Three facts learnt from UEFA Champions League first semifinals

Real Madrid
Real Madrid [Photo: The Morung Express]

The UEFA Champions League continues to deliver world-class football as we saw 10 goals in the two Champions League semifinal matches.

Liverpool almost destroyed Italian side, Roma, with Mohamed Salah buttressing his claims to this year’s Ballon D’ Or title while Bayern Munich again seem to have failed their European examination.

Physicality has now been added to technique

Teams from Spain, especially Barcelona instituted and popularized the nimble passing and moving game splashed with doses of trickery and wizardry – this season’s UCL has shown an additional quality has been added once more to the top game – physicality!

In the quarter-final, Roma physically overwhelmed Barcelona in the second leg of their encounter – it was almost embarrassing. The Italians were given a dose of their own medicine at Anfield on Tuesday, as they weren’t able to get to grips with Liverpool’s direct running and physicality, especially in the second half.

Zidane has a Real understanding of Europe

Maybe, it is the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo who has smothered out the chinks with his extraordinary goal exploits, but Zinedine Zidane seems to have a magical understanding of playing in Europe. Without his team playing very well, they have been able to get good results away from home. They did it against Juventus and showed on Wednesday that they might have a patent.

Playing in a tough league helps

PSG and Bayern Munich are suffering in Europe because of their watered-down league oppositions. Both have now suffered home defeats from Real Madrid, who are 15 points off La Liga league leaders. In France, PSG’s gap to the second-placed team, Monaco, is 20 points while in Germany, Bayern have a 22-point lead over Schalke. The English Premier League teams are enjoying a renaissance of sorts because of the toughness of the league and the assuredness that every single team in the league is a worthy opposition.

The UCL will continue to provide great spectacles because the best players, the best teams are the ones involved, especially in the latter stages.

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