Liverpool to make it four English teams in the last eight?

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Liverpool will look to make it a quartet of English teams in the last eight of the Champions League by beating Bayern when the two European heavyweights do battle at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

With Man Utd, Tottenham and Man City all beating their respective Round of 16 opponents, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds beating the Bavarians will not only make it four English teams in the quarters, but will also end Germany’s representation in the competition- Bayern are the only Bundesliga side left following exits for Schalke and Borussia Dortmund.

When was the last time four English clubs made it to the last eight of the Champions League?

It’s been almost a decade- the last time this happened was in the 2008/09 season when Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and United all made it to the quarters. That was also the year of that epic Chelsea-Liverpool quarterfinal, which the Blues won 7-5 on aggregate. The tournament that year was won by Barcelona, who are also in action tonight against Olympique Lyonnais. Like Bayern, Barca are also their country’s solitary representatives left following shock defeats in the Ro16 for both Real and Atletico Madrid. Continue reading

Italian media reaction to Roma exit from Champions League at the hands of Porto

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For the third consecutive time in their history, Roma were knocked out in extra time of a Champions League tie, with Eusebio di Francesco’s men falling 3-1 to FC Porto to be knocked out 4-3 on aggregate. Leading 2-1 from the first leg thanks to a pair from Zaniolo, Roma were cautiously optimistic heading to the Dragao, but their poor record in away Champions League knockout games continued as goals from Tiquinho and Moussa Marega took the game to extra time, and then a penalty from Alex Telles sent the Giallorossi out of the competition.

Here’s is the newspaper reaction from Italy to Roma’s exit! Courtesy Gazzetta, Tutto and CdS- the three biggest in the country.

Roma 1

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The greed knows no limits- Photo of Bayern fans banner on away ticket prices in Anfield Champions League Game vs Liverpool

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Bayern Munich fans unveiled this banner, criticising the European away ticket policy of both the Bavarian giants and Liverpool during the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie at Anfield on 19 February, 2019.

The three banners together read

Away ticket LFC 48£ FCB 55€“, “Th€ gr€€d knows no £imits“, “Twenty is plenty

Liverpool fans were in full agreement and voiced their support for the banner.

The game ended in a goalless stalemate, leaving it as a winner takes all clash in the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Pic of the banners for “Twenty is Plenty” by Bayern Munchen supporters at Anfield

Bayern Fans Banner

Atletico Madrid are more of an Italian team than a Spanish one: Chiellini

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Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has said that Atletico Madrid are more of an Italian team rather than a Spanish one ahead of Juventus’ Champions League clash against Los Rojiblancos.

The 34 year old veteran also lavished praise upon Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that the Portuguese superstar had helped fill the void left by Gigi Buffon’s departure from Turin.

Chiellini also remarked that the best defender in the world was not him, but Real international Sergio Ramos.

Echoing Chiellini’s thoughts, former Juventus star Alessio Tacchinardi also said that Atleti and Simeone were perhaps the “worst possible opponents” for the Old Lady at this stage of the competition.

Juventus come into the first leg of this Round of 16 clash on the back of a 3-0 win over Frosinone, while Atleti were narrow 1-0 winners over Rayo in La Liga.

Chiellini Atletico

The end of Sarri Ball? Blues crash out of FA Cup

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Maurizio Sarri’s position at Chelsea appears to be hanging by a thread after Manchester United beat them 2-0 at the Bridge to knock them out of the Cup. With several other high profile teams like Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool already out of the competition, the FA Cup was a good chance for the Blues to pick up some silverware, but Solskjaer became the first United manager in nearly seven years to win at the Bridge to set up a quarterfinal tie against Wolves.

Sarri’s results against top four teams this year has not been encouraging- he has lost 3-0 to Spurs, 2-0 to Arsenal, 6-0 to Man City and now 2-0 to Man Utd. It seems he no longer has control of the dressing room and even the fans seem to be fed up of his tactics- with several in the crowd heard saying “F*ck Sarri ball”

Against United, Sarri made his traditional changes, and even when they were 2-0 down, chose not to bring another attacking player on (despite Chelsea having several options on the bench), and instead subbed in Zappacosta. Callum-Hudson Odoi’s reaction on the sidelines, captured in this pic, tell a story in itself.

Sarri can probably redeem himself with a League Cup win over Man City, although few will bet on them given the Blues’ recent struggles under the Italian.

Pundit Chris Sutton called for Sarri to be sacked, and added that lack of action from Roman Abramovich could potentially be seen as disinterest in the club from the Russian.

Hudson Odoi looking at Sarri Photo FA Cup