Oscar thrills in the Champions League… again

Oscar's 40-yard strike helped the Blues to their 3-2 win.
Source: theaustralian.com.au

Last night in the Champions League, it was time for two of the British teams in the competition to show Europe how both talent and desire can help you win. Chelsea’s late 3-2 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk Chelsea was arguably overshadowed by Celtic’s remarkable … Continue reading

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba points to the heavens after scoring Chelsea's equaliser.
Source: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

If Chelsea’s Champions League final win last night could be told through one man it would be Didier Drogba. Eight years as a Chelsea player and eight years as their talisman was encapsulated in one breathtaking performance. Of course, if possession statistics could win … Continue reading

A Premier League Hangover

Mario Balotelli, Roberto Mancini and Vincent Kompany celebrate Man City's first title win for 44 years.
Source: thesun.co.uk

The weeks after the Premier League season finishes are a tough test for football fans. They know that a nine -month long discussion of great goals, footballing tactics and controversial chickens must come to an end, leaving football fans with a terrible hangover.  So, it is a natural reaction … Continue reading

The Champions League gives us a Knockout Stage to remember.

It’s been a great month at the top of European football. In my opinion, the Knockout Stage of the UEFA Champions League provided the drama and competition that this stage has needed in the past. Perhaps, the lack of English dominance in the draw has left the European competition much healthier and open to an exciting unpredictability. There were still one-sided encounters, with Bayern Munich easing past TSG Hoffenheim and Barcelona continuing their imperious form, both scoring 7 goals in the second leg. However, an exception can be made for the latter, a team who are quite simply the best footballing side of our generation. Even Messi managed to shock, by scoring 5 goals in a Champions League match, with another record to add to the list. This performance demonstrated how Barcelona are not only the team to beat, but as always they are the team to watch, and enjoy.

On top of this, we were treated to several great comebacks and a true fairy tale. Arguably, Chelsea provided us with the greatest turnaround result with their 4-1 (agg 5-4) second leg win over Napoli. Their display was spirited considering the troublesome fortnight that they have endured. The match contained some perfect irony, with the three main men of the night being the senior players that dominated the discussion on the back-pages towards the end of AVB’s tenure: Drogba, Terry and Lampard. Unfortunately, Arsenal did not have the same fortune a week earlier, in a match that seemed firmly set for the Champions League Hall of Fame. Yet, with such a poor first leg performance Arsenal will have learnt their lesson.

Finally, Apoel Nicosia have firmly written their name in the Champions League history books, as the first Cypriot team to reach the quarter-final. A proud moment for Cyprus and not an undeserved one. Of course, Apoel were extremely lucky to escape the first leg with only a 1-0 deficit but Lyon were the team who did not take their chances. With a home crowd, Apoel gave their fans a greatly improved performance that should be merited.

Now that the draw for the next round has been made, let’s hope for more of the same!

The UEFA Champions League Knockout Stage in pictures: