Football

Published on April 7th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta

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Europe’s Winners and Losers – Cristiano wins the week with bicycle grace

A memorable week in Europe saw one of the greatest goals of all time from Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City rocked back on their heels 

Winners

Cristiano Ronaldo

Where are those who said that CR7 was over back in December? When the Champions League music comes on, Cristiano is like no other. Pointless to reiterate his incredible record-breaking season here, what is important is how decisive he is at that level, and for how long. Real Madrid can win a third Champions League title in a row, and demolishing Juventus was yet another example. That goal was magnificent and silences all those who think Ronaldo can only score easy ones. We are lucky to be able to witness him.

Liverpool

Rock ’n’ Roll, Jurgen Klopp style. The Manchester City players might still be confused by what happened at Anfield. A demolition of what has been branded the best Premier League side ever. And if everyone’s prediction was that the Reds would concede, that wasn’t the case. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the goals, but Liverpool were better all round, for the whole game. A phenomenal team performance to get the best result of the season thus far. Can they now go on all the way and win the Champions League?

Arsenal

CSKA Moscow aren’t exactly the best side in the world, but to secure a spot in the Europa League semifinals after 45 minutes out of 180 is pretty impressive from the Gunners. The reaction especially – after breaking the deadlock, Arsene Wenger’s men conceded. At that point it seemed as if Arsenal could return to the same old mistakes. It wasn’t the case. Mesut Ozil was switched on, and the Gunners scored another three before the break.

Losers

Pep Guardiola

What happened Pep? City have won the league for months now, and all the focus should have been on this game, in a competition that Guardiola has won twice already. Should have been like playing in his own backyard for the Catalan manager. Yet, the football lesson from Klopp was one to remember. Guardiola’s initial formation didn’t seem ideal, and City were never able to play their football and damage Liverpool. It still remains the only tie that could truly be turned around in the second leg. But not scoring that vital away goal could be a huge regret for the Citizens.

Juventus

Like the Cardiff final. All over again. An early Cristiano Ronaldo goal, a CR7 brace, an initial formation that wasn’t good enough, no personality to turn things around. All the certainties and solidity Juve show in Serie A are blown away when they face the top Champions League clubs. It happened again. The defenders struggled, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain disappeared and Massimiliano Allegri was unable to turn things around with his tactical knowledge. The end for Juve.

Sevilla

Losing 1-2 at home to Bayern Munich is not a tragedy, but just have a look at the highlights and you’ll see many easy goals missed by the La Liga side. Vincenzo Montella was managing another Champions League masterclass, after knocking out Manchester United, but his players missed the easiest of chances, and even conceded via an own goal. To score two and win in Munich seems impossible now.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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