. Even though Manchester City had a majority of the possession, they still couldn't make it count. Sergio Aguero was given a controversial penalty which was ultimately saved by Hugo Lloris. Pep Guardiola also left out Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy, which may be a reason for their defeat. The second leg will be hosted at the Eithad, and Manchester City will have to score and defend their way out of a situation they shouldn't have been in in the first place. Unfortunately for Spurs, Harry Kane will have to miss the leg and all the others if they make it out of the round, due to injury. Coupled with the fact that Spurs are very inconsistent, if City play well and with some purpose they should be able to book their place in the semi-final.

 

Liverpool vs. FC Porto

The Liverpool and Porto result seemed to have set Liverpool as the favourites to win the tournament. Liverpool defeated Porto 2-0 with first half goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool, unlike City, had a majority of the possession and made it count. The second leg will be at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto and by the looks of it Jürgen Klopp and his team have the clear advantage to advance to the semi finals.

 

Manchester United vs. Barcelona

The Manchester United and Barcelona fixture was somewhat disappointing to see as a fan of the sport. Barcelona got the predicted first leg advantage, clipping Manchester United 1-0, but in the most uneventful way. The single goal of the match came from a Luke Shaw own goal in the 12th minute. Since that goal, Barcelona went on to dominate possession and yet couldn't squeeze out a goal. Barcelona fans may argue that they already had the advantage and so Barca didn't need to score more but when has that ever stopped Barcelona? In case anyone forgot, Barcelona are relentless once they find weakness in a club, and Manchester United definitely showed up theirs in the defense. Barcelona did the bare minimum to hang on to their slim advantage. Ole Gunnar's men came back from half time fresh and more motivated but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities or home advantage and registered 0 shots on target. Barcelona is still the favourite to go through but will probably have a tougher fight at Camp Nou in the second leg - especially with Lionel Messi's UCL quarter finals record.

 Juventus vs. Ajax

Juventus and Ajax's fixture was the only one that ended with a draw and also the only one where both teams scored. Juventus commanded the lead with a penalty scored by Cristiano Ronaldo. However David Neres replied just a minute later tying the game 1-1. Ajax are definitively the dark horses of this tournament with their biggest accomplishment being knocking out Real Madrid in the last round, a feat that no club could manage in three whole years. Ajax dominated the possession, took more shots and had more shots on target than Juventus. Ajax definitely put on a show for their home fans. In the second leg, Ajax will have to bring the heat we all know they can bring and outscore Juventus. Ajax's biggest problem will be keeping Mr. Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo out of their net. Ronaldo has been known to rescue his team in Champions League when they need him. He already rescued Juventus vs Atletico Madrid in the last round. Can he do it again? I think Juventus may squeeze through to the semi-finals and that away goal may come in handy.

 

The second leg matches will be played this Tuesday and Wednesday. Who do you think will reach the semi finals? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.


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