UEFA Champions League 1/4 finals first leg matches are already in the past. Now teams will be getting ready for the second leg. Some will try to overturn the score and others will try to have a more confident victory.
Liverpool played against Porto at Anfield. Goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino helped the Reds to secure a win.
Evening Standard correspondent David Lynch thinks that Liverpool would have wanted to have a more comfortable win.
“Liverpool might have hoped they’d take a more comfortable aggregate advantage to Portugal after racing into an early 2-0 lead at Anfield, but I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with the eventual result. One away goal in Porto and this tie will effectively be over, which is a fantastic position to be in – particularly when you look at what Manchester City still have to do,” told Lynch exclusively to Vbetnews.com.
“A lot depends on who they meet there. If it’s Manchester United, then you’d have to say that judging by the pair’s league positions this season, Liverpool would fancy themselves to take a place in the semi-finals. And even if it’s Barcelona, you won’t find many Reds fans going into the tie fearing the worst. The team Klopp has constructed is capable of going toe-to-toe with any top European side and if they can stop Lionel Messi deciding the games on his own (easier said than done, I know) then they’ll be confident they have enough firepower themselves to go through,” said Lynch when asked if Liverpool will be able to reach finals if they qualify for the semis.
“The squad seems to have learned a lot from last year’s run to the final, and particularly the semi-final against AS Roma that they just about managed to squeak through. As you could see against Porto, they’re much more happy to sit on a lead rather than open up pushing for more goals. That sort of game management, which has also been evident in the league, will become more and more important should they progress through the rounds,” later added Lynch.
In the Premier League, Liverpool are currently leading the league by being two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who have played a game less. Lynch thinks that the title race will be decided by how Manchester City performs in the upcoming games.
“It’s almost impossible to say which way this one is going to go but the period Manchester City have just begun is probably going to decide it. Pep Guardiola’s team have three games against Tottenham – one of which has already ended in defeat – and trips to Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Burnley before the end of the month. If they come through that unscathed then they’re almost certain to lift the trophy, and they will completely deserve it,” said Lynch
“I expect Tottenham to recover sufficiently to hold off any challenge for third place; put simply, they’re the third best team in this league. Of course, that final spot is the most difficult to decide! Arsenal have a poor away record and still have to go to Watford, Wolves, Leicester and Burnley, so I think that counts massively against their chances. Chelsea, meanwhile, have struggled with inconsistency and have difficult-looking trips to Liverpool and Manchester United coming up. That game at Old Trafford could be particularly crucial to deciding the top four and so, with them being at home and more likely than either of their rivals to go out of Europe at this next stage, perhaps Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team are the favourites to snatch fourth,” Lynch said when asked about the top four.
As the summer transfer window is getting closer to be opened, there are rumours going around some players especially Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and as well as Eden Hazard.
“I don’t think Unai Emery would have signed either player considering the type of football he plays and so it would make sense if both departed this summer. Shifting Ozil on that wage is going to be difficult, though – who is going to be queuing up to take him? Mkhitaryan might be slightly easier to move on but that Arsenal are in this position says everything about the poor decision making above the manager that has blighted the club in recent years. Emery is up against it for that reason, though if he goes on to get the Gunners back in the Champions League it will make life a lot easier in the transfer market,” said Lynch about Ozil and Mkhitaryan’s situation.
Lynch’s opinion on Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea was: “Eden Hazard has given seven years of great service to Chelsea and won a lot of trophies, so it’s hard to imagine they’ll deny him his dream move this summer when they can still demand a fee. With Christian Pulisic on his way in and Callum Hudson-Odoi flourishing, Chelsea are about as well prepared as they can be to lose their talisman, even with a transfer ban in place. It might be a painful process, but it could be good for everyone in the long term to let Hazard go.”