Champions League: Spurs v Man City and Barça v Man Utd in last eight – as it happened

Nick Ames on 15 March 2019

Oh, and here’s Jürgen Klopp’s thoughts on who has the right to judge him at Liverpool.

It’s been interesting. And it’s going to get very, very interesting. This blog is closing now but follow me here for the Europa League draw!

Here’s a take on everything we’ve just been through:

Are we all writing off Porto, by the way? It’s no gimme for Liverpool but there’s going to be an assumption they go through. Could that, in some ways, play into the Portuguese side’s hands? They have a big, big history in this competition, let’s not forget.

A note for United fans, by the way:

That too! Would be fitting. Hard to see many non-tantalising outcomes when this gets to the business end.

Could make for some good facial expressions.

While you digest that, worth giving this a read from Rob Smyth ahead of this weekend’s Wolves v United FA Cup tie:

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And you know what, that’s probably where my money is ...

I mean, who knows after what they did to PSG, but I agree really – this is very tough for United.

Abhay Doomra with a good point about how things look for Man City now:

“City get a tough one. They play Spurs on 9th, 16th and 20th. They also play United on 24th and an easy one, Burnley on 28th.”

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“Ajax triumphing over Real Madrid only to come face to face with Ronaldo is a bit like when the heroes of a martial arts film have fought their way through an assortment of henchmen before facing the big boss,” writes Kari Tulinius.

While more than one of you has pointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s previous at the Nou Camp!

Looking ahead to those semis – that first one is going to be an absolute joy, whoever it involves. And imagine a Liverpool v Manchester United, or Liverpool v Barcelona, tie in the last four! This is heating up so beautifully. Are you happy?

Well! I think that’s close on being a perfect draw. One all-English tie for everyone to look forward to, with no risk of the competition being a Premier League monopoly in the last four. Ajax v Juve is a fascinating tie. So is Man United v Barcelona, needless to say. And surely Liverpool can’t slip up against Porto ... can they?

First legs played on 9/10 April, second legs played on 16/17 April.

Semi-final draw

SEMI-FINAL 1

TOTTENHAM OR MAN CITY V AJAX OR JUVENTUS

SEMI-FINAL 2

MANCHESTER UNITED OR BARCELONA V LIVERPOOL OR PORTO

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Now they’re drawing the semis – no let-up here!

Full Champions League draw – Spurs play Man City

Ajax v Juventus

Liverpool v Porto

Tottenham v Manchester City

Barcelona v Manchester United

4 – BARCELONA V MANCHESTER UNITED

What do we make of all that?!

3 – TOTTENHAM V MANCHESTER CITY

Oh my word. Which leaves ...

2 – LIVERPOOL v PORTO

All smiles at Anfield!

1 – AJAX V JUVENTUS

That is big!

Here we go ...

Ok, it’s nearly draw time – UEFA are running us through the procedure but this looks like happening far more swiftly than usual ...

“I too am hoping for the same quarter-final lineup as? Harvey Mayne – but that’s because I’d prefer not to see any English clubs in the semi-finals!” writes Robert Speed. Game of opinions.

Avitaj Mitra, a United fan, wants this one:

“Liverpool v Barcelona, Man City v Juventus, Man United v Porto, Tottenham v Ajax”

I wonder why ... !

Tom Barneby sends his draw of choice:

“Spurs - Ajax. Young and exciting and gives Ajax a good chance.
Juve - Barca. Ronaldo v Messi
Manchester Derby. Classic
Leaves Liverpool - Porto, which is just fine.”

Peter Giesen has news from Amsterdam:

“In the Dutch papers this morning, many here in Amsterdam are hoping for Manchester United as the easiest draw. Ajax has never been beaten by City. Juventus, Porto and Spurs are feared the most. Spurs are preferred over Porto as they play a more open game, allowing the Ajax tactics to flourish.”

Interesting. United, eh? And yes, I did wonder that about Porto – easiest opponent on paper but they can do a number on you ...

Maybe we English do need something to feel proud of at the moment, in fairness.

“Call me Barry Glendenning,” begins Peter Ferry, in an unusual act of masochism. “But UEFA will ensure that they is at least one all-English tie. An all-English semi-final would be their absolute worst nightmare. And quite frankly, with Barcelona not being the Barcelona of old, and Juventus being a one-man team, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.”

Theories like this do abound, don’t they Barry Peter? I do tend to agree, though, that the odds are significantly in favour of an English team winning it this year. I could easily see all four going through to the semis. Is that a Good Thing? Objectively I’d say it’s overwhelmingly not.

Have some nostalgia – have some highlights of the last time Ajax won this competition:

I loved that team. I found that Ajax away shirt in a market in Tangiers that summer and was so proud of it, but I’d never heard of knock-off shirts at that point and was slightly put out when a rather more worldly member of my Under-13 team back home took joy in telling me how and why it was fake.

Anyone got a fantasy draw lineup? I’d like to avoid all-English ties really, they don’t particularly do it for me, but a Manchester derby at this stage would be both unprecedented and fine. Don’t know about you but I *really* want to see Ajax go far before their delightful side is stripped bare in the summer; would they be best going sub-radar and facing Porto?

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The Chaaaampioooooooons!

Well, not quite, but one of these eight will be – and this year we are partying like the late-2000s, a period not particularly known for its cultural idiosyncrasies, because it’s Premier League vs The Rest!

Your runners and riders are:

Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Ajax, Porto, Barcelona, Juventus

A nice spread of interest in the other four teams there, in fairness. Does anyone fancy Ajax? Does everyone want to get Porto? Can Messi or Ronaldo do it at a feted craft beer vendor’s in Tottenham? We’ll find out shortly and, in a special twist, we’ll also see the semi-final draw. The path all the way to Madrid will be plotted! Fire away with your hopes, dreams and predictions; the teams will be drawn out sometime after 11 (UK time), depending on how much pageantry UEFA have the stamina for today.

Nick will be here soon. In the meantime, here’s what James Milner thinks about the prospect of meeting another English side in the last eight.

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