Champions League QF, Barcelona stunned, Liverpool progresses

Photo courtesy of liverpoolecho.co.uk.

By Anna Goorevich || Op-Eds Editor

As promised, the Champions League quarterfinals that were held the past two weeks have been nothing short of thrilling. There has been surprising wins, unexpected comebacks, and some of the greatest goals all packed into the month of April. Without further ado, let’s recap all the action.

Like all Champions League match-ups, each team plays their opponent twice: one leg played at their home stadium and a second leg played at their opponents stadium. In order to determine who moves on to the semifinals, the scores of the two games are combined into an aggregate score. In the event of a tie, the team that scores the most goals at their opponents stadium wins.

To start off the action, Real Madrid dominated against Italian giants Juventus winning 3-0 after a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and another added on by defender Marcelo. However, what most people will remember about this game is not the score, but Ronaldo’s overhead goal, or a bicycle goal, which many are calling one of the greatest goals scored in Champions League history.

On the same day, Germany’s Bayern Munich defeated Spanish underdogs Sevilla 2-1 off of goals by Jesus Navas and Thiago.

First leg action did not stop there. One of the most anticipated match-ups was between two English powerhouses: Manchester City and Liverpool FC. Manchester City is currently dominating all of the competition in the English Premier League as they’ve nearly secured the Premier League title while sitting unopposed at the top of the table. Most people favored Manchester City to win, especially since they’re 17 points ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League. However, Liverpool pulled off a miracle by winning 3-0, shocking many soccer fans around the world.

FC Barcelona competed against AS Roma and won 4-1 with the help from two Roma own goals. However, the drama stirring up between these two teams was only just beginning.

The second leg of games began the next week and competition started with Barcelona playing Roma. To everyone’s surprise, Roma came back from a three goal deficit and won 3-0 this leg, which had the teams tied 4-4 on aggregate. However, since Roma had more away goals than Barca, Roma moves forward to the semifinals while Barca is eliminated.

Undoubtedly embarrassed by their lackadaisical performance, Barcelona, and especially their typically dominant strike force of Messi and Suarez are receiving backlash from fans and critics alike. On the other hand, Roma fans were in hysterics over their unexpected win, with even a Roman newspaper suggesting the night was one of the  “most beautiful nights in the history of Roma.”

In another exciting match, Liverpool extended their lead against the distraught Manchester City team by winning 2-1 after goals by Salah and Firmino. Liverpool fans can be happy to know that their team will be advancing to the semifinals next month.

In the other match-ups, Bayern tied Sevilla 0-0 to secure their spot to the semifinals on a 2-1 aggregate.

However, more excitement ensued when Real Madrid encountered Juventus again last week. Juventus nearly pulled off another Champions League miracle by defeating Real Madrid 3-1, however, Ronaldo presented himself as the hero of the night by burying a late penalty kick to secure Real Madrid’s spot in the semifinals.

For the semifinals, Roma will play Liverpool while Bayern Munich will face off against Real Madrid.

With all the excitement that’s been packed into the quarterfinals, the semifinals will be sure to please when they kick off at the end of April.

First-year Anna Goorevich is the Op-Eds Editor. Her email is agoorevi@fandm.edu.

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