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UCL QUARTER FINAL: REAL MADRID VS LIVERPOOL REVIEW

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Liverpool needs another comeback to advance to the next round. They do have an away goal advantage but their recent record at Anfield diminishes the possibility

Real Madrid hosted Liverpool at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in a rematch of the 2018 UCL final. Both the teams looked balanced on the paper with each team’s main center back pairing missing.

Real Madrid started with a 4 3 3, with Vasquez and Mendy as the full-backs, Nacho and Militao as the center backs, Kroos, Modric and Casemiro controlling the midfield, and Asensio Benzema and Vinicius Junior as the front 3.

Klopp started with a similar formation with Trent and Andy Robertson as the full-backs, Nathaniel Philips and Kabak as the center backs, Fabinho, Clyne, and Wijnaldum in the middle, Mane, Salah, and Diego Jota at the top.

The match started with Real Madrid controlling the tempo of the game, with the first chance being created very early by Karim Benzema in the second time, sending the shot directly to Alisson.

The game continued to be played in the half of Liverpool with Los Blancos threatening the goal. The injury-affected Liverpool side looked very weak in front of the formidable mid-field of Real Madrid. In the 13th minute, Mendy provided a cross to Vinicius, which was put wide by the Brazilian.

The game really looked like a replay of the 2018 final as once again defensive mistakes of the reds were exposed. The second goal came in the 36th minute, due to a defensive error by Trent Alexander Arnold, cushioning the header towards Asensio, who finished it brilliantly to double the advantage for the 13-time winners. The first half ended with Real Madrid leading comfortably by 2 goals.

The reds started the second half better, with more interceptions into the opponent’s half. Their efforts yielded a result when Mo Salah scored the opening goal for the reds, giving them a crucial away goal. The Merseyside side threatened again, with Diego Jota putting the header just wide in the 53rd minute. 

The reds showed signs of a comeback with some great chances but to no benefit. All hopes of a comeback were ended when Vinicius Junior finished a simple through ball by Luka Modric to give real a 2 goal lead in the 65th minute. Madrid came close to scoring again when Benzema fired a shot, which was saved by the Liverpool keeper. Thiago got a chance to shoot in the 77th minute which he put over the bar.

Liverpool showed an impressive performance in the second half but was let down by their defense as Real Madrid finished the first leg with a 2 goal advantage.

Liverpool needs another comeback to advance to the next round. They do have an away goal advantage but their recent record at Anfield diminishes the possibility.

have progressed from 15 of their last 16 Champions League knockout matches after winning the opening leg, only failing to do so against Ajax in 2018-19 last 16.

Match Statistics

Possession Real 46% Liverpool 54%

Shots      Real 16    Liverpool 7

On Target Real 7 Liverpool 1

Corners  Real 5 Liverpool 3  

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Football

Mohammed Salah African Cup Final Egypt 2022

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Mohammed Salah African Cup Final Egypt (1)

“We have the games against them next month and inshallah we will take revenge on them”- Mohamed Salah’s fiery dressing room speech after losing AFCON Cup

Mohamed Salah failed to secure an AFCON Cup for Egypt after Sadio Mane’s Senegal defeated the former’s side on penalties, winning their first-ever AFCON trophy. However, despite losing the final, Salah emerged as a leader, who was seen motivating his team after their tough defeat on Monday.

In a recent video, the Liverpool forward and Egypt’s captain, Mohamed Salah can be witnessed boosting the morale of his side, which became quite emotional after the loss in the AFCON finals. Claiming that all his teammates gave their all in the past four matches, he highlighted that the defeat is a thing of the “past now.”

Focussing on the next tie against Senegal, a victory which could see the Egyptian side qualify to the FIFA World Cup 2022, Salah encouraged his team to seek “revenge” on Senegal. Egypt are scheduled to play against Senegal on March 23 and March 29, 2022, for the World Cup Qualifiers. 

“We played four matches all 120 minutes in about 12 days, but it’s in the past now. We have the games against them next month and inshallah we will take revenge on them,” said Salah. 

Talking about the match, despite missing the penalty during the match, Sadio mane proved to be the winner for Senegal as he scored the last ‘under pressure’ penalty for his side in the shootouts. After the match, many criticized Salah’s decision of waiting for the glory penalty, when his side lost 4-2 in the shootouts, not even giving him a chance to shoot in the penalties.

Mohamed Salah joins Liverpool again following his difficult AFCON defeat

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have both joined Liverpool again after the AFCON break and will look forward to strengthening their club, which is currently placed second in the Premier League with 48 points and is set to face Leicester City next on Friday.

In the pre-match press conference, hailing Mo Salah as an “experienced player and a physical monster,” Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, highlighted that the Egyptian will undergo a training session before deciding whether he could feature against the Foxes or not. 

“Mo is now back, I spoke already to him. He is very disappointed of course, but looking forward to all the things coming up here now. He is an experienced player, he is a physical monster, to be honest, so we have to see. He will obviously have a little recovery session today and we will see how he feels tomorrow and from there we go,” said Klopp.

Mohamed Salah is currently the leading scorer of the Premier League, having already netted the ball on 16 occasions. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Clubs Change, Legacy Remains the Same

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With 100 goals scored for Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo became the only footballer to score 100 goals for 3 different clubs in Europe

Cristiano Ronaldo, popularly known as CR7, recently achieved a historic milestone for his club Juventus. The Soccer Legend went reached the 100-mark in terms of his goals at Juventus. Interestingly, Ronaldo reached the magic number before even completing his third season- making him the fastest Juventus player to reach the landmark.

Ronaldo reached the mark by scoring just before half-time against Sassuolo in Serie A action on Wednesday, giving his side a two-goal lead heading into the break. The Portugal star has netted 100 goals in 131 games for Juventus and has become the first and only Juve player to ever do so in less than three seasons.Prior to Wednesday night, only Omar Sivori and Roberto Baggio had required less than five seasons to reach the 100-goal mark.

Before this, Ronaldo has scored 118 goals for Manchester United in 292 matches across 6 seasons. Also, at his prime, he scored 450 goals in 438 games at Real Madrid- winning 4 Champion’s League trophies. Astonishingly, he also has scored more than 100 goals for his national team- Portugal in 176 matches.

Right now, Ronaldo has scored 35 goals for Juventus in the 2020-21 season. Even though the Old Lady is struggling for UCL spot at the moment, Ronaldo has been prolific in terms of goal scoring- often rescuing the team from the arms of defeat. He still has 2 matches left in the season and it’ll be intriguing to see if he can get past 30 League goals this season as well- he currently has 28 goals in Serie A and is the highest goal scorer there.

Last year, Ronaldo also became the first player to hit more than 30 goals in 3 different leagues- Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. He is 36 right now but age is just a number for him and the 5-time Ballon d’or winner is just not ready to stop. Ronaldo’s happiness was doubled as along with him, his teammate Paulo Dybala also scored his 100th goal for Juventus yesterday.

Ronaldo’s contract with Juve will come to an end next year and thus, it’ll be exciting to watch whether he decides to stay or move to some other club. Juve brought Cristiano to help them win the UCL but that project is going nowhere with Juventus getting knocked out on 3 occasions without even playing the semi-finals. Ronaldo too will want more trophies- a thing that he is certainly not getting at Juve right now. With Florentino Perez already stating that Ronaldo won’t be returning to the Los Blancos, it’ll be exhilarating to see where will he go if he decides to leave Juve next season.

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Who will Win the Close La Liga 2020-21 Title Race?

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With Sevilla losing to Atletic Bilbao, the La Liga race is once again brought down to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and FC Barcelona

The 2020-21 football season is almost coming to an end with Inter-Milan winning the Serie-A after 11 years. In England and Germany too, the race is almost over with Manchester City and FC Bayern Munich just one win away from clinching the title.

However, Ligue 1 and La Liga are going close at the moment and fans might not know the winner till the very last match of the season. Currently, Atletico sits at the top with 76 points, Real and Barca are tied at 74 points and Sevilla is at the fourth spot with 70 points- all at the end of 34 matches each.

Inaki Williams’ late winner possibly ended Sevilla’s dreams of winning the La Liga 2020-21. Even though they are still in the race, it will be tough for them to beat the Big Three giants to win the title this time. This weekend is really important for all the top 4 teams as they will be up against each other.

FC Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid at home while their arch-rivals Real Madrid will go one on one against Sevilla this weekend. Let us look at some scenarios that will determine how the La Liga 2020-21 ends-

Situation-1: If Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid both win

In such a situation, Atletico will manage to build an 8-point gap over Sevilla, and Sevilla’s dream of winning the La Liga will be possibly over.

Simeone’s men will also establish a 5-point win over Barcelona and it will be tough for them to bounce back as well. However, their lead over Real Madrid will be just 2 points and it’ll be a cause of worry for them.

The ideal situation for Atletico will be to win and pray that Sevilla beats Real as well. Even if both Real and Atletico end up with equal points, Real will emerge as the winner because of their better head-to-head record against them in the two legs so far.

Situation-2: If FC Barcelona and Sevilla both win

Practically, it’ll be the best situation for Barcelona if they manage to win and Sevilla beats Real Madrid. Under such a system, Barcelona will go at the top of the table with 77 points- one point clear of Atletico and three points clear of Real Madrid.

Sevilla too will have a chance this way as they’ll be just four points behind the table-toppers under such a scenario. However, Real has just lost two matches in 2021- one against Levante and the other against Chelsea. Although they have managed quite a few draws, beating them would be challenging for Sevilla.

Situation-3: If Real Madrid and Barcelona both win

This will be good for Real as they’ll go top of the table. Barcelona will be tied with them at 77 points but will be behind them due to the poor show at the head-to-head battle. A loss for Sevilla will be very tough to take and they’ll continue to remain at the fourth spot with 70 points- & points behind both Barca and Real. 

It’ll be a big setback for Atletico as they’ll not be 1 point behind both Real and Barca and will go down to the third spot for the first time in the year. 

Situation-4: If Atletico Madrid and Sevilla both win

It’ll possibly be the best situation for Atletico Madrid as they’ll go 5 points clear of Real Madrid. They’ll also be 5 points clear of Barcelona and will be 6 points ahead of Sevilla.

In such a situation, even if Simeone’s men manage a few draws or even a defeat in their remaining three games, they’ll still be on the top of the table even if both Real and Barca manage to win their next fixtures.

Situation-5: If the match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid ends in a draw

If Atletico and Barcelona draw at Camp Nou, they’ll just get one point each. In such a situation, Barcelona will be at 75 points and Atletico at 77. 

If then, Real Madrid wins against Sevilla, they’ll go at the top of the table and this will prove to be the best situation for them. They’ll be tied with Atletico but will be above them, 2 points ahead of Barcelona, and 7 points clear of Sevilla.

However, if Sevilla wins, it’ll be the best possible scenario for them as they’ll now just be 4 points behind Atletico Madrid and just 1 point behind both Real and Barcelona.

Even though these situations are leading fans towards a winner, they can’t guarantee a possible winner. Apart from these, it’ll also depend on how these teams play in their remaining three matches. 

Next 3 fixtures of the 4 teams

Atletico Madrid: Real Sociedad (5th), Osasuna (11th), Valladolid (17th)

Read Madrid: Granada (8th), Athletic Club (9th), Villarreal (6th)

FC Barcelona: Levante (13th), Celta Vigo (10th), Eibar (20th)

Sevilla FC: Valencia (14th), Villarreal (6th), Alaves (16th)

                                                                                           ()-represents their position in La Liga table

It’ll be intriguing to see who succeeds and who bites the dust in La Liga 2020-21. Who will win Spain’s domestic League this season?

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