Tag Archives: champions league

The Struggle is Real

Once again, we have English teams that are struggling to compete in the Champions League. Apart from Manchester City, no other Premier League team managed to win their match.

Manchester City came from behind to defeat Hoffenheim 2-1. Belfodil gave City’s opponents the lead in the very first minute of the match!

However, the shock was dealt with well by Aguero who equalised for City in the 7th minute. Silva eventually managed to net the winner in the 87th.

Unfortunately, Manchester United failed to do the same. They ended their game against Valencia with a goalless draw. United are still in the top two of group H, but such a result has served to increase the pressure on manager Mourinho.

Liverpool almost managed to maintain a draw against Napoli, until they conceded a very late goal. Insigne netted a goal for Napoli in the 90th minute, allowing Liverpool’s opponents to steal all three points from the game!

Unsurprisingly, Barcelona crushed Tottenham 4-2. Coutinho gave Barcelona the lead in only the second minute of the match. Despite goals from Kane and Lamela, the famous Messi was still netting goals for Barcelona up until the 90th minute.

Spurs still have no points, and it is looking unlikely that they will progress to the next stage of the Champions League. If this becomes the case, they will be joining Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa League.

This might not be such a bad thing. Both the Gunners and the Blues have been performing well and are topping their groups. Chelsea defeated MOL Vidi 1-0 with a goal from Morata in the 70th minute; and Arsenal, using mostly academy players, defeated Qarabag 3-1! Incredible!

Perhaps the Chanpions League is just too big a test for the Premier League teams. The Europa League, however, is definitely not.

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Manchester United and Manchester City both played their first Champions League match of the season against Young Boys and Lyon respectively.

Despite the pressure Young Boys put on United at the start of the match, they failed to score a goal. In fact, it was not long before they conceded a goal and kept on conceding.

Pogba gave United the lead in the 35th minute. He then doubled this lead after converting a penalty in the 44th. The final goal was netted by Martial in the second half.

Manchester United might have been victorious, but City could not say the same. They conceded two goals in the first half, and only managed to get one goal back in the second half.

It could be taken into consideration that City’s manager, Pep Guardiola was serving a touchline ban and could not give directions to his team. Instead, he watched woefully from the stands.

Manchester United are perching at the top of group H, above Juventus on goal difference; whereas, City are sitting at the bottom of group F. It is clear that playing in Europe is a completely different ballgame to playing domestic matches.

No Change There

Tottenham and Liverpool played their first Champions League match of the season against Inter Milan and Paris Saint Germain respectively. However, they left their matches with very different results.

Spurs began well but, suddenly, ended poorly. Eriksen gave them the lead in the 53rd minute. They would never have guessed that Icardi would equalise for Inter in the 85th minute or that Vecino would score the winning goal for the opposition in extra time! What a turnaround!

Liverpool had a similar scare in their match against PSG but, in the end, they overcame their opponents. Sturridge gave Liverpool the lead in the 30th minute and, just six minutes later, Milner successfully converted a penalty to double their lead.

The Reds had much more momentum and pace than their opposition. Somehow, they still managed to conceded two goals, from Meunier (40′) and Mbappé (83′). Despite the blow, Liverpool kept persisting and, in extra time, Roberto Firmino netted the winning goal. The three points were well and truly deserved!

Tottenham have now lost three games in a row in all competitions, their last Premier League one being against Liverpool. While it is all going wrong for them; everything seems to be going right for Liverpool.

TROUBLE AHEAD

After the Champions League draw and the League Cup draw, many top teams will have difficult games ahead.

For the Carabao cup third-round Liverpool and Chelsea, two Premier League giants are set to face each other. A few days later, they will then play each other again for the Premier League!

Surrounding Liverpool’s matches against Chelsea are their Champions League game against PSG and Premier League match against Manchester City. They have a tough period ahead.

Tottenham are in the same group as Barcelona in the Champions League, so Liverpool will not be the only English team to face international challenges.

As the football season progresses, more and more teams are having to confront the demands of this greulling sport.

City in Ruins

Manchester City, the Premier League leaders, have had a massive change in fortune over the past two week. After a dismaying run of losses they are out of the Champions League, and have not yet been able to officially claim Premier League trophy.

Last week, Manchester City loss 3-0 to Liverpool in the first leg of their quarter finals Champions League match. It was a fantastic display by the Reds, who had already defeated Manchester City in an earlier Premier League match this season. Many were undoubtedly left wondering what the secret was to beating the mighty Manchester team which only Liverpool seemed to know.

It was during the weekend in which many realised there was no secret. The secret was out! Manchester United defeated City too! In a spectacularly derby match, Manchester City had the opportunity to officially claim the PL title by beating their local rivals United. They went 2-0 up in the first half and had many more opportunities to extend their lead.

However, in the second half, the game changed entirely. Two goals from Pogba within the space of two minutes put the teams level! Then a final goal from Smalling in the 69th minute gave United their unexpected and uproar-worthy win! City will most likely still go on to win the Premier League as they are 13 points clear at the top of the table. However, Mourinho was simply not going to let them claim it by beating his team!

The distress at City was worsening, and matters were not made any better by Liverpool in the second leg of the CL match. City began scoring early, with a goal from Jesus in the second minute of the game. They needed to score two more goals to have a chance to progress in the competition. They actually managed to score a second goal before the end of the first half, but it was wrongly disallowed.

Guardiola was so outraged at the officials that he had to be sent to the stands for the second half of the match. This was when things took a turn for the worst. Two goals from Liverpool’s Salah and Firmino meant City has lost yet another match and were out of the Champions League. There was no mercy.

Manchester City must fight on. They will be facing another big team this weekend- Tottenham. If they win, they can put to bed their run of disastrous results and bring themselves closer to claiming the PL trophy. If not… well, let us not even speak of it.

The Blues face the Best

Chelsea faced off against the world-renowned Barcelona for the first leg of the Champions League last 16. They were the underdogs in this match, and they delivered!

The performance of the Blues, quite frankly, put Barcelona to shame. The Blues had the only shot on target in the first half, despite the likes of Messi and Suarez being on the pitch. The only thing Barcelona actually did dominate in was possession, and that does not mean much without a goal.

Willian gave Chelsea their well-deserved lead in the 62nd minute of the match. The joy was immense! However, one slight hiccup in the Chelsea defense enabled Messi to later equalise for the visitors. It was a great shame considering how tight Chelsea’s defense had been throughout the game. It was Chelsea that gave a goal away.

The attitude, spirit and momentum of Conte’s Chelsea gives many fans great hope that they might just be able to overcome the greatest football team and go on to thoroughly pursue the Champions League trophy!

Hope

Liverpool finished fourth place on the Premier League table last season. This meant that they were entered into the qualifying play-offs for the Champions League this season. In order to reach the group stages they must get past Hoffenheim.

Liverpool defeated Hoffenheim 2-1 to increase their chance of competing in Europe. As the Reds played away from home, they have now bagged two away goals which could help them in the second leg.

The win was especially spectacular as they won with less possession. Plus, one of the goals Liverpool claimed was actually an own goal netted by a Hoffenheim player.

Liverpool will play Hoffenheim again, but at Anfield, on the 23rd of August. Let’s hope that their luck is just as good as it was the first time around.

Manchester United are Europa League Champions

Manchester United’s experienced team defeated Ajax’s juniors to win the Europa League and, ultimately, qualify for the Champions League next season.

The Reds defeated their opposition 2-0, the goal scorers being Pogba (18′) and Mkhitaryan (48′). Although Mourinho was too skeptical to celebrate the first goal, he definitely raised his hopes of lifting the cup by the time the second goal was netted.

Manchester United might have finished 6th on the Premier League table, but all that is now irrelevant. They will be joining the top four Premier League finishers in the Champions League next season, and that is what they’ll truly be celebrating.

Arsenal now remains the only top English Club to not be participating in the Champions League next season. How times have changed! Nevertheless, we wish all the English clubs the best next year.

Who knows, just like United, the Gunners could gain success outside of the Premier League. The FA Cup Final will be played this weekend, and the only thing we know for sure is that one London club will be walking away with a trophy!

All in all, congratulations Manchester United!

Top Four Decided

After an action-packed final day of the Premier League, some teams have come out on top! Manchester City and Liverpool have both confirmed their place in the Champions League next season!

Manchester City secured third spot on the PL table with a whopping 0-5 victory over Watford. Kompany gave City the lead in the 5th minute of the game, and from then on the goals just kept coming. His goal was followed by two from Agüero, one from Fernandinho and the last from de Jesus.

Considering that the first four goals came in the first half, City were clearly not leaving anything to chance.

Liverpool on the other hand had to overcome their anxieties before truly dominating their game against Middlesbrough. The referee decided not to give a penalty to Middlesbrough in the first half of the match, which could have ruined Liverpool’s top four chances.

Instead, Liverpool were first to score a goal at the end of the first half. This confidence allowed them to score two more goals in the second half, one from Coutinho and the other from Lallana. The best part about it all was that the home fans were cheering them on all around the stadium!

Arsenal was the unlucky club that missed out by one point. However, they did put up a great final performance. Bellerín gave Arsenal the lead in the 8th minute. Then, when Arsenal went down to ten men after Koscielny received a red card six minutes later, all looked as if it would go down hill.

However, the Gunners simply stepped up to the challenge. Sánchez scored another goal for the club and, even though Arsenal conceded a penalty in the second half, Ramsey ended the game on a high note with a final goal in extra time! The Gunners were glorious!

Although Arsenal’s attempts were in vain, they’ve showed that they are a great club who we can expect great things from next season. It’s the first time in 21 years that they have finished outside the top four. However, this shocking change is perhaps what’s needed to push them to greatness. Just take Chelsea for example.

Chelsea finished tenth place last season and first this season, without the stresses of the Champions League. The Gunners might just find glory next season.

ARSENAL UPDATE

2017 has been an uphill battle for Arsenal, who began well but soon started to stumble. As we reach the end of the Premier League season, it’s hard to see how much they can make of their last few games whilst in their current form.

Since February the Gunners have been struggling to maintain any sort of winning streak, and haven’t really been managing to draw matches either. They faced a heaving 3-1 defeat against Chelsea and a hefty 5-1 defeat from Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Then in March, both Liverpool and West Brom defeated the Gunners 3-1; and the Reds also suffered another 5-1 against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League Match. Quite understandably, they are no longer competing in Europe.

Quite frankly, they have enough troubles at home to be worrying about. Some fans have lost confidence in the team, with the uncertainty surrounding the future of Wenger and key players, such as Sanchez, at the club. After suffering a 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace, many, unshockingly, felt huge disappointment.

However, there is still hope. Arsenal might be currently 6th on the Premier League table, and risk finishing outside of the top four for the first time in 21 years, however, their recent win against Middlesbrough suggests that there is still hope.

The Gunners are set to play Manchester City for the FA Cup Semi final this weekend. Perhaps after a great start to the week they might just have enough motivation to gear themselves towards a trophy this year!