Good Morning Fear the Wall
The Champions League may not be as thrilling as the neck-and-neck title race in the fifth tier of English football, but it’s all we’ve got to fill the monotony of the working week. so we might as well embrace it. This week saw the first leg of all quarter final ties in Europe’s premier competition, and things did not quite go to plan for Bayern Munich and Chelsea! Here’s the results from each game:
Benfica 0-2 Inter Milan
Manchester City 3-0 Bayern Munich
Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea
AC Milan 1-0 Napoli
Tuesday night’s heavyweight clash between Man City & Bayern Munich was the first leg of the standout fixture of the quarter finals. It pitted two of the best teams in the world against each other, promising a closely fought, competitive game, with the winner likely becoming favourites to win the trophy... At least on paper, that is.
Instead, Man City smacked Bayern Munich, winning 3-0 in what might have been the best version of City that I’ve ever seen. It’s not that Bayern were poor from start to finish. They played pretty well, and though they went 1-0 down through a first-half worldie scored by Rodri, they were still very much in the game. But City turned the heat up in the second half and Bayern just couldn’t cope. Goals from Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland made it 3-0, and they had several chances to make things even worse for Bayern. It turns out that a 4-4-2 with four proper defenders is the best version of Pep Guardiola and I really don’t know what to do with that.
Elsewhere, Chelsea were hoping that turning to Frank Lampard for help would not end exactly the same way that it did for them last time, but kicking off his second crack of the whip as Chelsea Manager away to Real Madrid wasn’t exactly ideal. Despite never really hitting their stride Real came away with a 2-0 win and control of the tie. Chelsea might have stood a chance of getting something out of the first leg, but Ben Chilwell’s red card on the hour put those hopes to rest. They’re going to need a tactical and technical masterclass to come back from this one. Good thing they hired Frank Lampard...
- The year is 2035, Borussia Dortmund just lost their spot at the top of the Bundesliga to Bayern Munich, following a 5-1 loss at the Allianz Arena, giving Bayern a clean run at their 23rd consecutive title. BVB are linked to a move for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha for the 27th year in a row.
- An official announcement that Marco Reus will sign a one-year contract extension is expected in the next couple weeks.
- The Jude-stakes are still a complete mess. Liverpool have ruled out any move for the young Englishman in the summer, and it is believed that the race is now between Man City, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. In my head, as someone that grew up in the Alex Ferguson era of the Premier League, he should be a Man Utd player. It’s inevitable.
- Borussia Monchengladbach have confirmed that Ramy Bensebaini will leave the club on a free this summer, setting things up nicely for the defender to join BVB.
The Daily Buzz
Everyone is a Wrexham fan now, apparently, but what lower league team (in any country) do you have a soft spot for?
I regularly attend Dulwich Hamlet matches, a team in the division below Wrexham (though Wrexham’s promotion and Hamlet’s potential relegation could put quite a bit of distance between them). I suppose I could also start calling Southampton a lower league team pretty soon...