We are another step closer to finding out who will be the champions of Europe this year, and we find three of the biggest clubs in the world in the semi-finals…oh…and Juventus are there too… Anyway here’s a review of the quarters which will be followed by a preview for the semis just for you guys!
Paris Saint-Germain 1-5 Barcelona
Yeah…I’ve been saying it for years now, PSG are shit, they’ve always been shit and are the most over rated team in Europe. Which when you think about it is quite nice for Ibrahimovic who happens to be the most over rated player in Europe, that’s why the two fit together so well. There isn’t much you can say about PSG’s performance in this tie because they were dirt rotten, all but officially eliminated after the first leg. 5-1 on aggregate thoroughly flattered PSG who if there is justice in the world of football (checks history and realises there is not) will be punished for their vast over spending and breaking of financial fair play.
Barca looked good in this tie, but you have to wonder if they looked good because they were playing a shit PSG team or if it is because Barca are starting to look like a fluent team. My guess would be that it’s a bit of both. You can start to see the familiarity grow between Suarez, Messi and Neymar and it makes Barca an incredibly dangerous team. It did take a while for these three to get going, however it is understandable after a long World Cup and in Suarez’ case a long ban. Going forward I would still be concerned about Barca’s ability to defend against the very best teams, yes they will score goals but the goals are likely to be fewer and the opposition chances are likely to be higher.
Porto 4-7 Bayern Munich
I didn’t watch the first game of this tie however I couldn’t believe that Porto took a 3-1 lead, I thought this game was all but a formality. The weird thing for Porto is that for all the world when they receive the penalty in the first minute Neuer should really have been sent off as well which arguably takes that 3-1 and makes it a much better score. Do Porto have a right to complain? I do sympathise with them but I don’t think so because when you go down 5-0 after 40 minutes of play I’m not sure you can really complain about a bad decision in the first game (realistically they wouldn’t have beaten Bayern by 5 clear goals).
Bayern got away with one here after Porto threw away a golden 3-1 first leg lead. I did watch the second game and I have to say that Bayern were majestic. I do think that Porto didn’t seem ready for the match but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Bayern utterly dismantled them. It’s hard to judge Bayern from this tie because it is as if two different teams played, if the Bayern who played in the second leg show up then they are favourites to win the title, if the other Bayern show up then they won’t have a sniff of the final. Going forward I’m concerned for Bayern because of the number of injuries they have suffered and their apparent inconsistencies away from home (don’t forget that they also struggled against Shakhtar before winning 7-0 at home). I picked them to win the Champions League at the start of the competition however I’d now be surprised if they achieved this.
Atletico Madrid 0-1 Real Madrid
One of the worst ties of football I have ever seen in my life. Both of the games essentially consisted of the two teams kicking each other, players pretending to be injured, shouting and an overall lack of quality. I’d happily have seen both teams be eliminated for what was a thoroughly pathetic display of football. When you hear those people criticise football as if it isn’t a real sport because the players are all pussys you can usually tell them that they don’t know what they’re talking about, but after these two legs you can’t help but hang your head in shame at what a pathetic display of the beautiful game it was.
To make matters worse Real ended up going through on a dodgy as hell red card which to say was disputable would be putting it lightly. With all the nonsense going on in these two games it does seem incredible that the defining moment is a player making an honest attempt to go for a fifty fifty ball and picking up a second yellow card. Real are lucky to have gone through but in the end they went through and that’s all that matters. I’d be amazed if they were able to go on and win after a display like this and for the simple fact that nobody has ever retained the Champions League.
Juventus 1-0 Monaco
Probably the worst tie of the quarters managed to deliver the most drudgery of all the quarters, how fitting. I don’t really know what to say about this, Monaco shouldn’t have went through the last 16 and Juve flatter to deceive. The fact that this game was won on the back of a penalty (although Monaco should have had one too) says a lot really.
Juventus are the worst team left in the competition by quite some distance. Getting this far is an achievement in itself, however at this stage you just never know and with the Serie A all but wrapped up they may shock everyone and their grannie by being the team who stands tall at the end…I highly doubt it.
I went 3-1 in my predictions, only getting the Madrid game wrong (the hardest game to predict in my opinion).
Looking towards the semi-finals we have Bayern v Barca and Juve v Real. Real will almost certainly book their place in the final because they are much better than Juve, giving themselves a great chance of being the first team to retain the Champions League. The Barca Bayern match is a much harder one to predict because if everyone is fit I would pick Bayern all day as they have the quality to rip Barca’s defence to pieces and keep their attackers out, however with all the injuries which Bayern are currently suffering and also Barca’s attacking prowess they will surely be going into the match as slight favourites, although generally too tough to call. I personally have to stump for Bayern because I tipped them to win the title at the start of the season and I may as well stick with them, after all nobody should know how to beat Barca better than Guardiola.
What did you think of the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League? Personally I found them fairly disappointing, do you agree/disagree then leave a comment and let me know.