Champions League Quarter Finals - Liverpool v Porto - 9th April 2019. The View From My Seat

Champions League Quarter Finals

As we are getting to the real nitty, gritty part of the season every game is now so important. The Champions League Quarter Finals first leg matches of course are no different. And thankfully we are still involved. Very much so after our 2-0 win on Tuesday night against Porto.

Champions League Quarter Finals

The Champions League Quarter Finals, or in its previous guise of the European Cup always holds special memories for Liverpool fans. To those of us old enough, St Etienne in 1977 always spring to mind. What a night. What an occasion. It’s incredible to look back on all the happy memories we have enjoyed as Liverpool fans and yet this occasion is still so very fresh in the memory.

Of course I don’t need to remind anyone as to what happened on that night. If I did, are you sure you’re a Liverpool fan? Only kidding. You may be too young. If you did need to find out more about that incredible night, then just pop Liverpool v St Etienne in a Google search. Oh, and don’t forget to do the same in YouTube.

Liverpool v Porto – Champions League Quarter Finals

Champions League Quarter Finals - Liverpool v Porto - 9th April 2019. The View From My Seat
Champions League Quarter Finals – Liverpool v Porto – 9th April 2019. The View From My Seat

So, Champions League Quarter Finals. Our game on Tuesday was a bit of a stop-start sort of game in many ways. Our early goal was clearly a massive boost. Heavily deflected or not, it is good to see Naby Keita now contributing with goals and assists. I think everyone knew there was a great player in there somewhere. He did appear no and then but finally there seems to be an upturn in performances and consistency. If this improvement continues, what sort of player will we have next season? That is exciting enough in it’s own right.

As well as a much improved Naby Keita next season, let’s not forget we will also have Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain back into the fold. How we have missed him this season. It will be like having a £50m valued new signing.

Just taking a few moments to think ahead a bit more. Add Rhian Brewster and the returning Harry Wilson into the mix and already we are seeing an already awesome squad being improved on without spending any money.

More youngsters are also knocking on the door as well. Rafael Camacho (if he stays), Adam Lewis, Curtis Jones, Ben Woodburn, Bobby Duncan, Ki-Jana Hoever, Glen McAuley and Paul Glatzel to name just a few. It may be that not all will make it, but as we have already seen Jurgen Klopp will give them a chance if they are good enough.

Anyway, I digress. Back on topic and the Champions League Quarter Finals.

There’s Something That The Kop Want You To Know

A second goal by Bobby Firmino not all saw us in a great position in the match and the tie itself, it also gave The Kop the opportunity to give their vocal chords a good workout with the popular “Bobby Firmino” song. You can see and hear it HERE.

A quick mention of the fans on Tuesday. We did our bit. The support was impressive throughout. As I have always said, we can and we do make a difference. I know it’s an old, well worn cliche, but European nights at Anfield are so very special.

So, Bobby Firmino made it 2-0 and that’s how it stayed on the night. Job done? Definitely not. Porto showed enough to suggest that they are far from out of the tie. They seemed to play in bursts. The first 4 or 5 minutes saw them have one of those bursts. But then Naby’s goal set them back. And of course, Bobby’s goal even more so. But when they did come forward they did look a threat.

Virgil Van Dyke

Mind you, whenever they did show any threat, you only had to see Virgil Van Dyke gliding across the pitch to snuff out any danger. I’ve seen some great centre backs ply their trade at Anfield, but this fella is up there with the best of them. Absolutely incredible and an absolutely brilliant signing.

The rest of the back four were also great support to Van Dijk it has to be said.

Champions League Quarter Finals – The Other Ties

In the other ties in the other Champions League Quarter Finals saw some games that are all still finely balanced for the second legs. Also on Tuesday in the all-Premier League battle, Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 1-0. I think any lead against Manchester City is highly commendable.

Advantage Spurs? Hard one to call. We know that City can easily blow teams away. However, we also know that Spurs are a quality side. How much will the absence of Harry Kane effect the second leg? Quality player but to be fair Spurs results without him are not too shabby.

Wednesday Night’s Champions League Quarter Finals

Wednesday night (10th April) saw the last round of the Champions League Quarter Finals first leg ties. Manchester United v Barcelona and Ajax v Juventus.

A 1-0 win for a not massively impressive Barcelona (playing in 2nd gear?) at Old Trafford makes them maybe slight favourites. I say ‘slight’ because we all remember how Manchester United defied all the odds in Paris in the last round. Not only that, there seems to be a lot more emphasis on performing better in away legs nowadays. Using ourselves as an example. Last year we beat Porto 5-0 away at this same stage. And of course, beating Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz in the last round.

Looking beyond ourselves – Ajax winning 4-1 at Real Madrid. And so on. The point is, losing or drawing your first leg at home is not necessarily the disaster it once was it seems.

Mind you, as Manchester United did not muster one shot on target may suggest that their task in Barcelona may well be that bit more difficult than it was in Paris. Add to that as well of course the fact that Barcelona are an upgrade on PSG. Interesting still nonetheless.

Are We Seeing A Re-Emergence?

Talking of Ajax, are we seeing a re-emergence of the fantastic, free-flowing football and successful Ajax of the 70’s? I touched on it above. A 4-1 win away at Real Madrid is not to be sneezed at. What a performance. What a result.

In previous years a 1-1 draw at home to Juventus may well have signalled an exit in the second leg. For the reasons mentioned above (including the re-emergence of Ajax as a major force again), not so in this case.

Of course, Juventus are no mugs either. Cristiano Ronaldo would give any side an extra edge and he may well be the difference again in the second leg.

In short, to coin a couple of cliche’s, it is still “game on” and “still everything to play for” in all four ties. Another four tough ties to follow in the second legs. Let’s hope we can finish the job and march into a second successive Champions League Semi-Final.

Watch this space.

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