The UCL 2018/19 turned out to be another unpredictable and entertaining episode as the final eight teams booked their places, awaiting the QF draw. Money was spent of squads and best coaches to get the honours in the Europe elite, and best players rose to the occasion when it mattered as boys were separated from men when pressure to deliver mounted. Indeed the results after yesterday night proved most bookmakers wrong, as prediction went awry wrong.
- Gaffers schemed and studied their opponents to apply best tactics
- Players on the turf huffed and puffed for a positive result after 90′
- Thousand of fans went on a frenzy cheering their lads on
- Best players saved their teams and won the game
- Giants were fell by minnows
- Ronaldo and Messi are still fighting out on who is the GOAT, being in a an alien league of their own.
Finally , the eight have been confirmed and await the draw come Friday. Four English Premier Leagues make the cut, as Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool bombed through the knock out phase into the quarter finals. Ajax Amsterdam, Porto join UCL favourites Barcelona and Ronaldo’s inspired contenders, Juventus. Ajax axed the defending Champions Real Madrid at Bernabue with an epic performance that will forever be in etched in the annals of football history. They are no fluke to have gotten so far, and certainly their youthfulness and freshness at such an advanced stage in the elite league will be tested in the QF. However, Tadic and Co. have done themselves proud already. Porto also fought bravely against a resilient Roma and beat them in the extra tie with a crucial goal that ensured they booked a place in the QF. Their tenacity and persistence against a good Roma side paid off, and look poised for the next challenge.
Manchester United overturned a 2-0 defeat at home to score 3-1 in Paris and make it 3-3 away to PSG. A squad depleted but inspired and focused on getting the result got Mbappe and Co. napping in a comfortable lead and did the unthinkable. Too bad PSG will have to wait again… OGS’ charges certainly will not be underestimated, as their form in the domestic league prove they are a force to be reckoned. Come the QF, they will be back to full strength, and are revving to go all the way given a sniff on a chance. Man City’s aggressiveness, relentless attacking football and the raw demands from the genius in Guardiola have seen them transform into lethal oponents any team should be wary off. Schalke 04 tested the full wrath of City, and shipped in a massive 10 goals as the Cityzens bombed them apart. Still, City have not had a good record in the UCL, and we wait on the draw to see how it goes from there. Tottenham too were through against Dortmund, but maybe this is the far they will come through.
Juventus made another unpredictable comeback against Atletico to emerge winners with a 3-2 win. Having reaching the finals to fall several times and last year falling to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid, they purchased the #GOAT and he rose to the occassion, scoring a hat-trick to see of Simone’s charges. At such advanced stages, Atletico always put in a mean fight and finish off opponents with the brilliance of Greizmann and Costa, but it never came to be. Juventus seem poised to get their hands on the covetous but elusive trophy, having won everything domestically but the UCL. On their path, stands Messi, and a colossal Barcelona. They simply were too good for Lyon, who put up a brave fight but had no chance against them at the Nou Camp. Messi, a favourite for this year’s Ballon D’or was in the thick of things pulling up strings and scoring 2 goals as Barcelona dismantled french opponents 5-1. After missing out the UCL from their trophy cabinet for several years as Real Madrid dominated, Barcelona will be keen to get it back, especially for Messi before he calls it quits to playing professional football.
We wait with much anxiety for the draw come Friday. It is going to be a big one, with chances the EPL sides are likely to be drawn against each other. Nothing much can be predicted for now, considering how unpredictable things have turned out.