The 18/19 UEFA Champions league second round has been blessed with some dramatic out-of-the-blues comebacks that will surely make this season’s edition a memorable one for years to come.
Of the six second-leg round of 16 matches that have been played, four of them were amazing comebacks that were largely unpredictable and unexpected which made them interesting from start till the final whistle was blown.
Manchester United took an under par side – which was missing 10 first team players to injury and suspension – to Paris to overturn a 2 nil first leg defeat at home. The English side returned home with a 3 – 2 aggregate victory to become the first team to ever achieve such a feat in Europe.
On the same night, Porto welcomed Roma to Portugal having fallen behind to a 2 -1 aggregate scoreline in the first leg, the Portuguese team won the match 3 -1 to progress to the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos got the shocker of the century when they recorded a 4 – 1 loss to Ajax in the second leg after the defending Champions had won the away first leg 2 -1 with captain Sergio Ramos even claiming to have gotten sent off on purpose in the first-leg as he was of the assumption that the second leg would be nothing more than a formality.
Juventus’ comeback last night is another fixture to remember as Cristiano Ronaldo spearheaded a 3 nil victory over Atletico Madrid in Turin to lift the Serie A champions out of danger and into the quarterfinal stage.
Tonight, Liverpool will be in Munich to stake a claim for a consecutive quarterfinal place in the Champions League. Last season’s finalist will be looking to progress to the finals once more but will have an easier route compared to the likes of Ajax and Manchester United.
Unlike the other comeback kings, Liverpool didn’t lose their first leg. The English side could only come out from the first leg with a draw at Anfield and will need at least a score draw to qualify.
Bad news for Jurgen Klopp’s men is that they are yet to register an away win or even a draw in Europe this season, losing to PSG, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade in the group stage. They have also lost some steam in the EPL as they have watched the top spot snatched from them by Manchester City after the Reds drew three of their last six matches in the league.
But in Salah, Firmino and Mane, Liverpool have an attacking force that can trouble any defence in Europe with Mane in particular a threat to Bayern. The Senegalese is in goalscoring form of late as he has four goals in his last three matches and sixteen goals in the Premier League this season.
Also Bayern have not really been the force they once were. The German champions have not been able to dominate the Bundesliga this season with Dortmund giving them a run for their money in the title race while Ajax also gave them a tight race for top spot in the Champions league group stage.
Tonight’s match in Germany might look evenly poised but it won’t be wise to bet against Liverpool as this second round stage could still serve us yet another twist.