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This Was a Night of Glory

This Was a Night of Glory

What a night of football games.

When the Champions League reaches its zenith, the game all sports betting fans love so much well and truly delivered.

A famous upset and a stunning comeback in the Stadio Olimpico to knock out the Spanish champions in waiting, a famous victory at the Etihad Stadium to send the Premier League champions elect crashing out in a thrashing.

Manchester City 1-2 (1-5 on agg.) Liverpool

It was the perfect start to an exhilarating evening of live betting.

To score with your first effort inside two minutes was the start Man City craved and Liverpool feared.

Whether Virgil van Dijk should have been awarded a free-kick was hard to know but the hosts took full advantage as Raheem Sterling set up Gabriel Jesus to spark home hope in a relentless start.

The Etihad was rocking and Liverpool had little respite.

Bernardo Silva hit the post as the one-way traffic continued before Leroy Sane saw a goal ruled out.

Under siege, the tie would have been alive had the Merseysiders conceded a second but they didn’t and suddenly some City frustration crept in.

Angered at some of the decisions, Pep Guardiola voiced his anger as the referee left the pitch at half-time and was promptly sent to the stands.

Then it was over!

Eleven minutes after the restart, a rare Liverpool attack and Mohamed Salah coolly chipped in an equaliser.

The Egyptian’s 39th goal of an incredible campaign as hope sucked out of every home fan.

Liverpool barely had a sniff but, unlike City at Anfield last week, had an away goal and they never looked back.

Roberto Firmino added a fifth overall 13 minutes from time and City deflation was complete when Sane had a second strike ruled out for offside to ensure Guardiola’s men didn’t even have a draw to show for their first half efforts.

A brilliant first leg showing from Liverpool, an equally impressive second leg display as they took the punches on the chin and produced a superb counter-attacking and dogged defensive showing to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in a decade.

Jurgen Klopp had got the better of his old Bundesliga rival Pep Guardiola again.

AS Roma 3-0 (4-4 on agg.) Barcelona

Kostas Manolas – remember the name!

For his header seven minutes from time ensured a near sporting miracle.

As the full-time whistle sounded, the Stadio Olimpico erupted.

Never mind that Barcelona are overrated.

It has long been my view that the class of 2018 lack the same talent as their predecessors, particularly defensively, but their dominance of La Liga has made a mockery of my belief.

But that argument is for another day and should not detract from a dream night which home fans could scarcely believe.

For a brief time, Roma may have felt they had an outside chance once Edin Dzeko continued his fine form to slot the Italians ahead after six minutes.

When Dzeko was brought down in the box early in the second half, skipper Daniele De Rossi, who scored an unfortunate goal in the first leg, drove home the spot-kick.

Still, Barca would pull one back right?

Not this time.

The same XI which won the first leg six days earlier were well beaten as Roma became only the third in Champions League history to overturn a deficit of three goals or more.

Ruined in Rome. Barcelona were out and no-one who witnessed what happened could deny Eusebio Di Francesco and his men a famous and deserved victory.

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James Davis
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