Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Barca tired? Not on this evidence

Photo
-

Men tuning in for lots of action in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg ties would have rued the decision to stay in front of the TV on Valentines’ Night when Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen and Olympique Lyon against APOEL Nicosia reached the 40-minute mark.

Both were 0-0. APOEL had not registered a shot on goal. Barcelona had dominated their German opposition with 78 per cent of possession, yet no opening score.

There have been reports of a tired Barcelona recently, justifiably. The La Liga and Champions League holders have slipped to 10 points behind arch rivals Real Madrid, who are about the strongest outfit left in Europe’s premier competition on current form.

Perhaps this woke Barcelona up as Alexis Sanchez netted a 41st-minute opener.  Coach Pep Guardiola said afterwards: “I think for the spectators the second half was more fun to watch than the first.”

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League live blog — Bayern Munich v Olympiqye Lyon

Bayern Munich take on Olympique Lyon in the first leg of the second Champions League semi-final and we'll be following the match between these two stylish teams live from 1845 GMT, 2045 in central Europe.

Will the game be able to match Inter Milan's crackling 3-1 victory over Barcelona? We'll be here from around an hour before kick-off with on-the-spot detail from our reporter in the stadium, Karolos Grohmann and plenty of other contributors. Please join us for the fun.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League Live: Man Utd v Bayern, Bordeaux v Lyon

We're following the Champions League quarter-final, second legs live this evening. Join us here for updates and on-the-spot comment from Manchester United v Bayern Munich and Bordeaux v Lyon. Can Bayern hold on to their slim lead at Old Trafford? Will Wayne Rooney be fit? Is there any way back for Bordeaux? And can anyone match the feats of Lionel Messi in Barcelona's victory over Arsenal last night?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League quarter-finals — live

We're live blogging the night's two Champions League quarter-final first legs, with expert commentary and analysis, including on-the-spot details from our reporters in the stadiums (or stadia, if you prefer).

Join us here from around 1645 GMT for all the build-up and action from the biggest club competition in town.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champion League draw: Arsenal v Barcelona – your views

So there'll be one French side in the semi-finals and Inter Milan will be extremely pleased to have drawn CSKA Moscow in the quarters.

If Manchester United and Arsenal are going to meet it will be in the Champions League final in Madrid in May.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Real Madrid need stability — not another new coach

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/REALReal Madrid president Florentino Perez will have two conflicting voices whispering in his ear as he contemplates Wednesday's devastating Champions League exit against Olympique Lyon.

His better angel will be telling him to stay calm, remember that the Primera Liga title is still very much in play, that the team has actually looked pretty good lately and that a bit of stability is long overdue.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

No Great Escape for Liverpool

Liverpool hopes of one more great Champions League escape were dashed on Tuesday night, as Fiorentina sealed their place alongside Olympique Lyon with a 1-0 win over the French side, leaving the English team's 1-0 success against Debrecen irrelevant.

Liverpool, of course, only have themselves to blame for leaving their fate in the hands of a team that had already secured their own qualification.

  •