Man City & Liverpool’s Champions League wins
For most English football fans, it’s been a remarkable week in the Champions League.
Three Premier League sides were in action, and none were beaten.
Tottenham picked up a 2-2 draw away at last season’s losing UCL finalists Juventus.
Manchester City have more than one foot in the quarterfinals after they thrashed Basel 4-0 in Switzerland.
While Liverpool are surely a shoo-in for the quarterfinals after the Reds scored five goals away at Porto.
Man City & Liverpool: Don’t get carried away!
Yet, for Gabriele Marcotti in the Times on Thursday afternoon, he’s keen to temper expectations after the midweek Champions League action.
Indeed, Marcotti has taken it upon himself to explain why Man City and Liverpool’s big wins on the mainland weren’t all that.
Starting with Man City, Marcotti argued the following:
Manchester City are already one of the two best sides in the world: beating up a team that is five points off the pace in the Swiss Super League is not much of a barometer of anything.
For the record, Ilkay Gundogan scored a brace against Basel. Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva bagged the other goals.
And what about Liverpool. Aren’t Porto renowned for being one of the toughest sides in UCL history? Marcotti argue:
Similarly, a Liverpool side who we know are devastating on the road beat Porto, a club whose last piece of silverware was won in 2013 and who were without three key players, including their top goalscorer.
Marcotti failed to note that Porto’s defeat to Liverpool was their heaviest home loss in their Champions League history.
And what about Spurs?
Marcotti also managed to downplay Tottenham’s achievements in Turin as well:
Tottenham dominated Juventus for 80-plus minutes and that was hugely impressive: still, a 2-2 away draw offers few guarantees for the return leg and, great as they were, but for the crossbar they would have given up three goals in a half.