We all enjoyed a truly crazy UEFA Champions League quarterfinals that would have flummoxed even a genius mind such as that of The Dude, what with the plethora of ins and outs, and what-have-yous.
After a Real Madrid 3-0 win in Torino, Juventus did the unthinkable, seemingly evening things up 3-0 at the Bernabeu, as a nail-biting bout of extra time appeared inevitable. But a stoppage time penalty kick goal by Cristiano Ronaldo allowed the hosts to escape with a 4-3 aggregate.
Madrid’s Spanish counterparts, Barcelona, similarly thought that things were wrapped up following a 4-1 win at Camp Nou. After all, Roma needed a 3-0 victory in the second leg to go through. What did they get? Just what il dottore ordered, a 3-0 conquest sealed with an 82nd minute goal from Kostas Manolas!
Manchester City has had a season for the ages in the Premier League, but it’s Liverpool who came out ahead in the English battle. Following a dominant Reds’ victory at Anfield, the Sky Blues looked like they were going to make things interesting when they scored an early goal at the Etihad. But ’Pool demonstrated impressive fortitude with a pair of second half scores, coming back to squash Mancunian hopes.
Bayern Munich also made things seem easy from the start with a 2-1 win at Sevilla. The German superteam didn’t need to do much at Allianz Arena to advance, and they did enough with a nil-nil result.
With international upstart Manchester City along with more storied clubs Barcelona and Juventus all shockingly out of the picture, the stand-out theme here is the difference between domestic league and Champions League standings. Premier League leaders Manchester City (16 points better than second place Manchester United), La Liga toppers Barcelona (+11 over Atletico Madrid) and Serie A numero uno Juventus (+1 over Napoli) all got knocked out, leaving Bundesliga’s best, Bayern Munich (+22 over Schalke), as the only domestic leader remaining. There isn’t even a second place team among the bunch, with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Roma all back in third.
So whom do you favor now? The only first place team in its domestic league? The gegenpressing squad that dismantled the record-breaking Premier League team and features the PFL Player of the Year, Mo Salah? The upstart Italian side with underdog appeal? Or the legendary team that won its third Champions League crown in four seasons (and second straight) last year with living legend Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way?
- TUESDAY: Liverpool v. Roma
- WEDNESDAY: Bayern Munich v. Real Madrid
However things turn out, if the semifinals can even be half as exciting as the quarters, we’ll all be loving life!
Are you tuning in for both games, or are you focused on one? Which players have you tabbed for fantasy spoils? Join in the live chat and let us know your thoughts in the comments!