Champions League Week

This week saw the first legs of the Champions League quarter-finals. 
But what have we learnt from a fairly edgy week of matches.

Barcelona vs Atletico
The Nou Camp played host to a Spanish quarter-final 1st leg on Tuesday night as Barcelona edged ahead 2-1.
It was a tale of two former Liverpool strikers. Fernando Torres the former number 9 at Liverpool struck an early goal to give Atletico a fruitful lead away from home. 
But disaster struck for El Niño as moments later in the first half, Torres received two yellow cards for recklessly late challenges and was given his marching orders.  

This mistake proved costly for the Madrid side as the resurgent Barca pegged them back. 
Countless chances went begging, but in form striker Luis Suarez, was allowed too much space in the box and slotted home twice to give the Catalans the lead in the tie. 
Suarez himself could have been sent off, had the referee spotted his kick out at right back Juanfran.
It’s all setup for the away leg, Barca’s star player Lionel Messi seems out of sorts after a poor display in the El Classico at the weekend, which could give Atletico hope at the Vicente Calderon. 
Prediction: Atletico through on away goals. 1-0 in the second leg. 2-2 on aggregate. But never right off Barcelona! 
Bayern Munich vs Benfica
Another tight affair as Bayern struck an early lead through midfielder Arturo Vidal. Many chances missed for the home side as Benfica kept a tight back line. 
Striker Robert Lewandowski missed a golden opportunity late on as he was put through on goal but decided to square it for Philip Lahm, the pass was a bad one an the chance had gone.
This is another tie well setup for the second leg, although this time I don’t think Benfica will be able to take advantage as the home side.   

Bayern have struggled to put teams away this season and finish the games off. Could this prove a troublesome attribute for them as they progress through the competition?
Prediction: Bayern through. 0-3 on aggregate.
Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid
A tie many favoured Madrid to ease. But fortunately for the mutual fan this was not the case. 
Cristiano Ronaldo had an early goal chalked off for offside, although in my view he was just on side. Wolfsburg were then gifted a penalty as Casemiro caught Andre Shurrle in the box, for another questionable decision. 
Left back Rodriguez slotted home, before Wolfsburg opened up the away side for a 2-0 lead.
Real never really got into the match, as Bale was their only real threat throughout.   

Zidane stated his team looked tired from the weekends El Classico, shush is surprising considering they won. I would have thought they would have been full of energy and on a rise in form. Perhaps not!
Prediction: Wolfsburg through. 2-1 on aggregate.

PSG vs Manchester City
The battle of the two mighty spenders. And a game full of mistakes.
Early in the first half PSG were provided the opportunity to take an early advantage from the penalty spot. But for Joe Hart to save Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike.   
Following from this, Man City took the lead through a well worked move, finished off by recently returning Kevin De Bruyne with a fine finish. 
Things were looking good for the away side, until just before half time when a sloppy pass from Fernando rebounded off Ibrahimovic and went into the empty net. Perhaps Hart should not have passed the Brazilian the ball in the first place. 
After the second half there was more of the same. Another mistake from both sides made two more goals. Hart’s poor parry from Cavani’s header, gifted Rabiot with an open net that he simply could not miss. 
PSG pressed forward for another but could not find it, with Swedish striker Ibrahimovic missing a catalogue of chances.
PSG right back Serge Aurier gave the ball away in a dangerous position. He made his way back into position in the box to defend, only for Fernandinho’s strike to go in off the French fullbacks foot. 
All square going into the second leg. Certainly a match to watch.
Prediction: City to go through, and PSG to be frustrated by their missed opportunities. 3-2 on aggregate.   

If my predictions come through could this well be Manchester City’s year and first ever Champions League triumph? Watch this space. 
Overall winners: Bayern Munich.
Sources: YouTube, Getty Image.


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