Football has been fun and will always be fun. The 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League has been nothing short of exciting, and more excitement awaits from the upcoming draws to be held as well as the potential crackers that will emerge from the draws. But basically, we’ll be more focused on the adventures of the Premier League sides as well as their impact so far in this season’s UCL competition.
It’s no news that only 2 teams from the Premier League will be participating in the quarter-finals of the UCL as the other 3 have been eliminated by opponents who proved to be superior after the proceedings of the UCL night encounters. Liverpool and Manchester City will be England’s hope of making any significant impact in the 2017/2018 UCL competition. Who would have thought that the Premier League would have just 2 teams in the quarter-finals after all 5 blazed past opponents in their groups to make it into the round of 16?
I guess many would have harbored doubts on the likelihood of Spurs or Chelsea making it past the opposition they faced, based on the quality of the opposition, but how many would have placed bets against Man United making it past Sevilla, a side that has been blowing hot and cold in the La Liga. Man United were favorites to go through after the draws were made based on the supposed quality they paraded, their pedigree in the competition, as well as the prestige of Jose Mourinho. However, Manchester United put smiles on the faces of bookmakers, whilst ruining punters on the night.
Modern football has moved past the prestige of managers. Mourinho’s conservative tactics this season, which has been a cause for concern amongst pundits and fans, was finally the bane of his team in the UCL. This season’s UCL is further proof that triumphing in a major competition with the ‘BUS’ or ‘PARK THE PLANE’ tactic is a one-off. I mean explain, how a club that has spent millions of pounds on player acquisitions since Mourinho’s arrival would play defensively against a lowly Sevilla when all they had to do was win on the night.
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They ended up losing after putting up a drab performance and appeared to attack after Sevilla did the unthinkable by going 2 goals up on the night. I guess Da Gea had to take a break. Attacking football pays! The likes of Liverpool and Man City can attest to that. They chose to attack away from home and ended up qualifying with just the results of their first leg encounters. Spurs couldn’t go to the end of the line. Juventus had the experience, and had been there and done that consistently in recent times. Very few can blame Pochettino’s side. They punched above their weight right from the group stages.
Chelsea? The slogan before the game was that Messi was yet to score against the London club. Well, Messi singlehandedly eliminated the London outfit over two legs, scoring three and assisting one of the four goals that saw Barcelona progress with a 4:1 aggregate. The next round of the UCL promises to be exciting, and it’s no coincidence that the 2 Premier League sides that have entertained both fans and rivals immensely this season have made it to the men’s stage of the UCL. The two sides are attack-oriented. The two sides that know how to keep the ball and play exciting football.
The two Premier League sides that can take any decent team to the cleaners on their day. Stand up! Liverpool and Manchester City! No surprises they are being managed by Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola respectively. No PL bus parkers made it to the quarters of this year’s UCL. We await a brand of exciting and attacking football to the core in the UCL quarters as we anticipate the upcoming draws. Maybe, there may be room for a giant-killing or two.