Leg one of the Champions League Quarter-Finals wrapped up

Porto’s Moussa Marega reacts after failing to score during the Champions League quarterfinal, first leg, soccer match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Tuesday April 9, 2019.

By Marcel Carrasco

Four games down, and four more to go as the first leg of the 2019 UEFA Champions League quarter finals wrapped up Wednesday.

Tuesday’s matches kicked-off with two games held in England where Tottenham Hotspurs F.C. hosted Manchester City F.C. and Anfield saw Liverpool receive FC Porto.

Tottenham took care of Manchester City 1-0, and Liverpool shutout Porto to win 2-0.

On Wednesday, F.C. Barcelona traveled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United while AFC Ajax hosted Juventus F.C.

Barcelona took the 0-1 victory over the Red Devils, while Ajax and Juventus tied 1-1.

Tottenham v. Manchester City

A saved penalty kick from Spurs’ Hugo Lloris against forward Sergio Aguero at the 13 minute mark saw the match stay even until Son Heung-min put Tottenham up at the 78 minute mark.

Son snuck behind City’s back four who were sucked into the middle by Spurs’ Christian Eriksen. Eriksen, the playmaker he is, provided a cheeky chip just over left back Fabian Delph and into Son’s path.

Delph struggled all night for Manchester City, which is not a surprise, the England international has failed to duplicate last year’s form. Delph was not only out of position, but a horrific man-to-man jump saw Son beat the Englishman and slot his shot under goalkeeper Ederson.

Forward Harry Kane was forced off the pitch and into the locker room around 12 minutes into the second half after a clash with Delph. Kane pressured Delph’s clearance and a slight slip from Kane left his ankle under Delph’s studs. Winger Lucas Moura replaced Kane for City.

The very physical match had three yellow cards shown. Spurs’ left back Danny Rose was booked at the 12 minute for a handball leading up to Aguero’s penalty miss. City’s center back Aymeric Laporte and winger Riyad Mahrez were painted at the 28 and 59 minute marks with fouls.

Tottenham finished the match with eight total shots to City’s six. Although Pep Guardiola’s side controlled the match with 59 percent possession, his 4-2-3-1 side only managed two shots on target.

This is the second year in a row Manchester City has failed to score in the first-leg of a Champions League quarter final. Last year saw City play Liverpool including a first leg 0-3 loss to the Reds. Liverpool closed out the series with a 2-1 win in the second leg, advancing to the semi-finals before losing the championship to Real Madrid C.F.

Liverpool v. Porto

A first-half surge saw the Reds score two goals against Porto. Center forward Roberto Firmino had himself a decent night with a goal and an assist.

Liverpool’s Naby Keita opened up the scoring just five minutes into the match when his shot took a deflection on Porto’s Oliver Torres and past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Leading up to the goal, winger Sadio Mane split two defenders with a pass to Firmino. Firmino, with his back to the goal, laid off Keita at the top of the 18-yard-box before he tried his luck and finished.

Firmino’s goal came from a textbook play. Jordan Henderson sent a through ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold who got behind the back four, and teed off to Firmino who kept his composure, and slotted his shot into the back of the net. 

Before Firmino’s goal, Mohamed Salah had a clear chance to put up the second for the Reds when a bad pass back from Torres split Porto’s center backs and into the Egyptian’s path. Salah was unable to capitalize as his left footed shot was too weak to create any danger, steering just right of the far post.

Red’s goalkeeper Allison kept his goal clean. The Brazilian finished the match with three saves including a strong left foot stop against Porto’s Moussa Marega. Marega had himself an unlucky night with four total shots, but none able to break through Allison.

Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool got away with a handball after a controversial call when the referee decided not to reward Porto a penalty kick. The official went to video assistant referee. to review the play, but stayed with the original call.

Manchester United v. Barcelona

Not too much to gloat about for Barcelona. Manchester’s Luke Shaw was credited with an own goal ultimately handing Barca the 0-1 victory.

United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lined up the Red Devils in a 5-3-2 formation in search of stopping Lionel Messi and Co. Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku manned the forward positions in search of counter attacks; however Solskjaer main goal was to defend.

Barcelona’s goal came at the 12 minute mark from a play build-up that included all 11 Barca players and finished with a two pass masterpiece from midfielder Sergio Busquets and Messi. With a cheeky lob pass, Busquets picked out Messi who made his way past Shaw and Victor Lindelof. Messi worked to control the ball before his cross over the Red Devil’s defense was met by forward Luis Suarez header which was slightly directed by Shaw into his own net.

United goalkeeper David DeGea had himself a good night. The Spaniard tallied three saves including a left foot stop against a driven shot by midfielder Philippe Coutinho. DeGea had another crucial block in the second half when left back Jordi Alba smashed a shot onto the goalkeepers foot.

The Red Devil’s ended the match with 10 total shots but none on target, while the Bluagrana finished with five total shots. Barcelona controlled the match with a 62 possession percentage and connecting 92 percent of their passes.

There were a total of five yellow cards, three for Manchester and two for Barca. Shaw, Chris Smallings, and Jesse Lingard all got booked for Man U, and Busquets and Arturo Vidal were shown yellows for Barca.

Ajax v. Juventus

Two words, one name: Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese man put Juventus up 1-0 just before the half, but Ajax’s young side showed resilience with a goal by David Neres only seconds after the second half whistle.

Ajax were first to announce their prescenes with three tries from Hakim Ziyach, two of which forced Juve’s Wojciech Szczesny to make strong saves.

Ronaldo’s goal came from a play build up just before the half field. Rodrigo Betancur paced himself towards the middle of the field, laying off to Ronaldo who turned left at connected with right back Joao Cancelo. Cancelo then took a few steps to goal before his cross met Cristiano who headered in his fifth of this Champions League season.

Ajax’s goal from a mistake that began from Canelo. The Portuguese man attempted to settle a clearance from Ajax’s backline, but failed. The ball was then picked up by David Neres, who with Cancelo strapped on his back, muscled his way into the 18-yard-box and curled a right foot shot to the far past and in.

Ajax finished the match with 18 total shots putting nine on target, while Juve put five shots on target and seven in total. There were a total of 25 fouls committed in the match, Ajax with 15 and Juventus with 10. The match ended with four yellow card for Ajax, and 1 for La Vecchia Signora.

Barcelona will host Manchester at the Camp Nou while Juventus will have home field advantage against Ajax.

Both matches are set to kick off at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday April 16, 2019.

The second leg of the City versus Spurs, and Porto versus Liverpool matchups will be held Wednesday April 17, 2019.

Both matches are set for a 2:00 p.m central time kick off with Manchester City hosting Tottenham at the Etihad, and Liverpool will travel to Estadio Dragao in Porto.