Liverpool and Tottenham won their respective Champions League knock out ties and look like being the favourites to get to the semi final stage.
Liverpool who were last year’s beaten finalists when they lost to Real Madrid 3-1 swept aside Porto at Anfield. The Reds were the favourites to win the game and they eased to victory over Porto with goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino, indeed Keita scored within 5 minutes of the start of the game. Porto did squander a few chances but the brutal truth was laid out for all to see that Porto don’t really belong in a Champions League quarter final, even if they are deserving to be there after getting through the group stages and beating Roma in the last 16. The deep end of the Champions League has that ability to show up teams who are not prepared, and tonight that was Porto.
The 2nd leg in Portugal will be interesting and the tie isn’t a dead one for Porto, but if Liverpool were to open the scoring then Porto would need 4 goals, a neutral can only hope that it is Porto who score first in the 2nd leg otherwise that game will be put to bed rather early.
With all due respect to both Liverpool and Porto the game that everyone had their eyes on was the all-English tie between Tottenham and Manchester City. With no love lost between the two teams this was sure to be a spectacular night and it was Tottenham’s first European game at their brand new stadium- and it ended in a 1-0 victory.
Son grabbed the goal with his wonderful solo effort but City will be rueing Sergio Aguero’s penalty miss early on in the game which could have changed how it all played out. In the end Tottenham deserved their win and City actually looked rather toothless up front. Why did Pep Guardiola opt to bench Leroy Sane a player who has scored 19 goals this season? Or not start Kevin De Bruyne- he will have his reasons but City looked limp on the attack, which is what their game is all about.
Harry Kane went off injured and Tottenham will be hoping that it isn’t serious, though the England international looked in pain. The only good news for City is that the match is far from dead at 1-0, and City will still be the favourites to win the 2nd leg. However like Liverpool if Tottenham can score first the whole situation of the tie will change. It’s difficult to think though that City will be contained at home.
Liverpool should make it to the semi finals, but you’d have to be brave to pick out who will go through between Tottenham and City, although clearly it is the Londoners who have never made it to a semi final of the Champions League before who have the advantage.