Thursday, April 11, 2024

Great Champions League matches

 Expectations were fully fulfilled for the highly expected first legs of CL quarterfinals. I eagerly watched two of the matches.

The first one I watched was Real Madrid facing Manchester City, the match that for many was a prelude of the final, and a repeat of last season's semifinals.

The first 15 minutes of the match were crazy, with Bernardo Silva bringing the English side ahead after only 2 minutes in a free kick where Real Madrid appeared to have no wall or organization as Silva shot through. But only 10 minutes later Camavinga took a shot outside the area and the ball was deflected by Ruben Dias and went into goal for 1-1. Two minutes later Rodrygo caught City's forward defense and in his run towards goal the ball was also deflected and meant 2-1 for Real Madrid.

I was really enjoying the match a the Real de 14 Taqueria in San Salvador. It was played in a high tempo and both sides had great quality as it went into the break.

Second half Manchester City continued with a high pressure, and Phil Foden equalized for City on a marvelous strike from outside the area, where one could criticize Real Madrid for giving Foden too much space. 

It was another spectacular strike that brought City ahead 2-3 as it continued its pressure on Madrid: Josko Gvardiol scored from outside the area.

Naturally, Manchester City relaxed the pressure a bit as Madrid pushed forward, and another wonderful strike by Federico Valverde, who first-timed a pass from Vini at the edge of the area, made it 3-3, and the end result of a fantastic match. 

Last season they tied 1-1 as well in Madrid, for Manchester City to demolish Real Madrid in Manchester.
We will see how it goes this time.

The other match I watched today as Paris Saint Germain hosted a Barcelona side that has before been a stumbling block for the ambitious French side.

It appears that Barcelona will again be the end for the Parisians, as they won 2-3 in Paris in a match that nevertheless also flowed with crazy attacks.

Raphinha brought the Catalans ahead 1-0 in the first half, which was also the score at half time. PSG came out to attack in the second half and were ahead 2-1 withing five minutes on a fantastic strike by the ex-Barcelona player Ousmane Dembele, and then Vitor Ferreira following an elegant attack by PSG.

Donnaruma did not have a good day in goal, and gave the ball away for Barcelona's equalizer, although Pedri's pass to Raphinha was spectacular, and the Brazilian made it 2-2. 

It was not over, and PSG missed some big chances as Barcelona scored its winner from an unlikely Andreas Christensen, who headed the ball in from close quarters following a corner kick, in a situation where neither PSG defense or goalkeeper looked strong.

Barcelona now has one foot in the semifinals, as I have a hard time seeing PSG threatening them in Catalonia.

In the other quarterfinals Arsenal and Bayern Munich tied 2-2 in London, while Atletico Madrid defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Spain.

It will be some incredible matches next week!

This is why we watch football!

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