The UCL Draw took place few hours ago, the results were interesting to say the least. Maybe the draw suits all 4 teams participating.
Usually at the semifinal stage, there are some let down picks. Not this time though, UCL Draw delievered the goods just like before. Here is the talk on the resulting draw:
- Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Manchester City got picked up as the first team, which means they play the first leg at home.
Other than that i suppose Real Madrid got exactly the team they wanted. Not because City would be the weakling, but because Atletico Madrid would have been the most difficult team for RM to face at this point. Mainly speaking in terms of style they play, quick counter attacking football and very physical. Bayern is capable for Counter Attack also, but ever since Pep Guardiola took charge, he transformed that insane counterattacking machine into a mini Barcelona. Which suits Real Madrid better because Real Madrid is still the most dangerous team in the world in counter attacking opportunities. Even though their style has changed to little bit more posession approach since Mourinho days.
So what is Manchester City’s point of view on this UCL Draw which paired them up with the 10time European Champions? Well i would guess they are somewhat pleased too, although i think they would have rather played against Atletico. Their main concern was to dodge Bayern Munchen, which they did. City usually likes to hold posession, which might be the one of the key elements in the match, because that will open them up for the counter at some point of the game. Especially when you look at how bad mistakes their midfield made vs PSG. Real Madrid will look to capitalize on those mistakes. All in all should be very entertaining pair, but Real Madrid has to be the favourite on this one. The winner of this match-up goes to San Siro as the “home side”.
- Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munchen: Atletico was picked up first in the UCL Draw, meaning they will start the first leg at home. Some say thats a good thing, some say thats a bad thing. But the bottom line is theres two sides on every coin. Its irrelevant. Personally im not a fan of the “away goal rule”, but its a long standing rule which likely wont be changed for, well ever.
Atletico Madrid will head out to the match as slight underdogs, but dont they always? Yet they still eliminated Barcelona, once again. You simply cant underestimate the work ethics of that team. They defend hard for 90minutes, and still have enough energy to do a quick counter attack in the dying minutes to score. Thats just an example but thats how they are. Their conditioning is insane, plus their style is very, VERY physical. And while we are at it, its very entertaining. Despite it sometimes looking like Mourinho’s inter, or that time Chelsea won the Champions League, personally i felt shame for being a football fan that time. But Atletico plays much like that, with the exception that they are very physcial in defense YET constantly dangerous on the counterattack. There were 4 clubs in the UCL Draw, but theres one TEAM in it, and that is Atletico. That is their biggest strength, the whole team working on defensively, that and Antoine Griezmann ofcourse.
How about Bayern Munchen then? Well, i expected them to be annihilated 2 years ago vs Real Madrid, it happened. Same thing last year with Barcelona. But Bayern bought two players last summer who has transformed the team, back towards how they played with Jupp Heynckes. They arent just a mini Barcelona anymore. They bought Arturo Vidal to bring in some toughness to midfield, but more importantly they bought Douglas Costa. Who in my opinion is the best transfer in Europe for many many years. His speed alone brought something new to the table, its not just posession based football like weve seen from Pep Guardiola teams. Now they are also very dangerous when they dont have the ball, much like they were during Heynckes management. Throw Robben on the opposite wing and you got two bullet-trains on the wings. Frank Ribery is somewhat agile too if Robben is broken up once again. Bayern’s downfall could be their defense though. Some dodgy defending vs Benfica almost cost them the place in this UCL Draw. Whereas Atletico’s best part is their defense. Its going to be very entertaining match up. Check out UEFA for more information on the Champions League draw.
I believe the first pair will be decided on the midfield, but Atletico vs Bayern is decided on the defense, of both teams. Either way, i think the UCL Draw brought us two insanely entertaining match-ups, but more importantly, each team can believe they can make it to the final.