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Friday, March 9, 2018

Liverpool 0-0 Porto

Actually, Liverpool secured their place in the Champions League quarter-finals three weeks ago but the marvel of victory over Porto doesn’t diminish their accomplishment. Jürgen Klopp’s group enjoyed the fruits of a ruthless demolition in Portugal and slipped in the last eight years. Anfield staged an unusual last-16 second leg: one missing goal, enthusiasm and the competitive advantage that the game requires at any given level. The onus was on the Portuguese league leaders to deal with their 5-0 first-leg humbling and, courtesy of a professional job by Klopp’s team, they never seemed likely to become the first side to overturn a five-goal shortage in the Champions League.


The return leg was enlivened only after Mohamed Salah’s late debut but, besides a spectacular save from his fellow substitute Danny Ings, the veteran keeper Iker Casillas was barely bothered. Liverpool will be hanging around for quite a while yet on present form. This was a test of their mentality than talent based on Klopp and it was one they handed with ease on the way to their first quarter-final look since the defeat by Chelsea nine decades back. judi bola

“It feels really good, to tell the truth,” said Klopp. The previous eight is cool. I am slightly satisfied. It was time we showed up. There’s very good development at Liverpool at the moment but if you don’t appear in a contest like the Champions League, then nobody will realize it. It is done, it’s fine — now let us carry on.”
The strength of Liverpool’s squad allowed Klopp to prevent too many risks with his line-up whilst still making five changes to the team that beat Newcastle on Saturday. Virgil van Dijk and the 32-goal Salah were left on the seat and Andrew Robertson was absent entirely but it was a seasoned and recognizable Liverpool side that the supervisor deployed. At an essential stage in the effort maintaining their powerful rhythm was on Klopp’s schedule.

Impressive in amounts, at least — the collapse of a few people from the Porto section to honor a minute’s silence for Davide Astori, the late Fiorentina captain, attracted obvious condemnation from the home crowd.
The dedication of both teams to success was incontrovertible but so was the feeling of a dead rubber. The first half was short on incident, although twice Sadio Mané virtually inflated Liverpool’s aggregate lead. His first opportunity arrived from a right-wing cross by Joe Gomez, however, an acrobatic volley sailed just over Casillas’ crossbar. His second, a snap-shot in the right of the playground, beat the World Cup winner only to rebound to safety off the inside of the far post.


Casillas has been given a warm ovation from the Kop when he re-emerged to the next half of what could be his final appearance on the Champions League stage. This was a rare moment of risk for Liverpool and they continued to create the better of the game’s few chances. James Milner, a part of a midfield trio that allowed Liverpool to control possession and keep composure throughout, sliced wide when extending for Adam Lallana’s cross. Lallana made just his third start of an injury-hit season on the remaining assault but was more prominent when switched to his favorite position on the right.

Roberto Firmino, Ings, and Salah — that had been promised a day off training on Wednesday by Klopp that he “ran a lot” for the last 16 minutes — all analyzed the Porto defense in the second half. The goalless draw couldn’t dampen the Liverpool manager’s enthusiasm for his group’s progress. “I do not want to make it smaller than it is and I really don’t want to make it larger,” said Klopp. “We belong there, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise and the next round will be extremely tough. We’ve got an opportunity to go through to the semis, that’s the aim, but we take it step by step. It is cool.”

Paris Saint‑Germain Loses Their Hopes

Farewell then, Paris, a group that for all its vaulting ambition never does seem to get beyond the spring. On a gripping, relentlessly noisy night in the Parc des Princes second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro were sufficient to extinguish once more Paris Saint‑Germain’s hopes of making it into the late stages of the Champions League. But the simplicity of Real Madrid’s ultimate victory speaks volumes not only for their winner poise but for the problem of combining dreams of European dominance with the room-temperature French league.


PSG had won their past four matches because of that first leg in Madrid, with an aggregate score of 13-2. This, however, was something else as Madrid pranced about from the beginning with an alluring sure-footedness. As he does away from home, Ronaldo led his team on from the front, unveiling a couple of additional tricks and flicks, puffing out his chest. Unai Emery will fear for his future out of here. By the end, his group of plastic galácticos was down to ten men and if not quite in disarray, then tamed much too readily. agen sbobet terpercaya

As the Parc des Princes was a booming, boisterous concrete cavern before kick-off, bouncing with this familiar Parisian surge of sound. It’s a paradox of the cartoonishly inflated club which it has kept an authentically passionate core, both ends keeping up a constant wall of sound throughout this game. Soccer is a thing that is resilient. You can not kill the soul. Read the enormous red plastic banner unfurled before kick‑off, and even without Neymar, Unai Emery could field a team filled up with attacking talent. There’s something unnaturally unfortunate about spending230m on a single footballer basically just so that he can play in this game, only to lose him to a broken foot per week ahead.

For Madrid, there was a moment of vertigo prior to the beginning with the information that Toni Kroos and Luka Modric had failed to make the starting 11. Lucas Vázquez and Mateo Kovacic came in, tipping the scales towards the hosts concerning paper-value galáctico power. And thus goliath fulfilled goliath, new cash met old, a group supercharged around imported talent to glorify a self-regarding regime facing one constructed to perform precisely the same in the 21st century. PSG started with some goal. From the early exchanges, the spidery Adrien Rabiot specifically managed to bounce his way through the clinches.


Ronaldo may move less nowadays, may be quickly becoming a sort of CR7-tribute, his very own toned and tanned waxwork, but he remains a mercilessly imposing figure, coming into this match with 14 goals in his previous eight games. Rather Ronaldo received only a ticking‑off. The privileges of intense celebrity are numerous. Otherwise, Madrid did settle like winners. With 20 minutes gone a spell of persistent white-shirted pressure resulted in a corner, where Sergio Ramos compelled the first real save of the night from Alphonse Areola.

If PSG lacked a spark they also lacked precision in their set pieces, another vital part of Neymar’s game which was missing here. Benzema should have scored five minutes before, scampering through on goal after dropping the proper side of the PSG defense. Areola saved his shot. But he must have buried it. Six minutes after the break Ronaldo was given time and space to kill the tie with a goal made by some superb work from Marco Asensio. His flip and reverse pass put Vázquez in distance. The cross was perfect for Ronaldo to nod and hang beyond Areola for his 22nd goal in his previous 13 games in this contest.

Edinson Cavani equalized at the night, deflecting the ball home following a scramble and sparking another outbreak of red flares before the match faded to a close following Casemiro’s winner. As Madrid march to the past eight the fascination with PSG’s efforts to conquer European club soccer will remain. Maybe in the months to come the temptation will be there to ask what’s the point of the club in its present condition, refashioned as the de facto Qatari embassy in Europe. Deprived of a place among the European elite that the whole project starts to appear ludicrous, a club whose outstanding achievement so far is to make Real Madrid seem like a paragon of egalitarian sporting merit; not to mention a winning team that for all its gathering cobwebs will take some stopping out of here.

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