ONE FOOT IN THE SEMIS
Manchester City have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals after the 2-1 home win against Borussia Dortmund. The Citizens took control of the first leg as goals from De Bruyne in the 19th minute and Foden in the 90th minute ensured they would go into the second leg tie with the advantage, although Dortmund do have the away goal. City did well in the game but some may even argue that they were fortunate to come away with the victory.
However, the question remains, can Pep Guardiola finally deliver the elusive Champions League trophy to the Etihad faithful? The answer is NO! (I’m just saying!!). Given the calibre of teams that remain in the competition, I’m not sure City are well equipped for the challenges ahead. They will need to bring their ‘A’ game in the return leg against Dortmund if their ambitions are to be realised. Should this season’s champion league trophy evade Man City (yet again), they can look to strengthen their squad for the future and the acquisition of Erling Haaland as a direct replacement for long standing forward Aguero could prove to be the answer to City’s champions league dilemma (they have very deep pockets….very deep indeed!!).
In the other quarter final match between cup holders Bayern Munich and PSG, PSG appear to be in the driving seat after a fantastic display. The game itself was a brilliant watch for any football loving neutral with non stop end to end action. Man of the moment Mbappe carried on where he left off in the last round against Barcelona as the France international opened the scoring in the 3rd minute of play. Marquinhos added a second for the away side in the 28th minute before Bayern pulled one back through Striker Choupo-Moting before Muller levelled in the 60th minute.
The night however belong to Mbappe who scored the winner in the 68th minute as he calmly dispatched his effort in front of goal (nothing Neuer could do). The second leg will definitely be one to watch as we anticipate a reaction from Bayern. I have long fancied PSG as the team to beat this season and from what I’ve seen in their performances this term, they will surely go all the way and win it (bearing in mind they lost in the last year’s final against Bayern) . Spare a thought for Tottenham supporters if Pochettino should guide PSG to glory (the irony!!!).
Liverpool meanwhile have a huge mountain to climb having been clinically beaten and dispatched by Real Madrid 3-1. Liverpool have the away goal however, I’m not sure that will make any difference in all honesty. A Liverpool backline without Van Dijk is like an aeroplane without fuel (the only way is down). Will they muster another amazing comeback in Europe as they often have in the past or is it the end of the road for this well assembled group? I believe the latter fits right.
Lastly, Chelsea bounced back after that shocking defeat to West Brom in the premier league last weekend. They were able to register a 2-0 win away to Porto, however I wouldn’t hold my breath for further advancement in the competition after Porto.