​​​​​The UEFA Champions League in soccer is heating up, with the quarterfinals finishing on April 11 and the semifinals about to begin on April 24. The quarterfinals contained some of the biggest surprises so far in this year’s Champions League. The four matchups were Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Bayern Munich vs. Sevilla, Barcelona vs. Roma and Real Madrid vs. Juventus.
The Liverpool and Manchester City matches were especially exciting because these two teams are already extremely familiar with each other through the English Premier League. The way that Champions League is organized is that each team plays two games each round against the same team, a home-and-home series. All goals from these two games combine together as part of an aggregate. Through these two games, Liverpool’s offense was just too much for Manchester to handle. Forward striker Mohamed Salah scored two goals in the two games for Liverpool as they easily won 5-1 on aggregate. Liverpool will be a dangerous team come semifinal time and will definitely have people looking for them to pull off an upset.
Bayern Munich vs. Sevilla looked to be a complete mismatch coming in, but it was a lot closer than viewers thought it would be. People thought that powerhouse Bayern would win on aggregate by at least four goals, but this did not work out. In the first game, Bayern won 2-1, which came as a shock to so many people because Sevilla is around the upper middle pack in their Spanish league. In the second game Bayern put 18 shots on goal but failed to score, but neither did Sevilla. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Bayern just barely escaped; but, since they are such a successful team, moving on is all that matters and they look to regroup for the semis.
​Barcelona and Roma matched up to have a thrilling and unexpected outcome. With Suarez, Messi and a strong lead in La Liga over Real Madrid, Barcelona looked like the favorites to win this years Champions League. This seemed to be even more true after Barcelona won the first match 4-1. Then everything changed going into the second game. Everyone thought that Barcelona would win by at least two goals, especially because of the lack of depth that Roma has. The total opposite happened; Roma, with the home crowd cheering them on, ended up winning the game 3-0 and, since they scored more away goals, they ended up winning the goal tie-breaker. The game was a thriller the whole time, especially since Roma had so much pressure to tie it up against the mighty Barcelona on aggregate. This may have been one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history, to watch Roma closely moving forward and winning.
The last matchup between Real Madrid and Juventus was a rematch of last years’ Champions League Final. We knew this would be a classic event before it kicked off. The first game provided a goal of the year candidate bicycle kick by Cristiano Ronaldo, which throttled Madrid to cruise to a 3-0 shutout of Juventus. In the second game, it was thought to go the same way, especially since it was being played in Madrid. Yet, Juventus went off to score three straight goals and tie the aggregate at three 60 minutes through the game. In the last minutes, Madrid drew a penalty kick and Juventus’ star goalie Gianluigi Buffon argued with the referees to drew a red card and got kicked out of the game. Ronaldo then scored on a game-winning penalty kick and all of Madrid went crazy into the night.
We had a great slate of quarterfinal games and I can’t wait to see what the semifinals bring us.

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