Tag Archives: Uefa

Premier League teams attempt to rise on Matchday 2 of Champions League

As the second matchday of the UEFA Champions League commences later today, Tottenham and Manchester City begin their quests of making it to knockout rounds after having successful tournament results last year. Reigning Champions League winners Liverpool and former winners Chelsea are set to play on Wednesday – aiming to get back in the standings after devastating losses to Napoli and Valencia respectively.

Tottenham, fresh off a Champions League campaign in which they finished as the runner-up, started this edition of the tournament with a 2-2 draw against Olympiacos. Scoring two early goals from Harry Kane’s penalty in the 26th minute, followed by a Lucas Moura goal in the 30th minute – goals from Daniel Podence in the 44th minute and Mathieu Valbuena in the 54th minute were enough to seal a draw at Karaiskakis Stadium. Tottenham will host German giants Bayern Munich at 8 p.m. GMT for its fifth-ever meeting against the club. Bayern are coming off a 3-0 victory over Crvena Zvezda after goals from Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski, and Thomas Müller took all three points at The Allianz Arena.

Manchester City had a huge victory 3-0 over Shakhtar Donetsk at The Metalist, with Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gündogan, and Gabriel Jesus providing the necessary goals. They will face off against Dinamo Zagreb at Etihad Stadium at 8 p.m. GMT. The Croatian side defeated Atalanta 4-0 on Matchday 1 after Mislav Orsic’s hat trick at Stadion Maksimir. This will be the first-ever matchup between the two clubs – who do you think will end up in top spot?

Liverpool, fresh off of their recent Champions League winning campaign, started their campaign off with a dud as they lost 2-0 to Napoli. Late goals from Dries Mertens in the 82th minute and Fernando Llorente in injury time, helped the Italian team embarass the holders. Now, Liverpool will have to get back on track as they host Red Bull Salzburg at 8 p.m. GMT. The Austrian side had a 6-2 victory against Genk on the first matchday, led by a hat trick from Norwegian teen sensation Erling Braut Haaland at Red Bull Arena. The matchup between tonight’s game will be the first-ever matchup between the two clubs.

Chelsea, the champions of last year’s edition of the Europa League beating London compatriot Arsenal, did not get off to a great start in the Champions League as new coach/former club legend Frank Lampard and The Blues suffered a 1-0 loss at the feet of Rodrigo at Stamford Bridge. Considered the favorites of the group before the start of the tournament, Chelsea will have to get back in gear as they head to Stade Pierre Mauroy to battle Lille OSC at 8 p.m. GMT. Lille suffered a 3-0 defeat in their last game against Ajax due to goals from Quincy Promes, Edson Álvarez, and Nicolás Tagliafico at Johan Crujiff ArenA. The two clubs will face off against each other for the first time.

With the Champions League still in the beginning stages, time will tell if England will have back-to-back winners in the tournament for the first time since Liverpool and Aston Villa won the 1981 and 1982 editions.

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UEFA Champions League Final – The All English Road to Madrid

Some 11 years after Manchester United prevailed against Chelsea, Saturday marks the 2nd all English UEFA Champions League Final in history; as Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Tottenham manager Pochettino had his work cut out for him from the start, facing a challenging group of Barcelona, PSV and Inter Milan. Spurs and Inter tied for second place on points and goal difference, with Spurs only reaching the knockout rounds by tallying more goals in total.

They immediately made an impact in the round of 16, thrashing German giants Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley; furthermore consolidating their Champions League status by winning the away leg as well.

It appeared that Spurs’ UCL dreams could be quickly over, as they drew Treble winning Manchester City in the quarterfinals. Pochettino managed to lead his side to a 1-0 victory in their first Champions League game in the new stadium, and the away leg in Manchester was one to remember. Spurs scraped their way through to the Semi-Finals, following an enthralling game filled by VAR and controversy. They lost the second leg 4-3 but secured their place through the away goal rule.

The London team further shocked the football world when achieving their place in this years UCL final; a second-half hat trick from Lucas Moura including an injury-time winning goal was what it took to overcome Ajax. This will be The Lilywhites first European final since 1984, where they beat Anderlecht to raise the UEFA Cup.

Few teams in this year’s competition had a harder run than Liverpool. Following the backlash that Klopp’s men received in the 2017/18 UCL for their somewhat easy run of fixtures, the Reds’ have certainly earned their place this year in Madrid. Having survived arguably the toughest group stage in this years competition – consisting of Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli – Liverpool then surged on to defeat domestic-double winning Bayern-Munich and Porto.

The Reds semi-final victory is bound to go down in the history books after an astonishing night at Anfield. Facing Barcelona, Klopp had his work cut out for him; even more so after losing the first leg 3-0 in Spain, and star attackers Salah and Firmino injured.

Nearly everybody would have thought Barcelona were through to another UCL Final, their first since they last won the trophy in 2015. At Anfield, Origi opened the scoring early, following a rapid brace from newly substituted Wijnaldum. In the 79th minute, the stadium filled with ecstasy. Origi managed to get his second, and Liverpool had triumphed. The game was one that flooded fans with the nostalgia of that night in Istanbul in 2005.

Alongside the UCL, Liverpool’s fantastic run in the Premier League spurred themselves and Manchester City to the highest two team point total in Premier League history, being narrowly beaten by The Blues by a single point. Having not lost a game since 3rd of March, along with a series of injuries to the XI including Mohammed Sarah, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez as well as long term injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana.

Tottenham performed well in this year’s Premier League season, finishing 4th and securing their place for next years European competition. Very few people would have expected them to reach this stage, so will they go on to cause an upset? England’s star striker Harry Kane left the field injured during their victory over Manchester City in the UCL and has yet to make a return to action. There is a slight doubt of his fitness, but facing Liverpool, Pochettino needs all the firepower he can get. Sanchez, Winks and Vertonghen are also doubted for the clash against Liverpool.

Liverpool may have the psychological difference going into the game, following their success in the Premier League this season. The Reds’ beat Spurs both home and away 2-1 on each occasion. They are certainly favourites to win this years competition and will be seeking revenge following last years disastrous loss to Real Madrid. We predict Liverpool will prevail, and win the game 3-1.

Match Preview: Chelsea v FK Qarabag

Champions League action returns to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening as Premier League champions Chelsea welcome FK Qarabag from Azerbaijan.

Italian manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that Eden Hazard will be on the bench for the Blues as he makes a slow recovery after just returning from a broken ankle.

Gary Cahill could make his return to action tonight as he returns from a three domestic ban after being sent off against Burnley during the opening day defeat to Burnley.

Chelsea play seven games in 21 days this month and Conte said “You have to do some rotation otherwise the last two games you have no energy”.

Qarabag boss Gurban Gurbanov said “We’re not scared of any of them”.

“Even though Chelsea is an icon in the Champions League and have a big chance to win the tournament this season , the team is ready and we’re going to play until the end ”

Danny Drinkwater Chelsea’s summer transfer deadline day signing who is yet to make his debut is also set to sit out of the clash becoming Chelsea’s only absentee with a calf injury.

Qarabag come into the game on fine form as they have won their opening three league games and to make the group stages came through three rounds of European qualifying to make history as the first side from Azerbaijan to make the group stages.

The Blues will be clear favourites for this clash as they have only lost once in their past thirteen Champions League group games.