Welcome friends, to Markopolo’s 2nd Leg of this Champions League review of the round of 16. In this little fanpost, Marko will do the following
- Recap the 2nd game for you (in case you missed it)
- Recap his prediction of what he thought would happen, and
- Give it an accuracy rating from 1 to 8 Psychic Octopus Tentacles (1 being worst, 8 being best)
Without further adodedodedoodoo, here we go:
Game Recap: Ho hum... did you expect a miracle? Anywho… Messi played well, Joe Hart played well, but when push came to shove, Barca was in a class by itself and won the game, sorta handily. I never felt Man City threatened much to make the game interesting.
Prediction Recap: City will either gloriously recover or pull off the upset at Camp Nou, or they will flame out in a glorious wreck that would make Werder Bremen proud. No middle ground: they are the Ricky Bobby of the Champions League (if you’re not first, you’re last) City won’t be first… Barca 3, City 1 (Barca wins 5-1 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy ratings: 7 tentacles… I thought Messi would score more, but Hart did a pretty good job of keeping his team in it. Too bad he didn’t show this effort in the group stages.. they might have won their group.
Bayer Leverkusen @ Paris St. Germain … PSG won 2-1 and advanced on a score of 6-1.
Game Recap: with nothing to lose, Leverkusen came out and actually showed some respect for themselves and the DFB’s coefficient. Too bad they didn’t show even a percentage of that courage in the first leg. We all knew PSG was advancing. But thanks to Leverkusen for at least making it an interesting return leg.
Prediction Recap: Maybe Leverkusen can score a goal to two to manage a draw or win… but let’s not expect too much, shall we? To paraphrase Leonard Cohen: Zlatan’s here, he has been told, to say it clear, to say it cold: it’s over; it ain’t goin’ any further. PSG 3 – Leverkusen 2 (PSG wins 7-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy rating: 6 tentacles… did a solid prediction of this one. It’s important to remember that it’s not how you start a 2 leg series, but how you end. And Leverkusen escaped with some dignity in this one
AC Milan @ Atletico Madrid… Atlético won 4-1 and advanced on a score of 5-1
Game Recap: Apparently, AC gave as big of a crap about this game, as I did… which is surprising, considering I didn’t give a crap and they should have because there are people who like this team and would have liked them to win... huh., go figure, eh? AC put in a performance that rivalled Schalke and Leverkusen’s 1st leg performance, henceforth to be always known as a Gelsenkirchening or Gelsenkirchened it up. Jokes aside: a very disappointing form from the team with the 2nd most CL titles… and for the near future, dropping down to number 3 once Bayern overtake them. AC is a hot steaming mess and it's not going to get better doing this sort of thing. Atletico… still not sold on them… this round, they beat a team on decline… they won’t and capitalize on a better form team like they did on AC.
Prediction Recap: Um….. yea… I got nothing… Let’s say AC score and they have a penalty shootout and one of them wins to at least make it somewhat worth watching. AC something Atlético something (Someone wins on agg) Okay… fine: AC- 1, Atlético 2 (Atlético wins 3-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy ratings: 2 tentacles… I got this game wrong; god forbid I thought AC Milan had a shred of dignity and pride in them. I know… eff me, right? Is it still too late to get Juventus in here so the Italians can actually have a iota of pride? Is it? Oh well..... it's a bad time to be a Serie A supporter.
Arsenal @ Bayern Munchen… drew 1-1, Bayern advances on a score of 3-1.
Game Recap: Everyone thought Arsenal would come out like a house on fire and get the first goal. They came out like a house rotting away from termites and only showed some life when Podolski decided to blatantly foul Lahm and the ref felt sorry for them and let them play on. At least Gunner fans can still brag that they’ve never lost to Bayern in Bayern over the past two years… and if you have one of these in your life, remind them that they’ve never advanced against Bayern in the past two years. Generally, that shuts them up… but it shuts them up with dignity!
Prediction Recap: "Arsenal beat Bayern at home last year!" is the gospel being preached. Problem with that line: this isn't the Bayern of last year. This year’s Bayern is better in all respects and coached by a mad prepping, football genius. Good luck Arsenal; you still have the Premier League to compete in with the added bonus of being able to give Ozil a mid-week rest! Bayern 3 – Arsenal 0. (Bayern win 5-0 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy rating: 5 tentacles… sorta right on this one. I think Bayern should have scored a few more goals, but whatever: they're good hosts by letting the visitors leave with a draw. And god forbid a ref calls a foul on someone when they push someone down… I know: way too much to ask, eh?
Zenit St. Petersburg @ Borrusia Dortmund… Zenit won 2-1, but Dortmund advance on a score of 5-4
Game Recap: When you win the 1st leg big time, you are allowed to sorta sit back and put your feet up in the 2nd leg. BVB did this in spades. I personally thought Dortmund would have tried a bit harder but hey… whatcha gonna do. Our Polish Prinz will miss BVB’s 1st game whomever they are drawn against, so good luck to them in the 1st leg of the next round.
Net Leg Prediction: More and better of the same from Dortmund, less and poorer of the same for Zenit… Dortmund 5 – Zenit – 0 (Dortmund win 9-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy rating: 2 tentacles… Just like BVB’s effort… not my best work.
Olympiacos @ Manchester United… Manchester won 3-0 and advanced on a score of 3-2
Game recap: Hey… psst…. AC Milan. Did you watch this game? This was supposed to be what you were to do: a traditional European powerhouse, rich and steeped in tradition, who pulls their $hit together and overcomes adversity to do what needed to be done to win and advance. United’s big stars came to play and they won. Granted they beat the weakest team in the CL, and will not have this luxury in the final 8… but for now, they can celebrate a bit.
Net Leg Prediction: Like Arsenal did, I expect United to come out like an inferno… except this go around, I expect United to burn Olympiacos. United will be at home, Moyes will actually have a game plan, and between RVP and Rooney, I expect this to be a tied series within the first 15 minutes of the game. I can see Greek lightning striking once, but not twice… United 4 – Olympiacos 0 (United win 4-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy rating: 9 tentacles… screw that I got the score wrong… I nailed this one out of the park and it still hasn't hit the ground yet. How far, you ask? I nailed this prediction so far out of the park, it passed Sergio Ramos’s penalty kick a few minutes ago, and barring any satellite or planetary collisions, NASA predicts it will pass Roberto Baggio’s PK in a few years. Bravo me and thanks for the warm wishes NASA!
Galatasaray @ Chelsea FC… Chelsea won 2-0 and advanced on a score of 3-1
Game Recap: If you remember my 1st recap, I mentioned how I hated both these teams and didn’t care who won, so long as they lost in the elite 8, further asserting that Galatasaray had no business being in the 16, after UEFA screwed over Juventus. Anyways, Galatasaray barely mailed it in, and lost 2-0, and Chelsea pretty much dominated from start to finish
Next Leg Prediction: Much like Atlético against AC, I could give a crap who wins this one, so long as the winner loses in the next round… the return leg is in Chelsea… go with the home team… Chelsea 3-1, (Chelsea wins 4-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy rating: 7 tentacles… one point deduction for the score. Otherwise, a solid effort done by me… #humblebrag_yo
Schalke @ Real Madrid… Real won 3-1 and advanced on a score of 9-2.
Game Recap: While Schalke did not completely embarrass themselves as they did in the first leg, no one alive gave them an iota of a chance at advancing. Schalke played for respect and pride, whereas Madrid never had to get out of 2nd gear. Both teams got what they wanted, and we can all be happy with that.
Net Leg Prediction: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss... if you think Schalke has a hope in hell in Madrid, don’t get fooled again. Real’s got a feeeevah… and the only prescription is more Gelsenkirchen thrashing….Real win 7-1 (Real wins 13-2 on agg)
Prediction Accuracy Rating: 5 tentacles. Listen; I’ll be the first to admit that a 7-1 prediction was a bit ballsy. Just like our dear friends, Leverkusen… it’s important to remember that no one cares how you start, but how you finish over two legs. Based on that, Schalke escapes with some dignity intact, despite having none after the first leg.
My Predicted Final 8 Pairing
Chelsea – Real Madrid
BVB – United
Bayern – Atlético
PSG – Barca
The Actual Final 8 Pairing
Barcelona - Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund
Paris Saint-Germain - Chelsea
Manchester United FC Bayern Munich
Elite 8 Pairing Prediction Accuracy Rating - eeek…. I Gelsenkirchened this one up
Know what? Despite going on an oh-fer… I’m not mad. Why? Simple: because this was a bonus prediction.
And to be more honest, this draw couldn't have gone any better for our dear Stern des Sudens. We get to score 3 goals in Manchester and shut them down at home… this is basically the Arsenal series all over again, except no threat of Ozil. And know what's even better: Moyes now gets to save his job by playing the "You can't fire me... we lost to Bayern... everyone loses to Bayern... What did you expect?" card and save his bacon for another year. It's a win-win draw for both teams: Bayern gets a golden ticket to the final 4 and Moyes gets an excuse to stay on as manager. Simply put, this is the easiest and best possible draw for Bayern. This delights me and scares me… it’s no secret that one of the reasons I think we lost those 2 CL finals against Inter and Chelsea was that we were not tested enough in the group stages of 16 and 8. Oh well, c'est la vie.
As for the other teams, the BVB – Real match will be a true test of BVB’s character and fortitude: BVB’s injury situation has been Bayernesque in its volume and their opponents are Bayernesque in terms of quality and juggernaut-status. But all is not lost BVBLiebers… you've done this before! Just let Lewandoski run rampant and score 4… oh wait… hold on… oh dear: he’s suspended for the first leg. Well, that sucks to be die B-V-B, doesn't it. Regardless of what you come up with, lieber Kloppchen, make it good or get ready to get Gelsenkirchened. And please don’t get Gelsenkirchened… the DFB doesn’t need that sorta image.
**********************Barca and Atletico will be interesting… it seems like one of those younger vs older brother match. I expect Barca to take care of them, so long as Atletico doesn't get in their heads the first game. I think Atletico is going to suffer from the fact they beat the hell out of a corpse in the 16 and are not ready for a team with the calibre of Barcelona… yes, they play each other in La Liga… this isn’t La Liga.
**********************PSG – Chelsea… I won’t lie to you: no clue what to expect here. This series could go either way…. The crystal ball is very cloudy on this one.