UEFA’s premier club competition was back underway this week, as three challengers for the coveted Champions League crown – Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – began their knock-out stage ties with contrasting fortunes. Holders Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win in Germany against Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke, whilst Chelsea, Porto and Bayern Munich could only manage away draws against their less-fancied opponents. Carlo Ancelotti’s side is all but through to the quarter-finals after their away win in which star man Cristiano Ronaldo resumed normal service with a goal and an assist to his name. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola face tricky second legs at home in three weeks’ time. Despite the somewhat unspectacular nature of the opening Round of 16 games, there were plenty of talking points across the four games played so far. Here are four things we learned from the opening knock-out fixtures of the 2014/2015 Champions League: 1) Chelsea’s defensive uncertainty against ‘big’ […]

Liverpool entertain Swiss side FC Basel in the final group B game today and it promises to be an intriguing encounter as the reds need to win the game to qualify for the next round. Liverpool are yet to win a game since the opening day victory against Bulgarian side Ludogorets and will hope that the spirited atmosphere at Anfield in the European nights will help them beat Basel who in truth stand as slight favourites considering their current form and their record against English opposition in the last few years. Brendan Rodgers admitted that Liverpool will need to fight and have enough goals in the squad in order to beat Basel despite struggling lately in the attacking areas. The Merseyside club stopped a three-match losing streak in the Champions League after their draw with Ludogorets and will look for some sort of inspiration from their skipper Steven Gerrard to seal qualification. Paulo Sosa’s men have been in brilliant form in the […]