Chelsea 0 (2) vs. (1) 1 FC Porto Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg Review

In the Semi-Final’s after 7 years!!!

Chelsea took on FC Porto for the 2nd leg of the Champions League Quarter-Finals in Seville on Tuesday and left Spain with a position in the Semi-Finals. Chelsea had a 0-2 aggregate lead going into the game and the pressure was on Porto to come at Chelsea. Tuchel stuck with a defensively solid lineup as Mendy started in goal, Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger started in the back 3. Reece James, and Chilwell started as the wing backs while Jorginho and Kante started in midfield. Pulisic, Mount, and Havertz continued up front. Kovacic was a late omission as he suffered a slight hamstring problem in training so Kante came in. Porto selected a lineup as expected but Taremi was on the bench while Oliveira started the game. 

Porto started the game dominating play as Chelsea were pinned in their own half. There were counter’s from Chelsea that were arguably more dangerous than any chances Porto created with possession. There wasn’t really anything that stood out over the two halves, at least offensively. Chelsea grew into the game in the 1st half as the game flattened out. Chelsea had a better 2nd half as Porto had no real chance on target. There were a couple of half chances in the 2nd half but Pepe, and Porto also defended well. Porto got the goal that won the leg in the 92nd minute as Taremi came off the bench to score a brilliant bicycle kick. It did hit the shin though so there was an element of luck as well. It was too little too late as Chelsea coasted into the Semi-Finals.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

No clean sheet for Mendy perhaps unluckily. The defence and Mendy were solid throughout although there were some poor passes from the goalkeeper in the 1st half. The only real saves he had to make was when Taremi came on late in the game. No clean sheet but a fairly easy game for him as he continues to be solid at the back. 

Defenders

It was a complete defensive performance from the whole team and the defence were a rock at the back. Azpi, Silva, and Rudiger showed their experience as they provided Porto no real chance. Reece James, and Chilwell didn’t have that many chances to go forward but defensively they handled the Porto wingers well. Otavio especially felt frustrated while Corona also didn’t really have any joy. For Chilwell, and James it’s their first experience of this stage in the competition and they did well. A performance that deserved the clean sheet. 

Midfielders

Jorginho, and Kante were amazing in this game. Jorginho in particular was at his metronomic and defensive best. The Italian made tackles, passed positively and created chances as well. Jorginho receives a lot of flack for his pace but he seems to be working on being at the right place at the right time. A top class performance. Kante played the whole game and didn’t look like he was suffering from an injury. He sprinted from one end to the other and did all the dirty work as usual. Mount didn’t have much creatively but again did the pressing and dirty work needed to nullify FC Porto. 

Forwards

Offensively our forwards had very little to do. We did have chances though Mount, Pulisic, and Havertz had shots on goal but Pepe made the challenge most of the times. The pressing was on point though and it was good to see the fight from the very top. Pulisic in particular stood out and was probably man of the match alongside Jorginho. Pulisic drew 11 fouls from Porto the most since Messi against Real Madrid. The American was battered but he continued to get up, he was literally a Hazard and Captain America mix. A top notch performance. Ziyech and Giroud came on late in the game and helped out in the final minutes. Ziyech could have got an assist but Pulisic’s chance was smothered by Porto’s goalkeeper. 

Manager

Tuchel get’s Chelsea to their first semi-final since 2014. It was a tactically astute performance that deserved a draw and not that miracle goal in the end. Tuchel will be happy to see the fight that this relatively young team showed and will know that at this stage anyone has a chance to win. A solid selection and a solid result. 

So Chelsea head into the Champions League semi-finals where we will face either Real Madrid or Liverpool. I personally want Real Madrid because it does give off that feel of a Champions League game, rather than playing Liverpool which we already see twice a year anyway. Next up is Manchester City in the FA Cup Semi-Final, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. FC Porto Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg Preview

Back to Seville!

Chelsea travel back to Seville for Tuesday nights Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd leg against FC Porto. It will be considered as a home tie for Chelsea. Chelsea go into this game with a 2 goal lead having put 2 past FC Porto last Wednesday. Those 2 goals count as away goals so Sevilla have to score a minimum of 2 without reply to take the game to extra time. Porto won their game at the weekend and have nothing to lose going into this game. 

Chelsea go into this 2nd leg having won 1-4 at Crystal Palace during the weekend. It was the first time Chelsea score 3 or more goals under Tuchel and it was a sight for sore eyes. It’s not that the football has been bad, the football has been great but the attack had yet to click and on Saturday click it did. The way Havertz combined with Mount and Pulisic up front was a joy to watch while Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell provided a threat from the wings. It was complete attacking performance and we should have score way more. Against Porto the game will be tough, Porto will come out fighting and Chelsea will have to suffer during certain moments of the game. The team cannot expect to dominate possession and create 20+ chances like they did against Palace. Very much like the 1st leg in this game we will have to stay solid and be clinical with the chances we get. The players will have to treat this game like a one off and so forget about any advantage they might have from the 1st leg. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Tuchel has a fully fit squad to select from. Mendy will start in goal with Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger probably starting at the back. Zouma played well but Silva has had a rest and will be crucial in this Champions League game even though Christensen started ahead of him in the 1st leg. Reece James should return as the right wing back while Chilwell should continue as the left wing back. Jorginho and Kovacic will probably continue on as the midfield duo with Kante coming off the bench. Up front is where it gets tricky for Tuchel. Does he stick with Mount, Pulisic and Havertz who were scintillating against Palace or does he rotate given that we play City on Saturday in the FA Cup Semi-Final. I think I will stick with the same front three. They played well against a low block and the passing was fluid. The three of them are also playing with confidence as well. Ziyech, Werner, Giroud, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi are all luxuries available from the bench for Tuchel and with 5 subs there is plenty of chance to rest players if we get the job done early. I say the ideal situation would be to start well, take our chances and then give a rest to the front three but subbing them off.

FC Porto Team Preview

FC Porto have Taremi and Oliveira back available after suspension. The two of them are the lethal goal scorers in the team and Chelsea will have to be vigilant. Oliveira may start from the bench but Taremi should be fit enough to start from the beginning. Marega was also rested during the weekend so he should be fit to play while the likes of Corona and Otavio provide a threat from out wide. The rest of the team should be similar to the 1st leg and Pepe will be that rock at the heart of their defence. 

Starting XI Prediction

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It’s a big game for Tuchel and Chelsea. Like Tuchel said in the pre match conference though he is not at Chelsea to win trophies in 2 or 3 seasons, “the time is now” he said. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Who will make the semi’s in Europe?

Champions League Quarter-Finals 2nd Leg

Paris Saint Germain (3) vs. (2) Bayern Munich

PSG go into this game with 3 away goals in the bank. They won comfortably at the weekend as well so there is some good momentum. Bayern Munich drew at the weekend and having lost in the 1st leg they are looking to bounce back. Bayern need to score a minimum of 2 goals without a reply to reach the semi’s. If PSG continue to get goals Bayern need to reply back with more as well. The pressure is on Bayern going into this 2nd leg. 

Liverpool (1) vs. (3) Real Madrid

Liverpool lost dismally in Madrid but came back to win in the league during the weekend. Real beat Liverpool and then beat Barcelona at the weekend as they look to come back and win titles on both fronts. Liverpool have an away goal and would need to score 2 without reply to reach the semi’s. If Real score a goal or more then the pressure would really pile on Klopp and co. It’s a big game but based on form and the way the teams are playing Real Madrid have the upper hand in this game. 

Dortmund (1) vs. (2) Man City

Dortmund did well to get an away goal in the 1st leg and arguably should have had 2. City managed to win the 1st leg but lost at the weekend to Leeds. Dortmund won at the weekend. Dortmund need to score a goal without reply to get into the semi’s. If City manage to score though Dortmund will face an uphill task. I have an interesting feeling about this game and I think Dortmund are capable of an upset here. 

Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg

Slavia Praha (1) vs. (1) Arsenal

Slavia won at the weekend and got a crucial away goal against Arsenal in the 1st leg. Arsenal won at the weekend as well but were poor miserable in their finishing in the 1st leg. Slavia have the advantage and Arsenal need to score to reach the semis. The more Arsenal score the more of an advantage they get. The ball is in Arsenal’s court but it will be tricky. 

Villarreal (1) vs. (0) Dinamo Zagreb

Villarreal got a crucial away goal in the 1st leg but lost in La Liga at the weekend. Dinamo lost in the 1st leg but won in their league at the weekend. Emery is the Europa League professional and he has the away goal. Villarreal need to keep a clean sheet to reach the semis at the minimum. Zagreb need to score 2 goals to reach the semis while a goal without reply would take him to extra time. An interesting game but I think Villarreal will go through. 

Man United (2) vs. (0) Granada

United were 2nd best in Spain in the 1st leg but they got 2 away goals and have set themselves up to reach the semis. Granada have to score a minimum of 2 goals without reply to take the game to extra time. Granada will have to score 3 goals to win this game. Both teams won at the weekend as well but United should reach the next round. 

AS Roma (2) vs. (1) Ajax

Roma scored 2 away goals and won the 1st leg while Ajax managed to get 1 goal. Both teams won at the weekend in their respective leagues. Ajax need to score a minimum of 2 goals without reply to reach the semis. Roma are in decent position but Ajax are no pushovers and the Romans will have to be vigilant. The most interesting game in this round of the Europa League.

Midweek Football Review

No surprises bar 1 big one!

Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Real Madrid 3 (4) vs. (1) 1 Atalanta

Real Madrid needed a big win to consolidate their place in the next round and win they did. Benzema scored in the 1st half while Ramos scored a penalty in the 60th minute to make it 2-0. Muriel got one back for Atalanta in the 83rd minute but Asensio made it 3 for Real Madrid a minute later. Real Madrid progress to the last eight as they draw from their experience in the competition while Atalanta are dumped out of Europe. 

Man City 2 (4) vs. (0) 0 Monchengladbach

De Bruyne and Gundogan scored within 20 minutes to win this game for City and Pep. It was a comfortable round for City and they yet again go through to the quarters. Monchengladbach are dumped out and can now focus on getting into the European places in the Bundesliga. 

Bayern Munich 2 (6) vs. (2) 1 Lazio

Lewandowski scored in the 33rd minute to give Bayern the lead. Choupo-Moting made it 2 for Bayern in the 73rd minute and Lazio got a consolation goal in the 82nd minute via Parolo. Bayern cruised through the tie as they look to defend their title in the next round. 

Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Arsenal 0 (3) vs. (2) 1 Olympiacos

El-Arabi scored in the 51st minute to give Olympiacos the lead and Ba was sent off for Olympiacos in the 82nd minute. Olympiacos got the win but they couldn’t get the 3 goals needed to reach the next round. Arsenal go through on aggregate thanks to the 1st leg as they still stand a chance. 

Dinamo Zagreb 3 (3) vs. (2) 0 Tottenham

Zagreb had to scored 3 goals without reply and Zagreb did score 3 goals while Tottenham had no reply. Zagreb’s manager is in prison, that is a fact that one should know. Tottenham held on for around 60 minutes but Zagreb switched gears. Orsic got one back in the 62nd minute while he equalised for Zagreb in the 82nd minute. The game then went to extra time and Zagreb got the winner in the 106th minute thanks to Orsic again as he completed his hattrick. Zagreb move into the Quarters while Tottenham are dumped out in emphatic fashion. Mourinho actually looked broken and speechless in his post match conference. 

AC Milan 0 (1) vs. (2) 1 Man United

This was a pretty poor game with both teams having been sloppy for 90 minutes. United got through thanks to luck though as Pogba found a loose ball in the box and managed to smashed it past Donnarumma. United go through while Milan are knocked out and can now focus on staying close to Inter at the top of Serie A. 

Chelsea 2 (3) vs. (0) 0 Atletico Madrid Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg Review

MASSIVE STEP FORWARD!!!

Chelsea played Atletico at Stamford Bridge for the Champions League Round of 16 2nd leg clash. Chelsea had an away goal in the bank and the onus was on Atletico to go and attack Chelsea. Tuchel knew that Chelsea would be afforded space in behind Atletico and he went with a suitable lineup. Mendy started in goal with Azplicueta, Zouma and Rudiger making up the back 3. Christensen missed out due to a fever. Reece James and Alonso started as the wing backs while Havertz, Ziyech, and Werner started up front for Chelsea. A trio of new signings up front and all 3 players needed to show that they were here for the club. Simeone went with a 4-4-2 with several key players back like Gimenez, Carrasco, and Trippier all starting. 

The first 10 minutes saw an even start with Atletico having a couple of chances to break through but Chelsea handled it well. Chelsea began to grow into the game and we had a couple of chances in the opening 30 minutes mainly due to the pace of Werner. The first goal came in the 34th minute as Werner pressed down an Atletico cross and got a deflection which fell to Kante. Kante headed the ball to Havertz who lofted the ball into Werner’s path. Werner turned on the after burner’s and drove into Oblak’s box. Werner managed to find Ziyech with a pin point pass and the Ziyech finished past Oblak. A quick fire goal and a deserved one for sure. Chelsea continued to dominate proceedings over the next 5 minutes and we probably could have had a goal more. 

The 2nd half saw more of the same from Chelsea. Simeone sent on Lemar, Correa, Dembele, and Hermoso but it left Atletico disjointed. Chelsea were comfortable in the 2nd half and Tuchel brought on Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, and Emerson. Savic was sent off for Atletico late in the 2nd half as he elbowed Rudiger in the chest. All that was missing was the 2nd goal for Chelsea and we finally managed it in extra time. Hudson-Odoi picked out Pulisic who drove from the Chelsea half towards the Atletico box and found Emerson who smashed a left footed shot past Oblak. Emerson’s first touch after coming on and it sealed progression to the quarter-finals. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Goalkeeper

Mendy get’s another clean sheet and it was another calm and collected performance. Mendy did extremely well when he was required to make a save. Mendy looks like a wall at the moment and Chelsea are extremely strong at the back. 

Defenders

Top top performance from Chelsea’s defenders in this game. Azpilicueta led from the back while Zouma who was brought in for Christensen was great in the middle of the back 3. Alongside Zouma, Rudiger also dominated at the back and it was great to see. Zouma and Rudiger didn’t allow Suarez, Dembele, or Felix any space up front and were on them as soon as pass was made. Reece James was solid down the right and managed Lodi, and Hermoso well while Alonso provided an attacking threat up front along with putting in a positive defensive shift. The clean sheet’s keep flowing for our defenders. Emerson and Chilwell came on late in the game and Emerson did extremely well to finish past Oblak to seal the game. 

Midfielders

The midfield was magnificent. Kovacic, and Kante were imperious and they both were the reason Chelsea won the game. The midfield is seen as the key area of any game, and Kovacic was his press resistant best yesterday. Kante was top top class and it looked like the Kante of old. The Frenchman was all over the pitch and seemed to pop up anywhere there was a problem. Pressing Atletico players, driving forward everything, all that is missing is a pair of shooting boots. It was an amazing performance. 

Forwards

When Ziyech, Werner, and Havertz all started many fans raised eyebrows before the game. In fairness to the nay sayers these 3 still had to put in a solid performance that would prove that they deserved to start, especially Ziyech for some. Put in a performance they did. It took some time for the 3 to get to grips but as the game went on all of them grew into it. Werner was a threat from the beginning while Havertz’s free roll allowed him to create space and pop up where he was needed. The first goal saw all 3 players involved. Ziyech also looked lively and the goal will do him a world of good. Werner also looked more confident in his shot selection. This game should be a massive step forward for all 3 players. Pulisic, and Hudson-Odoi came on in the 2nd half and Pulisic looked a bit sloppy. He provided the assist for Emerson’s goal though and that should help his confidence as well. Hudson-Odoi also did well and probably should have done better with his finishing. A solid outing by all involved. 

Manager

Another win for Tuchel as he guides Chelsea into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 7 years. Chelsea dominated Atletico over two legs and that is mostly down to the German and how we set up. The fact that Tuchel can call upon any player and they seem t put in a top performance means that the system is working and well built. There is still much to improve on for Tuchel and Chelsea especially in the final 3rd as we continue to search for that elusive 3+ goal win. 

Big steps forward last night for Chelsea and we should find out who’s next on Friday. Next up is a visit by Sheffield United in the FA Cup! COME ON CHELSEA!!! 

 

Chelsea (1) vs. (0) Atletico Madrid Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Time to take another step towards progress!

Chelsea welcome Atletico Madrid for the 2nd Leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Chelsea have an away goal in the bank which means that Atletico will have to score a goal without reply to get back into the game. Atletico have won 2 and drawn 2 since the 1st leg which has seen their lead in La Liga get cut down to 4 points. The Madrid team have not been in the best of form over the last few months and it is the main cause for a halt in their season. Atletico will have to come out to play in London because the ball is in their court. 

Chelsea go into this game with the away goal and 2 wins and 2 draws since the 1st leg. Unlike Atletico though Chelsea have not conceded in their recent games and the defence is going to be the main strength for the home team. Chelsea might not be scoring goals for fun up front but the clean sheets and have been flowing in with Mendy and the defence handling all sorts of players. The clean sheet will be crucial in this game and Chelsea will know that Atletico will have to attack. If Atletico attack that will hopefully allow Chelsea to exploit the open space left behind by the defenders. There is plenty of pace in this Chelsea team to exploit that empty space. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Jorginho, and Mount who are suspended after an accumulation of yellows. Two players that are big misses for Chelsea with Jorginho managing the midfield well and Mount providing the pressing and attack up front. Combined they have scored 6 of Chelsea’s 13 goals under Tuchel so clearly the German and Chelsea will need others to stand up in this game. Silva and Tammy are also out for this game. Mendy should start in goal with Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger making up the back four. Alonso, and Hudson-Odoi should start on the wings with Kovacic, and Kante in the midfield. Havertz, Werner, and Giroud should start up front for Chelsea. Ziyech, Pulisic, Reece James etc are all key players that can come on from the bench as well. I could also see Havertz, Werner and Pulisic, or Ziyech starting. Havertz needs to take up that creative mantel with Mount’s absence while Hudson-Odoi should also provide a threat up front along with Alonso. Plenty of pace to handle Atletico.

Atletico Madrid Team Preview

Atletico have a fit squad to bring to London. They cannot afford to play as defensive as they did in the 1st leg and will have to come at Chelsea. For Atletico the aim will be to get the away goals to give themselves the advantage. It’s going to be an interesting game for them and I think Felix and Suarez will be crucial up front. Lemar, Gimenez, and Trippier also back for Madrid which adds to the quality of the lineup. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Atletico have some key players back and one can expect their attacking lineup to cause more problems for Chelsea than the 1st leg. Chelsea will be tested in this game but we need to level up as well. This could be a statement win for Tuchel and our young team. It will only be achieved by continuing that solidity at the back BUT we have to complement it with finishing our chances up front. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Who’s going to reach the latter stages of Europe?

Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Real Madrid (1) vs. (0) Atalanta

Real Madrid got an away goal in the first leg and have the advantage going into this game. Atalanta need to score a minimum of 1 goal to get back into this game and then hope that Real Madrid don’t reply back. The more away goals Atalanta can manage the more of an advantage they gain. Real Madrid have drawn 2 and won 1 of their last 3 games. Atalanta have won 3 and lost 1. It’s a finely poised game and Atalanta will know that a goal or more brings them right back into the tie. 

Man City (2) vs. (0) Monchengladbach

City go into this game with 2 away goals in hand and comfortable for the 2nd leg. Monchengladbach have to score a minimum of 2 goals in this game without reply to stand a chance of going through. City won 4 and lost 1 of their last 5 games while Monchengladbach have lost all 4 of their games since the 1st leg to various opponents. City should go through to the next round while Monchengladbach need a miracle. 

Bayern Munich (4) vs. (1) Lazio

Munich already have 1 step in the next round with 4 away goals to their name. Lazio managed to get 1 at home but need to score a minimum of 4 going into this game, without reply. If Lazio manage 4 then Munich would have to score 2 because Lazio would then have the away goal advantage. Munich have won all 3 games since the 1st leg while Lazio have lost 2 and won 1. This game is just a formality for Bayern and the champions should easily reach the next round. 

Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Arsenal (3) vs. (1) Olympiacos

Arsenal got 3 away goals in the 1st leg and are in a position of advantage for the 2nd leg. Olympiacos have 1 goal to their name but would have to score a minimum of 3 in London without reply. A tough task for the Greeks. Arsenal won at the weekend while Olympiacos also won at the weekend. Two good teams but this should be too much for Olympiacos and Arsenal are all but into the next round. 

Dinamo Zagreb (0) vs. (2) Tottenham

Tottenham got 2 goals in London as they travel to play Dinamo who failed to get any away goals. If Tottenham get an away goal then Zagreb would have to score a minimum of 4 goals to get into the next round. Dinamo won at the weekend while Tottenham lost. Tottenham should reach the next round. 

AC Milan (1) vs. (1) Man United

The game is finely poised for the 2nd leg with Milan having away goal to their name. United have to score in this leg if they want to go through and if United get 2 then Milan would have to score 3 to progress. Milan lost at the weekend while United won at the weekend. It is an interesting game and Milan are struggling at the moment while United are managing to get results. 

 

Midweek Football Review

Passing of the torch?

Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Juventus 3 (4) vs. (4) 2 FC Porto

Oliveira scored in the 19th minute to give Porto the lead. Chiesa equalised in the 49th minute for Juventus while Taremi was sent off for Porto in the 54th minute. Chiesa gave Juventus the lead in the 63rd minute which tied the game, and took it to extra time. Oliveira scored in the 115th minute for Porto while Rabiot made it 3 for Juventus two minutes later. Porto go through on away goals as Ronaldo and Juventus are dumped out for another season running. 

Dortmund 2 (5) vs. (4) 2 Sevilla

Haaland scored in each half to give Dortmund a 2 goal lead. En-Nesyri got two in the final 20 minutes of the game to equalise for Sevilla. Dortmund go through on aggregate while Sevilla are knocked out. No Europa League for the Spanish team this time as they can concentrate on top four now. 

Paris Saint Germain 1 (5) vs. (2) 1 Barcelona

Mbappe scored a penalty in the 30th minute to give PSG the lead while Messi equalised for Barcelona in the 37th minute. PSG had done the damage in the 1st leg though and Barcelona could not muster another memorable performance. PSG go through under Pochettino while Barcelona are sent home and can now focus on a title challenge in Spain. 

Liverpool 2 (4) vs. (0) 0 RB Leipzig

Salah and Mane scored in the 2nd half to give Liverpool a 2 goal win and send them into the quarter’s. Leipzig had no reply over two legs and put in a lacklustre campaign which couldn’t replicate last season’s run. Liverpool keep their Champions League run alive even though their domestic campaign isn’t going well.

Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg

Man United 1 vs. 1 AC Milan

A game that Milan dominated they had two disallowed goals in the 1st half. One was offside and one was disallowed due to a dubious hand ball by Kessie. VAR really ruined that 2nd goal. United got the lead in the 50th minute as Diallo who had come on for Martial scored his first goal for the club. A good goal. United decided to defend for the rest of the game and Milan kept trying. Milan finally got the crucial goal in the 92nd minute as Kjaer scored a header. Milan have the away goal advantage going into the 2nd leg. 

Olympiacos 1 vs. 3 Arsenal

Odegaard scored in the 34th minute to give Arsenal the lead. El-Arabi equalised for Olympiacos in the 58th minute. Gabriel and Elneny got two late goals to give Arsenal a win and 3 away goals to take home. The 2nd leg looks tricky for Olympiacos and on the face of it they would have to score 3 goals minimum to reach the next round. Advantage Arsenal going into the 2nd leg.

Tottenham 2 vs. 0 Dinamo Zagreb

Kane got a goal in each half to give Tottenham a good 2 goal win. Dinamo could not get an away goal which is another positive for Mourinho. Mourinho and Spurs should go into the 2nd leg with a foot in the next round. 

Premier League (Games in hand)

Man City 5 vs. 2 Southampton

De Bruyne scored in the 15th minute to give City the lead. Ward-Prowse equalised for Southampton via the penalty spot in the 25th minute. Mahrez and Gundogan gave City the lead right before half time. Mahrez got another in the 55th minute to make it 4-1. Adams got one back for Southampton in the 56th minute while De Bruyne made it 5 in the 59th minute. A big win for City as they go 14 points clear at the top having played a game more. Southampton return to losing ways as they remain 14th in the table. 

La Liga (Games in hand)

Atletico beat Bilbao 2-1 in the game as the Madrid team play their final game in hand. The gap is now 6 points with everyone more or less level on games played. The real race for La Liga starts now with Atletico still having a good advantage. 

Midweek Football Preview

Big games in Europe!

Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg

Juventus (1) vs. (2) FC Porto

Porto have a goal advantage as they take on Juventus in Turin for the 2nd leg. Juventus did manage to get an away goal which should help them. Juventus would need to only score 1 goal to go through on away goals. If Porto get a goal though things could get complicated for the Italians. Juventus have won 3 and drawn 1 since the 1st leg while Porto have won 2, drawn 1, and lost 1. Juventus would still be favourites to go through and should over the 90 minutes. 

Dortmund (3) vs. (2) Sevilla

Dortmund managed to get 3 away goals against Sevilla but the Spaniards have 2 of their own. Sevilla need to score 2 goals minimum in Dortmund to go through. Dortmund can further complicate things if they also score goals. Dortmund have won 3, and lost 1 since the 1st leg while Sevilla have won 1, and lost 3. It’s going to be a tricky game but Sevilla have been in general poor form and Dortmund should go through. 

Paris Saint Germain (4) vs. (1) Barcelona

PSG head into this game with an advantage of 4 away goals. Barcelona would need to score a minimum of 4 goals in Paris without reply to stand a chance to reach the next round. PSG are firmly in the driving seat and while Barcelona have been playing well this year I really can’t see the Parisiens letting this go. PSG have won 3 and lost 1 while Barcelona have won 4 and drawn 1. Barcelona could win this game but I can’t see them reaching the next round. 

Liverpool (2) vs. (0) RB Leipzig

Liverpool got 2 away goals to bring back to Anfield but it is at home where they can’t manage to win. Liverpool have only managed 1 goal at home this year as they take on Leipzig. Leipzig need a minimum of 3 goals without reply to win this game. If Leipzig manage to score 3 and Liverpool get 1 Leipzig would still go through. Liverpool have won 1 and lost 3 while Leipzig have won all 4 of their fixtures. On any other day Liverpool would be favourites to go through but given their home form Leipzig will know they have a chance. 

Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg

Man United vs. AC Milan

United take on Milan for this Round of 16 fixtures with the first leg at Old Trafford. United have drawn 2 and won 1 since their last game while Milan have won 2 and drawn 1. Milan have gone through a small rough patch over the last few weeks but they seem to be coming out of it now. United managed to beat City at the weekend but overall they have been in dubious form. It’s an open game and the result could go either way.

Olympiacos vs. Arsenal

Arsenal play Olympiacos once again and this time Arsenal aren’t in great form either. Arsenal’s best hope is the Europa League but Olympiacos are good opposition. Olympiacos have won 2 and drawn 1 while Arsenal have won 1 and drawn 1. Arsenal have it all to play for and if they can get a couple of away goals it would setup a big advantage.

Tottenham vs. Dinamo Zagreb

Tottenham are hitting form at the right time as they take on Dinamo for this round of fixtures. Tottenham have won all 3 of their last games while Zagreb have also won all 3 of their fixtures. Bale, Son, and Kane have hit form in recent games with Bale especially scoring goals for fun. It should be an interesting game over two legs but Tottenham should reach the next round.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Man City vs. Southampton

City’s great 28 game unbeaten run came to an end as they lost to local rivals United on Sunday. They start from scratch now as they take on Southampton who sit 14th and finally managed to win a game during the weekend. This is going to be an interesting game because it will be intriguing to see how the leaders react to a loss. They sit 11 points clear at the top at the moment and a win in this game would just return matters to normal. A loss though would really open up some questions.

La Liga (Games in hand)

Leaders Atletico play their final game in hand as they take on Bilbao at home. Atletico have a 3 point gap at the top and they really are in the middle of a title race. Barcelona sit 3 points behind them while Real are 5 points behind them. A win would increase the gap once again but a loss would really encourage the likes of Barcelona and Real. 

Midweek Football Review

City increase their gap!

Premier League (Various GW)

Man City 4 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

Dendoncker scored an own goal in the 15th minute to give City the lead. Coady equalised for Wolves in the 61st minute. It looked like Wolves would be able to hold on for the point but City shifted gears with 2 goals from Jesus and 1 from Mahrez in the final 10 minutes. City go 14 points clear at the top of the table while Wolves remain 12th in the table. 

Burnley 1 vs. 1 Leicester

Vydra scored in the 4th minute to give Burnley a surprise lead. Iheanacho equalised for Leicester in the 34th minute with a brilliant goal. Neither team could grab the winner though as they settled for a draw. Burnley remain 15th in the table while Leicester remain 3rd but only 3 points ahead of 4th placed Chelsea. 

Sheffield United 1 vs. 0 Aston Villa

McGoldrick grabbed the only goal of the game in the 30th minute for Sheffield United. Jagielka was sent off for the home team in the 57th minute but they managed to hold on with 10 players. Sheffield United manage their 4th win of the season as they remain bottom and 12 points from safety. Villa remain 9th with the loss with 2 game still in hand. 

Crystal Palace 0 vs. 0 Man United

A goalless draw with Palace getting the best chance to win the game late on. Palace remain 13th in the table while United remain 2nd, 5 points ahead of 5th. 

West Brom 0 vs. 1 Everton

Richarlison scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute as Everton got a big win. Everton move into 5th with the win a point from top 4. West Brom remain 19th in the table, 9 points from safety. 

Fulham 0 vs. 1 Tottenham

Adarabioyo scored an own goal in the 19th minute to give Spurs the lead but Fulham dominated the game from then on out. They had the ball in the net through Maja in the 2nd half but it was ruled out by VAR because it hit Lemina’s hand when the hand was stuck to his body. Lemina could literally not put his hand anywhere else. Tottenham rode their luck and got 3 points. Spurs remain 8th with the win a point behind 7th placed Liverpool now with a game in hand. Fulham remain 18th in the table 3 points from safety. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Barcelona came from 2-0 down in the 1st leg to beat Sevilla 3-0 at the Camp Nou to reach the final of the Copa Del Rey. Joining them there will be Bilbao who beat Levante 1-2. Barcelona are having a solid 2021 and their good form continues even with all the internal drama at the club. This should be a fun final. 

Serie MW 25

Juventus beat Spezia 3-0, Napoli drew with Sassuolo 3-3, Milan drew with Udinese 1-1, Atalanta beat Crotone 5-1, Roma beat Fiorentina 1-2, and Inter beat Parma 1-2. Inter extend their gap at the top of the table to 6 points. Milan remain 2nd 4 points ahead of Juventus while Atalanta make up the top four. Roma, Napoli, and Lazio sit 5th, 6th, and 7th. Inter’s consistency getting them rewards while Milan’s poor form continues. 

DFB Pokal Quarter-Final

Dortmund beat Monchengladbach 0-1, while Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 2-0 to reach the semif finals. Holstein Kiel are the other semi-finalists along with whoever goes through from Werder Bremen and Regensburg. 

Ligue MW 28

Lyon beat Rennes 1-0, Lille beat Marseille 2-0, Strasbourg beat Monaco 1-0, and PSG beat Bordeaux 0-1. Lille remain 2 points clear at the top of the table with PSG behind them. Lyon sit a point behind PSG in 3rd while Monaco are now 4 points behind Lyon in 4th. A 3 horse race for now with Monaco hitting a few hurdles.