UEFA Champions Quarterfinal First Leg Scores, Reviews, and Predictions
This week on Tuesday and Wednesday, the UEFA Champions league started the quarterfinal stage, with some definite marquis matches with some European superpowers, and some underdogs. The matches were as followed: Real Madrid @ Atletico Madrid , AS Monaco @ Juventus , Barcelona @ PSG , and Bayern Munich @ Porto. I will give some post match reactions, man of the match, team ratings, and predictions for the second leg of each fixture.
Real Madrid @ Atletico Madrid
Venue: Vincente Calderon, Madrid, Spain
Final Score: 0-0
In this local rivalry match on the European stage, both sides had huge expectations for this game. A cross-town rivalry was about to have another chapter to it, or so we thought. There was no clear cut winner, and it will all come down to the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Atletico GK Jan Oblak
Facing Real Madrid is no easy task, and the guy between the sticks was a talking point. Even though Atletico is a defensive-minded team, Real had their chances, but each one was denied. It was one of those days where the GK was not going to be beat, and he wasn't. It was one of the better performances I've seen in the competition this season, and he deserves the man of the match.
Atletico Madrid: 7.5/10
Real Madrid: 5/10
Both teams were rather uneventful, but Real's performance was subpar for what their expectation of themselves, and us should be. Their start studded line-up should've scored a couple, but they couldn't finish. Complete Team Swede. Atletico held their own, and showed that no matter who they sell, they can play with any team.
AS Monaco @ Juventus
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Final Score: 1-0 (Vidal 57')
This match kind of flew under the radar with some of the other matchups going on. Monaco is a surprise in this round after bouncing Arsenal, but Juventus is usually a staple in the last 8. Not too much to talk about in this match, except a Vidal penalty after a challenge by Carvalho.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Juventus CM Arturo Vidal
Yes, he scored the only goal of the match. And yes, it was a PK, but it takes a cool, calm, and collective guy to slot home the PK. Atta boy Arturo.
AS Monaco: 6/10
Juventus controlled 63% of possesion, and really dictated the game entirely. All around it was a solid performance by both teams, but the ability to dictate the game set Juventus apart from their French counterparts.
Barcelona @ PSG
Venue: Parc de Princes, Paris, France
Final Score: 3-1 (Neymar 18', Suarez 67' and 79', J. Mathieu OG 82')
This was the match of the week coming into it. No doubt. The fearless front 3 of Barcelona aka The Three Headed Monster (Messi, Neymar, Suarez) is absolutely tenacious. Poor David Luiz got nutmegged so many times by Suarez that his legs looked like the Eiffel Tower (pictured below).
PSG didn't lose a home game in Europe for 33 straight matches, until this one. No organization by PSG, and Barcelona showed their immense class.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Barcelona ST Luis Suarez
Well, Suarez is back to his form from his days with Liverpool. He was amazing, making David Luiz's day absoluetly miserable. He tore up that defense and made it look like Swiss cheese. Well done by Luis and his Catalan teammates to set him up.
Barcelona did what they usually did, and outplayed and out-classed PSG. 64% of possession was done by the Catalan side, and they used it to their advantage. The front 3 were superb as always, and this match seems to be closed. No chance for PSG to win at the Camp Nou. Barcelona flexed their muscles and showed that where there's a Messi, there's a win.
Bayern Munich @ Porto
Venue: Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal
Final Score: 1-3 (Quaresma PK 3' and 10', Thiago Alacantara 28', Jackson Martinez 65')
The upset of the week in my opinion. Percentage wise, Porto had about a 25% chance of winning this one, and Bayern took them lightly. Porto took advatage of this, and some silly Bayern mistakes and showed them whose boss. Jackson Martinez was back after the hamstring injury, and still not at 100%, dominated the front line. Absolutely stunning job by Porto, who now have a huge advatage going into the second leg at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Porto FW Ricardo Quaremsa
Quaremsa put the team on his back, and came out of the gates flying. His early goals put the Dragao on their feet, and helped back Bayern into a corner that they couldn't escape. The energy he provided with his finishing was insane, shocking the German giants.
Bayern Munich: 4/10
FC Porto: 10/10
Bayern's defense was lackadaisical and amateur-like. Porto on the other hand played a gem of a game, and completely dominated one of the best teams in Europe. Upset of the week, and don't be surprised if Porto beat Bayern, and cruise to the semis.