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Champions League Semi-Final First Leg Thoughts #1452

Could Jason Cundy’s Classless Villareal Comments unleash Andrew Robertson 2.0

I personally would detest all English Champions League for reasons I’ve explained why in the past. However, it does seem that we could be heading in that direction. We have witnessed domination from the top of English football over the last couple of years. We saw an all-English Champions League final in 2021 as Chelsea beat Manchester City, an all-English final in 2019 Liverpool beating Spurs. We also saw Liverpool make the Champions League final in 2018 but were defeated by Real Madrid. It is clear that Manchester City and Liverpool right now are arguably the best teams in the world. They are also battling each other for the premier league title; they will be a significant Intrigue for some about the potential of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola going head-to-head for Europe. Liverpool took on Villarreal, who has had a magical cup run beating Juventus and Bayern Munich on their way to a semi-final. In the game itself, Liverpool takes a two-goal Advantage into Spain. They scored in the 53rd and 55th minute as a small sequence turned the tide of the first leg of the semi-final. Liverpool had complete dictation and possession, with Villarreal making the decision to defend all night long. Anfield can be a very intimidating place to play which is why Villarreal took the approach they did. Had they been more aggressive in attacking-wise, they could have been lit up, making the second leg of this semi-final somewhat meaningless. Their entire mentality was trying to get to the second leg with enough wiggle room to turn it around. They just conceded one goal; it would have been much more feasible, but even at a two-goal deficit, Villarreal still has a decent chance of turning the tide. The majority should expect Liverpool to go through and finish them off, but Villareal is different at home, and because of the margin of defeat, they give themselves a puncher’s chance. It was quite an occasion for a Champions League final for various of reasons. Liverpool shows respect towards the Yellow Submarine of Villarreal throughout the 90 minutes. However, Jason Cundy had the audacity utter words of a blatant disrespect directed at the Villarreal. The former Chelsea and Spurs player and current TV personality described the Spanish side that Defines the odds to make a semi-final as a disgrace. Questioning the club as a whole and why they ended up in the Champions League semi-final and criticizing the way they have played. An absolute classless comment by Jason Cundy. Two initial problems with his statement despite beyond the disrespect. Villarreal is in the semi-final because they belong here and earned the right to be here. They put three goals past Juventus at Allianz stadium in Turin. A team that features Paulo dybala, Dusan Vlahovic, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and more. Then on top of that, they beat Bayern Munich over two legs the team with the best starting 11 in World football, and managed to get a late winner in Munich against Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Joshua kimmich, Jamal musiala, Leon goretzka, Leroy Sane, Serge gnabry and so many others. They took down to Giants to get here. Secondly, he took issue with Villarreal’s lack of attacking football. Had the Spanish side pressed against Liverpool, they would have been blown out with no chance of a turnaround in the second leg. Don’t Beleive me? Go back and watch Roma vs. Liverpool Semi-Final in 2018. This team won the Europa League last year and is in a Champions League semi-final this year; they have proven their worth here. On top of all that, Liverpool simply does not agree with any of the dribble that came from his mouth. Villarreal had 3,000 traveling fans sing their songs throughout the 90 minutes from start to finish and even stayed behind to continue to sing about their beloved Villarreal after they had lost. Liverpool paid tribute to them by playing the Yellow Submarine on the loudspeaker as the away supporters stood behind, showing their love for their team and city. Jason Cundy proved himself to be an absolute clown with his comments. Liverpool probably has enough to get to the Champions League final. Still, Villarreal’s defensive approach did what it was supposed to do, giving just then a slight chance of turning this thing around in Spain Villarreal will come out much differently in the second leg. Benfica is probably a little better than Villarreal, and they stormed back despite not having enough Villarreal is capable of turning this around; I still expect Liverpool to go through, but there’s still much to be done in a thrilling semi-final I wouldn’t count out the Yellow Submarine. It is very interesting what these types of comments can do. Andrew Robertson in 2020 uttered, “ They celebrated as if they won the tie” after being egged on by the reporter following Atletico Madrid winning at the Wanda. Diego Simone is a psycho and used every bit of that as motivation to his team as the words without question went up in the locker room that led to them turning that thing around to beat Liverpool 4–2 in Extra time to knock them out. Jason Cundy may have helped Villareal find that fire inside of them. Liverpool will likely go through, but if they don’t and Villareal does the impossible, it will be on Jason Cundy’s hands.

Greatest Match In Champions League History?

In the other semi-final at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Tuesday night, we saw one of the greatest Champions League matches in the history of the competition. Manchester City, without question, is the most Unstoppable team from top to bottom. Along with Pep Guardiola, one of the greatest tacticians in football history and a top-tier manager of all time. Against Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti has already won the Champions League three times, twice with AC Milan and a third time with Real Madrid. If Real Madrid wins the Champions League, he will be the only manager in football history with four Champions League titles. Led by arguably the best player in the world bar Robert Lewandowski Karim Benzema. He’s got 40-plus goals this season and has scored seven Champions League goals in his last three games. Along with other pieces such as Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric, and Courtois. With a combination of Youth and experience, several members of this team have won the Champions League multiple times, which bodes well, especially at this stage. Both Manchester City and Real Madrid are on Pace to win their leagues in Spain and England. We expected this to be a bloodbath and a highlight reel, but I don’t think anyone expected to see what we saw. Manchester City was Off to the Races blowing away Real Madrid as they built a two-goal lead. However, Real Madrid wasn’t going to go away. Karim Benzema scores to bring it back. Man City then scored again, building a 3–1 lead. Vinicius Jr beautiful run sent fernandinho into a casket in the process of minimizing the deficit again. Man City got themselves yet another one as they got a two-goal lead again. Then, in the end, Real Madrid was given a penalty Karim Benzema scored the vital penalty in what was a 4–3 scoreline. Manchester City was without question the better team; however, the individual Brilliance of Karim Benzema and Vinicius jr. Didn’t allow Real Madrid to fade from the game. I highly doubt we will see a game like this again anytime soon; we should see something special in the second leg, but I guarantee it won’t be this. Real Madrid fell behind by two goals at three different times a 2–0 lead, a 3–1 lead, and a 4–2 lead throughout the 90 minutes. Real Madrid was outplayed, but weirdly, they’re going back to the Santiago Bernabeu a goal down in what will be a challenging environment for Manchester City. My gut feeling is Manchester City will finish the job, but with Karim Benzema in front of the fans at the Bernabeu, we could see a turnaround that seems Real Madrid will go to yet another Champions League final. Absolute Carnage in an thrilling and cinematic 90 minutes.




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Eliot Ben-Ner

Eliot Ben-Ner

Serie A and Bundesliga Writer A.S Roma/Wolfsburg Blog:

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