This week, we found out who our Champions League semi-finalists will be. Four games took place, three of which provided mouthwatering matches.
- The shock of the Quarter Finals came in Rome, where Roma fought back to knock Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate. It was a special night in Rome and Eusebio Di Francesco deserves all the plaudits as i giallorossi continue their fine run.
- In England, Manchester City looked as though they were going to cause an upset of their own when they scored a goal within less than two minutes against Liverpool. The Reds fought back, though, and remained defensively solid. Two goals on the break gave Liverpool a 2-1 win on the night and booked a place in the semi-final.
- On Wednesday, Bayern were held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla, but the Bavarians progressed to the semi-finals thanks to a 2-1 win in the first leg. Sevilla have had a great run and boss Vincenzo Montello will be delighted with his side’s performances in the competition this year.
- It looked as though Juventus were going to emulate Roma when they took a 3-0 lead away to Real Madrid. A controversial late penalty, which was dispatched by Cristiano Ronaldo, took Los Blancos through to the next round.
It was the fairytale everybody wanted. Gianluigi Buffon is missing just the Champions League trophy from his trophy cabinet. When Juventus lost 3-0 in Turin to Real Madrid in the first leg, it looked as though the dream was over.
“Manager Massimiliano Allegri admitted after the full-time whistle that it was “almost impossible” to progress.” – BBC
Juventus made the almost impossible possible when they took a 3-0 lead themselves in the Santiago Bernabeu. They came flying out of the blocks with an early goal from Mario Mandzukic.
Another goal for the Croat made it 2-0 before Blaise Matuidi benefitted from a Keylor Navas howler to equalise the tie.
It all came crashing down in added time, though, when referee Michael Oliver made a controversial decision to award Real Madrid a penalty. Buffon fumed. He was adjudged to have pushed the English referee – and tell him to ‘go have a shit’, according to Twitter – and saw red.
It was a disappointing end to Buffon’s esteemed career, but the dream is over for the Italian and football fans all over the world.
Goal of the round
There were perhaps better technical goals in this round of the Champions League, but the significance of Kostas Manolas’ goal in Rome on Tuesday night was huge.
That’s not to take anything away from the Greek defender – the header was a well-directed header from the near post into the far corner. Enjoy it with beautiful Italian commentary.
— Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW) April 10, 2018