The Champions League is coming to a close and with top teams such as Barcelona and Ajax advancing to the semi-finals, things seem to be heating up. Recently in the quarter-finals, Tottenham managed to win 1-0 against Manchester City, while Liverpool also secured a 2-0 victory against Porto. Ajax knocked Juventus out of the Champions League in the second leg of quarter-finals and Barcelona did the same with Manchester United, beating them 3-0.
These matches provided a turning point in the season and each team displayed their desires to win the Champions League. Tottenham vs Manchester City was an eventful match in which the outcome seemed to gravitate more in favour of Manchester City, but it was to be a Spurs’ day as the stadium erupted in the 78th minute when Son punished a sleeping City defence by scoring the opening, decisive goal. Previously, however, Lloris – Tottenham’s goalkeeper – managed to save a challenging penalty from Sergio Aguero. Speculation grew as to why the goalkeeper was able to save such a penalty but could not manage to keep the ball out of his own net, and awarded Liverpool 3 points as the result of a late own goal which cost them their match and kept Liverpool in the title race.
Liverpool vs Porto, which took place on the 9th of April 2019, granted the Reds a secure victory of 2-0 although it has been rumoured that Klopp would’ve wanted the Reds to score more, so there would be no chance of a tie in the second leg. Nonetheless, the match was saved by Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino who both managed to score goals in the 5th and 26th minutes and put Jurgen Klopp’s men in a dominant position in the tie ahead of the second leg on April 17. Porto must put in a professional performance at the Estádio do Dragão to ensure qualification if they want to remain in the title race.
Ajax’s 2-1 victory over Juventus in the second leg of the quarter-finals completely eliminated them from the Champions League. Although the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo drew 1-1 at Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie on Wednesday, David Neres equalized on the other side of the interval to give the Dutch an equal fighting chance. Their spirit and determination seemed to conquer them and were able to dominate Juventus in their own home, Juventus stadium, advancing themselves to the semi-finals.
Although Manchester United lost 0-1 against Barcelona due to a costly mistake by Luke Shaw (defender for Man United) in the 12th minute, they still managed to attack more than Barcelona. Having a total of 10 shots and 0 on target, they dominated after the 35th minute throughout to the 90th but were unable to equalize. Barcelona, on the other hand, were more accurate in scoring, having 6 total shots and 3 on target. It also wasn’t a good day for Luke Shaw as a tug on Messi brought a booking for Shaw that puts him out of the second leg before Chris Smalling got away with a worse challenge on the same player.
Barcelona also managed to secure a good hearty 3-0 win over the Red Devils in the second leg at their Camp Nou. Fred, midfielder for Man United, wasn’t having a good game and the referee called for a penalty on an offence on Rakatic, but after a review by VAR it was fortunately cancelled. Further in the match, Messi nutmegs Fred and dribbles past to score a wonderful left-footed long ranger to beat De Gea in the 15th minute. Only four minutes after, Fred loses possession in the midfield to Messi once again and he dribbles, taking another long shot on his weaker right foot which could’ve been easily saved but turned out to be a huge mistake by De Gea. Coutinho also manages to make a trademark goal in the 61st minute that De Gea had no chance of saving.
Liverpool and Tottenham both secured victories over Porto and Manchester City and will now be advancing to the semi-finals. Thus, Barcelona will now face Liverpool on the 30th of April and Ajax will face Tottenham on the 1st of April in the first leg of the semi-finals.