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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Sports Thread #1 For 2/18/14: Alves Late Goal Gives Barcelona A Big Advantage; PSG Basically Thru With 4-Goal Star Play


Full Time (Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona; Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 PSG) 

Dani Alves late tally gives Barcelona a major advantage going into leg two, but City still had their chances despite down 10 men. 

This tie is still alive but City will need to be their best in attack at the Nou Camp to advance now, and that was before the right back's tally. 

Meanwhile, it is unquestionable for Bayer, as they were thrashed at home again for a second time against Zlatan and company, who did it without Edison Cavani. 

Still, despite another great display, thoughts of PSG being right next to Bayern and maybe a mix of Barcelona, Madrid, and Chelsea as the prime favorites needs to be slightly scaled back. For Manchester United did one better than them in Leverkusen with that 5-0 pasting that certainly echoed tonight for Bayer manager Sami Hyypia.  

(Will be back tomorrow for more Leg 1 action on Matchday 14 of the Champions League.) 

Halftime Review and Thoughts 

City have done well not to be rattled by Barcelona having early possession and had the best chances of the evening so far, although neither team with a full half chance out of Negredo's mistimed header from Navas' fine cross. 

Meanwhile, Zlatan's goal right there says it all about PSG's domination. More to come...


First Version

The Lineups and Bench for Manchester City/Barcelona: 





The Lineups and Bench for Bayer Leverkusen and PSG: 



Key Matchups for Leverkusen-PSG:

- Stefan Kiessling has got to wake up and be a factor in this game, and help set up possible chances as well for both Son and Sam, who need to finish themselves. The South Korean top talent missed his chances against Schalke on the weekend and has to be consistently clinical in Champions League play to reach that next level that his phenomenal talent can get him too.

- Andres Guardado is playing left back tonight, will he be able to handle Lucas and Lavezzi in attack, or will he be pulled out and caused further stress for Spahic and Topak.

- How Verratti and Van der Wiel defend against Son and Sam will be vital to witness in this contest.

Key Matchups For City-Barcelona:

- Fernandinho containing Messi when he drops into the whole to release Iniesta and Sanchez or when he makes his dangerous forays into the box.

- Masherano will have to be alert in watching out for runs from the midfield from Silva and Toure included to make sure Pique handles Negredo and the outside fullbacks of Alves and Alba can focus solely on Navas and Kolarov.

- Demichells cannot be sucked out, and he must remain disclipine in the box, especially when Kompany is a bit up the field for him.

Predictions for the night: 

PSG 2-1, Manchester City 2-1 

(Will return for halftime thoughts, stay tuned here at TWD). 
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