Liverpool 3 vs. 0 Man City
After the two fixtures between these teams in the premier league this champions league tie was always going to be a feisty one. Liverpool supporters hounded the city team bus as they arrived at Anfield, and while throwing glass bottles and damaging the bus can not be condoned the atmosphere created on arrival is what makes football special and would have intimidated even the greatest of players. It is said that European nights at Anfield are a spectacle to behold and last night was another one to be added to the list.
As You’ll Never Walk Alone was belted out by Liverpool fans the two teams took their positions on the pitch and the game began. City were alert and on the front foot in the opening ten minutes of the game, while Liverpool were quick to close down every single City player in possession of the ball. At the 12th minute a poor cross field pass by Sané was intercepted by the Liverpool defense, Liverpool did what they do best and broke forward with Salah who passed the ball into Firmino. Firmino’s shot was saved by Ederson only to Walker who failed to clear the ball, Salah was on hand to smash the ball in the goal and Liverpool led by a goal. As the momentum began to swing in Liverpool’s favor Chamberlain was able to break from midfield to score from outside the box to make it 2-0 to Liverpool in the 20 min. The blitz continued to take place and lobbed pass in the box from Salah was headed in the goal by Mané to give Liverpool 3 goals in 30 min. The rest of the first half continued in similar fashion as City were not able to get to grips with the game as they tried to repel attack after attack from Liverpool.
While the first half showcased Liverpool’s strength in attack, the second half portrayed their stubborn defence as City dominated possession for 45 minutes without ever posing any real threat to the Liverpool goal. Robertson did bring down Sterling in the box late on for what looked like a penalty, but it was waved away. Full time brought an end to another memorable night at Anfield.
The three fixtures between the two teams shows that Klopp and Liverpool learned and progressed from every single game played. Losing 5-0 at the Etihad, winning 4-3 at Anfield, and now winning 3-0 at Anfield. While Pep has brought his style of play to City, his approach of all out attack has gone wrong on occasion throughout his career. City need a minimum of 3 goals without reply at the Etihad next week, and while they are more than capable of doing that Liverpool will also fancy their chances of getting an away goal or two. City might be dominating the Premier League, last night proved that they are a long way away from having any real pedigree in Europe.
Barcelona 4 vs. 1 Roma
The scoreline would suggest a dominant performance by Barcelona at home, but it could not be far from it. The first two goals were own goals scored by De Rossi, and Manolas while the rest were scored by Piqué and Suarez in the second half. Džeko was able to get an away goal for Roma but the damage was already done.
Barcelona have coasted through La Liga this season but recent performances have shown a team that have struggled to get the points they need and they have relied on luck as much as skill.
While 4-1 might seem to be an unassailable task for Roma they should be encouraged by the fact that Barcelona were definitely not in control for much of the game. Barcelona could go through to the semi’s but they are definitely not favourites to win the Champions League.