Real Madrid and Liverpool are both in the final four in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League Tournament. Madrid is taking on Bayern Munich in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinals and Liverpool is taking on Roma.
Liverpool pulled off a huge upset by knocking off Manchester City 5-1 on aggregates. Now, they’re ready to take on their next major challenge to reach the top of the mountain. Roma pulled off an upset of the century by knocking out Barcelona after trailing 4-1 on aggregates after the first leg.
Liverpool’s keys to victory:
The most important thing for Liverpool is to NOT underestimate Roma. Barcelona made that mistake and it cost them big time in humiliating fashion. They need to be focused and be ready for anything because at this point Roma is perfectly capable of doing anything, especially pulling off another major upset. Liverpool’s going to need to score some goals and play solid defense to combat Roma’s attack.
Liverpool can rely on their superstar striker Mohamed Salah, who’s currently the top scorer in the English Premier League with 30 goals, becoming the first African player to achieve this milestone and the first Liverpool player in over 25 years to do so. He’s also tied for second with teammate Roberto Firmino for most goals scored in this year’s Champions League tournament. Salah’s scored 40 goals in all competitions this season. He is without a doubt Liverpool’s most valuable asset at the moment.
However, Liverpool cannot rely entirely on Salah, meaning they’ll have to play as a team as they did against Manchester City. The first leg is on the 24th and it’s taking place in Liverpool, giving Salah and company home-field advantage.
Real Madrid’s keys to victory:
Real Madrid was almost eliminated from the tournament by Juventus. After losing the first leg 3-0, Juventus managed to take a 3-0 lead in the second leg to make it 3-3 on aggregates. However, at the very last second of stoppage in regulation, Madrid was awarded a controversial penalty, which Cristiano Ronaldo successfully converted, allowing Real Madrid to advance, winning 4-3 on aggregates.
Real Madrid’s going to have to do things differently this time. They can’t go from easily winning the first leg to putting up a very disappointing performance in the second leg only to survive and advance by being awarded a penalty under controversial circumstances. Ronaldo and company need to regroup, take control, and stay in control. Real Madrid thought they had Juventus easily beat, but Juventus proved a point showing the world what happens when you come into a match with the upper hand and no concentration. You go from being in control to being very close to falling off the mountain.
Bayern and Madrid have quite a history. These two clubs know each other very well and both know what they’re capable of doing to each other.
Real Madrid can’t rely on Ronaldo to carry the club to the final. They need to work together. Everyone needs to know their role. If Ronaldo and company can counteract Bayern’s solid defense by scoring goals, they will be one step closer to winning their third straight UEFA Champions League title.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich square off in Munich on April 25th for the first leg. Madrid needs to come into the first meeting focused, but they need to remain focused. This is it for them. Playtime is over. No more excuses.