As of April 10th, the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League tournament got ten times more exciting due to Manchester City and Barcelona both being booted out. Furthermore, both clubs were favorites to win it all, so to say that their exit from the tournament is a surprise would be a major understatement.
Manchester City lost to Liverpool 5-1 on aggregates that started with a 3-0 loss in game one. In game two, M. City took a 1-0 lead within two minutes, but soon began to suffer mishaps by not taking advantage of opportunities. Growing extremely frustrated, M. City lost concentration and Liverpool took advantage by scoring two unanswered goals to send M. City packing.
Barcelona came into this game with a 4-1 lead on aggregates. All they had to do was just score a few goals and play defense to keep Roma away. However, Roma scored in the sixth minute. Barcelona’s dangerous attack did not show up. Roma was all over Barcelona’s poor defending. While the series ended 4-4 on aggregates, Roma was declared the winner on away goals. As a result, Roma has advanced to the UEFA Champions League semifinals for the first since the 1983-84 Champions League tournament.
Barcelona’s exit from the tournament is surely very disappointing for strong soccer supporters as it was strongly predicted that the final would be Real Madrid versus Barcelona. Having an El Clasico Showdown in the UEFA Champions League final would have been very big. On the contrary, there’s no doubt a lot of Real Madrid supporters are breathing a huge sigh of relief now that Barcelona is gone because in the first El Clasico meeting last December, Barcelona won 3-0. However, Real Madrid versus Liverpool would be a huge final, as well as it’s possible that that’s what it’ll come down to.
The first meetings of the semifinals will be April 14th and 15th.
Photo from Manchester City’s Twitter