Value Tracker: Champions League Quarter Finals
The Champions League quarter finals produced more drama of the VAR variety. The introduction of Video Assistant Referees to the Champions League for the first time was bound to create questions as it has done at various leagues like the Serie A it hasn’t failed in doing so. A separate long read is required to point out the faults and the good of VAR but alas the results were surprising in themselves.
Liverpool might have been expected to over come Porto and Manchester United’s somewhat declining form might have given enough cause to make Barcelona favorites for the tie but the other two matchups provided bigger drama.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have spent massive amounts in all areas of the pitch and over spent on defense in order to achieve balance and stability but when scoring four goals at home is not enough to advance questions must again be asked. Tottenham were widely mocked for spending exactly zero euros last summer but now have reached the Champions League semis against a team that regularly spends over 60 million on individual players. All without their main star, Harry Kane.
In the other semis Ajax surprised Ronaldo and Juventus by producing another surprise after eliminating Real Madrid in the previous round. A young, fluid and composed team beat Juventus away after having tied at home. Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt enhanced his reputation further and so did Hakim Ziyech.
Ajax meet Tottenham in the semis with the latter featuring numerous former Ajax players like Christian Eriksen, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. In the other semi Liverpool must overcome Messi and Barcelona to reach another final. Messi will have a chance to outshine Ronaldo, his generational rival.
↑ Ajax for beating another giant
↑ Tottenham for overcoming a big spender