Roma made a dramatic comeback in the Champions League quarterfinal tie, beating Barcelona 3-0 and emerging from the tie on away goals, 4-4. Roma thoroughly deserved the victory, going up right away and never looking back. Edin Dzeko scored on a long ball sent through in the first ten minutes. Then in the second half, on a similar play Dzeko was hauled down in the box by Gerard Pique, and Daniele De Rossi converted the penalty. Then in the 82nd min, Kostantinos Manolas scored off a corner kick, and the Stadio Olimpico erupted. Barca could not find their way back into the game, and it is the team from Rome that moves on in the champions league.
The other Champions League game was much more straightforward, as Liverpool saw off Manchester City 2-1 to win the tie overall 5-1. The game started exactly the way City wanted, City’s press leading to a turnover and Gabriel Jesus scoring two minutes in. City battered the Liverpool goal in the first half, but only got the one goal. There was a Leroy Sane goal waved off for offsides, but on replay looks like it should have been allowed, as the ball deflected off of James Milner. This may have been what caused Pep Guardiola to go off and be sent into the stands by the referee at halftime. In the second half Liverpool killed the game in the 57th minute, when Sadio Mane split the defense in the box, and Mohammed Salah followed up Ederson’s initial save and chipped the ball into the goal. Roberto Firmino added a goal a little later for the Reds. For Liverpool it was another impressive performance to move to the semifinals. City played much better than in the first leg, but just left themselves with too much to do after the loss in the first leg.
Despite Abby Wambach retiring, the USWNT has an abundance of attacking players, many who can play either as an out and out striker, more of a false 9, or a wide player in a front three. Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Sydney Leroux, Rose Lavelle, Megan Rapinoe, just to name a few. Still, one player who is near the top of that list is Crystal Dunn, who has excelled as an attacker for the U.S. in the last year or so. And yet, because of a lack of options at left back and her versatility, Dunn lately has played left back for the US. While it’s great that Dunn is able to fill in and play well at left back, it could be damaging long term if she is constantly shifted around the field and not allowed to develop in her best position.
The New York Red Bulls controlled much of the game, and had their chances, but they were unable to breach Chivas’ net, and so they crash out of the Champions League, 0-0 on the night, 1-0 on aggregate. Red Bulls had most of the chances, including 19 shots (eight on target). Sadly for them, none of those shots made it through. Toronto FC were on the other end in the late game. They struck early, going up 1-0, and 4-1 on aggregate through Jonathan Osorio in the 12th minute. After that Toronto eased back, and allowed Club America to attack, but keeping them out of goal until a penalty kick in stoppage time. But it was too little too late, and Toronto FC are off to the final to face Chivas.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!