March 17, England:
All of the current English teams playing in the Ro16 of the Champions League have qualified for the Quarter-Finals.
Over the past couple of years, except for Liverpool winning the CL, English teams have had a hard time moving to the latter stages in the Champions League,
However, this season has been a lot of improvement from the side, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool all dominating their opponents to move forward in the competition.
Chelsea Cruise Past Atletico Madrid
Every time Chelsea faces Atletico Madrid, there is bound to be some drama and epic results. These two sides have met only in the Champions League over the past few years, with Chelsea coming out on topmost of the time.
In a total of 9 games in 12 years, Chelsea has won 4 games and has just lost 2 while drawing the other 3 games against Atletico Madrid.
In the 20/21 season, Atletico Madrid is the league leader in La Liga, while Chelsea is slowly building themselves back up and is 4th in the Premier League.
Atletico’s had the same manager in Diego Simeone for over 10 years while Chelsea has had several changes in the managers, with recent being Frank Lampard sacked to bring a way for Thomas Tuchel.
As per the recorded history of UEFA, Atletico Madrid has never made a comeback after losing their first leg.
They have lost all 7 ties in the Champions League, in which they were beaten in the first leg.
Under Thomas Tuchel, this Chelsea side has rejuvenated themselves and is looking like strong contenders for the Champions League title.
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This team has just conceded one goal from an opposition player in the form of Takumi Minamito and one own goal, which brings the total to just two goals conceded under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea took the lead in the tie with a glorious Olivier Giroud goal in the first leg away.
Even in the first leg, the Atletico side looked really weak compared to their form in La Liga.
The second leg started at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea. The home side looked dominating right off the bat and took the lead in the 34th minute via Hakim Ziyech, who Timo Werner assisted.
Atletico was stunned with this, and they looked to bounce back, but the rock-solid defense of Chelsea kept their (Atletico’s) attackers at bay.
They made a total of 5 changes bringing in attackers in hopes of scoring a goal and changing the momentum in their favor.
However, none of their subs could make any change in the game. During the closing stages of the game, Atletico’s legend Stefan Savic elbowed Antonio Rudiger in the middle of taking a corner. The referee showed him (Savic) a straight red card.
Being down to ten men, Atletico looked really weak in front of Chelsea’s high pressing and high speed. Tuchel brought on Emerson and Ben Chilwell around the 92nd time mark.
Chelsea’s Ngolo Kante intercepted a ball from Atletico Madrid and passed it forward to Christian Pulisic, who then sprinted away towards the Atletico goal.
It was three versus one, with Chelsea having the higher number of players. Pulisic passed the ball to Emerson, who then smashed the ball right on the bottom corner. It was his first shot of the game.
This goal gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead in the game, which became 3-0 over the course of the two legs.
The Blues are through to the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2013/14 season.
Chelsea now is looking forward to the draw, which happens on the 19th of March in 2021, which will define who they will face in the Quarter Finals of The Champions League.
Manchester City Demolish Borussia Monchengladbach
Pep Guardiola‘s City continues their utter dominant form as they demolished German side Borussia Monchengladbach in the Ro16 of the Champions League.
City and Monchengladbach have met 6 times in the Champions League, with all of the victory going for the English side.
Manchester City has scored a total of 19 goals and has conceded just 4 over the time period against this opposition.
The first leg started in a neutral venue where City dominated right from the get-go. Bernardo Silva got the away side the crucial away goal when he scored in the 29th minute.
Although Borussia was looking to bounce back, Gabriel Jesus finished the game with the 2nd goal in the 65th minute.
The game ended 2-0 with City getting crucial 3 points and the away goal advantage heading to the second leg.
The second leg was at the home of Manchester, Etihad Stadium. The home form of Pep’s team is really something that the entire footballing world would envy.
They have just lost once in 5 home games, the Manchester derby, and have scored 14 goals while conceding just 4 goals. And in the Champions League, they haven’t conceded a single goal in over 700 minutes.
As for the away side, they have been going through a poor run of form.
They haven’t won a single game in the last 8 games they played and have conceded 14 goals while simultaneously scoring just 5 goals.
The second leg started just the way the first leg did. Kevin De Bruyne opened up the scoring in the 12th minute, and Ilkay Gundogan doubled the host’s lead in the 18th minute.
City took a 4-0 aggregate lead without the game having even played 20 minutes. The away side looked awful during the entire game.
Manchester City has never gone past the Quarter-Finals stage in the Champions League, having been knocked out of the competition last three times.
However, this City side looks like they can win the Quadruple this season, including the Premier League, F.A Cup, Carabao Cup, and the Champions League.
Liverpool Sail Past RB Leipzig
Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool recently won the Champions League in the 2018/19 season, which ended their 13-year European trophy-less streak.
Even though Liverpool is going through a rough patch in the Premier League, their European matches have seen quite a lot of improvement.
Over the past couple of games in Europe, Liverpool has dominated their group while simultaneously playing impressive football.
RB Leipzig is currently in the 2nd in the Bundesliga and trail league leaders Bayern Munich by just 3 points. They look like they could actually win the league title this season.
Although they perform very well in their own country, they really haven’t shown the same performance in the European competitions.
The first leg, just like the other games, happened at a neutral venue. RB looked like they could win the game as they started dominating right from the get-go.
However, they couldn’t be as clinical as they were in their recent games.
In the second half, Liverpool looked better than the first half, and Mohammed Salah got the away side their lead in the 53rd minute, and Sadio Mane doubled the lead in the 58th minute.
With the two-goal advantage heading into Anfield, Liverpool looked like they could easily pass RB, and they did what they set out to do.
The duo of Salah and Mane made Klopp’s side even more dangerous in the second leg.
Just like the first leg, RB looked dominating in the first half, but it looked like they didn’t have their shooting boots on for the game.
Salah opened up the scoring in the 70th minute, and after four minutes, Mane scored the 2nd goal and gave Liverpool a 4-0 aggregate lead.
The European version of Liverpool is looking better than their domestic versions, and if they continue their form, who knows, they might even make it to the finals of the Champions League.
Will The Champions League Come Home?
“It’s Coming Home” is a famous slogan in England, which mostly applies to the World Cup or something similar where England participates.
Champions League is the most important European competition to take place in the world.
Since all of the English sides taking part have qualified for the quarter-finals, their form and their performance have given hopes to the fans that at least one of the English teams will bring the Champions League trophy back home to England.
Among the three teams, Chelsea has won the competition in 2012/13, Liverpool won it in the 2018/19 season. Manchester City, however, has never won this competition.