A UCL round many thought would be tight with fewer goals, because of the elimination of sides that err over the two legs in the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals saw a good number of goals in each of the encounters except in the game where Atletico hosted Leicester. This round of first leg fixtures was preceded by a dark incident as the Borussia Dortmund team bus was rocked by explosions with links to terrorism. Thankfully there was no major casualty although Marc Bartra and a security personnel suffered some injuries. We wish them quick recovery and recuperation.
This round of games saw many beautiful goals. We have ranked the best 5 by our standards, but we were spoilt for choice as some of the goals were just too brilliant to tick off the list. For instance, the Juventus versus Barcelona game saw Juve fire 3 brilliant and relatively unstoppable goals past Ter Stegen in goal for the Catalans. Kagawa was on hand to supply a brilliant second goal for Dortmund which ensured they are still in it ahead of the second leg tie in France. Cristiano Ronaldo commenced his journey to UEFA club competition record greatness with a brilliant equalizer after Vidal had put Bayern Munich in front with a brilliant thunderous header.
We’ve finally agreed on our top 5 for the UCL 2016/2017 quarter-finals first legged encounters. The goals are ranked according to their order of quality from best to good.
- Paulo Dybala – Juventus’ first goal
- Kagawa – Dortmund’s second goal
- Paulo Dybala – Juventus’ second goal
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid’s first goal
- Arturo Vidal – Bayern’s first goal. Chiellini’s unstoppable header was on hand to displace this goal, but the beauty of the run Vidal made before powering the header past Keylor Navas couldn’t be overlooked.
The round saw the emergence of villains on the pitch as they contributed negatively to their side’s loss ahead of the second legged tie.
- Arturo Vidal after his brilliant goal missed a penalty that would have put Bayern in cruise control
- Dortmund’s Sven Bender scored a horrible own goal to give Monaco more cushion in the tie
- Lukasz Piszczek’s error gifted Mbappe the chance to score the third for Monaco on the night
- Fabinho was on hand to deliver a dreadful penalty
- Javi Martinez’ red card gave Real Madrid some relief as they went on to beat Bayern. His dismissal played a part in his side’s loss
- The referee in the Atletico vs Leicester City game awarded a controversial penalty that enabled Atletico to go in front when the foul appeared to have occurred outside the penalty box.
There were interesting numbers on the night in terms of goals and other statistics. They are mentioned below:
- Dortmund’s 3-4-2-1 succumbed to Monaco’s 4-4-2
- Atletico’s 4-4-2 fared better against Leicester’s 4-4-2
- Bayern’s 4-2-3-1 fell short as Real Madrid’s 4-3-3 carried the day
- Barcelona’s 4-3-3- fell prey to Juventus’ 4-2-3-1
- 12 goals were scored
- 7 goals by the home sides and 5 by the away sides
- No draws, 4 wins
- 1 own goal – Dortmund’s Sven Bender
- 2 wins for the home teams and 2 wins for the away sides
- 23 yellow cards brandished
- 1 red card given – Bayern Munich
- Monaco received the most yellows – 5
- Atletico Madrid received no cards
- 3 penalties awarded in the fixtures, only 1 converted, 2 were off target
- 3 players scored a brace each – Paolo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe
- Monaco scored the most goals away from home – 3, while Juventus scored the most goals at home – 3
- The pass masters were Dortmund – 644 passes, Juventus made the least passes – 280
- The possession masters were Barcelona – 66%
We look forward to an exciting end to this round with the second leg ties commencing soon.