By Nelson Dafe on 16/04/2015
The dream final many lovers of good football are hoping to see in the UEFA Champions League this year may not happen after all. This is because one of the favourite teams, Bayern Munich of Germany, face a very real possibility of being eliminated from the competition at the quarter-final stage.
In the city of Oporto in Portugal, Portuguese kings FC Porto defeated Pep Guardiola-tutored Bayern 3-1 last night in their first leg tie.
On the other hand, Barcelona who, like Bayern, are fancied to get to the final of the Champions League, went to France and conquered French giants PSG 3-1 courtesy of a brace from Luiz Suarez.
The possibility of a Barca and Bayern final has been heavily wished for, not only because of the chance of seeing two great ball-passing teams do battle in a showpiece final, but also because it offers a clash between arguably the best player in the world Lionel Messi of Barcelona and coach Guardiola of Bayern who really helped the former to blossom in the beautiful game while he was coaching Barca.
However, if Bayern are having serious thoughts of playing in (never mind playing the beautiful tiki-taka) they know they need a minor miracle to upturn the two-goal deficit they have just suffered in the hands of a Porto.
On a night when things quickly went wrong for Bayern, they perhaps were lucky not to go one man down, when ’keeper Oliver Neuer’s outstretched left leg brought down a rampaging and goal-bound Jackson Martinez, who had robbed a dithering Xabi Alonso of the ball in from of his goal. The referee awarded a penalty but issued only a yellow card to Neuer. Ricardo Quaresma scored from the spot.
Things got even rosier for Porto when another calamitous defending, this time from Brazilian Dante, let Bayern down. Dante failed to deal with a simple pass in front of his box and allowed a pressing Quaresma to rob him of the ball to score his second of the night.
Bayern’s hopes of a comeback rose when Thiago Alcantara profited from a right wing cross to score late in the first half.
Bayern failed miserably to find any rhythm or momentum in the second half, while Porto defended with resoluteness. It was the Portuguese who grabbed the next and final goal of the game, when a lofted ball was not dealt with by Bayern’s Jerome Boateng, allowing Jackson Martinez to round up Neuer to ruck into an empty net.
At the Parc Des Princes in Paris, Barcelona all but secured qualification to the semi-final with a 3-1 away win over PSG. The impervious Blaugrana opened scoring through a brilliant strike at the edge of the PSG 18 through Brazilian Neymar.
A second half brace by Luiz Suarez piled misery on PSG as Barca dominated the match totally. Though PSG were missing a number of star players due to injury, it is hard to make the case, with Barca’s strong display, that things would have been different had Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta, and Marco Verratti had been involved.
•Photo shows Suarez, who took apart PSG last night in Paris.
Source News Express
Posted 16/04/2015 02:10:45 AM
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