If there was one leg I could choose to attend in any of the eight matches in the quarter-finals it would be at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul. This place has been recorded as the loudest venue in the world and the visit of the Spaniards will have the place rocking.
While many pundits seem to think that Galatasaray will be a pushover for 9 time champions, Real Madrid, it would be foolish in the extreme for Jose Mourinho to fall in line with that train of thought. Gala are dangerous and a team that will always have a goal or two in them.
The advantage for Mourinho is that he’s well aware of Fatih Terim’s big guns, Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder having coached both of them to glory for Chelsea and Inter respectively. He doesn’t know UCL top scorer Burak Yilmaz that well though and the Turkish international will be the key to Gala if they hope to pull of the shock.
Stopping Real is almost an impossible task though. Cristiano Ronaldo is reaching the point in his career known as the ‘peak’ and to think he wasn’t that bad for the previous ten years. Angel Di Maria is enjoying the best season of his life while Mesut Ozil who is of Turkish decent will have some serious motivation flowing through his veins after being booed mercilessly during a recent Germany/Turkey international.
Only a brave man or someone with serious inside information would bet against Real.
French league terminates goal-line technology contract
Before that, Bristol beat Premier League sides Crystal Palace, Stoke City, and Watford. The Robins beat third tier Plymouth Argyle 5-0 in the first round.
Johnson was beaming after the Robins took Man City to the edge, closing to within a goal of extra time before Kevin De Bruyne‘s stoppage time number ended the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
“Absolutely I’m proud. It’s not just tonight but over the course of the season, particularly the cup run. It was a fantastic occasion, I’m sorry we couldn’t get the win but we played against the best side that I have ever seen live. They have so many good individuals.
“We kept going and it’s taken two injury-time goals to beat us. They certainly have [heard of us] now…everybody knows what we’re about. It’s been great.”
Bristol City is in the Championship’s fifth place, bidding for its first top flight campaign since 1980. Johnson should be a hot prospect to earn a shot in the Premier League should the Robins not make the jump.
Chelsea has won 4-of-7 League Cup matches vs. Arsenal
Arsenal leads all-time series 74W-58D-62L
Clubs have drawn four times this season
Hardware hopes are on the line when Chelsea hits the Emirates Stadium for a League Cup semifinal second leg with Arsenal on Wednesday.
The sides drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, giving Chelsea the advantage of knowing a scoring draw would do the trick and set up a date with Manchester City at Wembley on Feb. 25, though Arsenal has home field advantage in pursuit of a win.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan may debut for Arsenal, though the club released an interesting note on Tuesday: He’ll wear No. 7 in most competitions, but will have to use a different number in the Europa League because Alexis Sanchez wore it to start the tournament.
The clubs are no strangers to each other in big non-PL spots, squaring off in this season’s Community Shield (Arsenal won in penalty kicks) and last season’s FA Cup Final (Arsenal won).
Nothing has separated the sides on the field aside from those penalty kicks at Wembley Stadium, as Arsenal and Chelsea have drawn 1-1, 0-0, 2-2, and 0-0 since August.
What they’re saying
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Henrikh Mkhitaryan: “He can play in different positions, but personally I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about him a possibility to play through the middle. You are certain in our job of nothing, that’s absolutely sure. But you believe and I believe he has the qualities to do well, is a team player and our game is based on team attitude and movement and I think he can absorb the quantity of movement in our team.”
Chelsea’s Conte on the lineup: “Every game is different, you change the quality of your opponent and you must be intelligent enough to understand if you should continue with the same players or make some changes.”
The 33-year-old Argentina international will say goodbye to the fans before Thursday’s game against Espanyol at Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey. He is reportedly going to play in China.
Mascherano, who also played as a defensive midfielder, arrived in Barcelona in 2010 from Liverpool and helped the Catalan club win 18 titles. He has made 334 appearances with Barcelona, but recently hadn’t been playing much.
The club earlier this month signed Colombia international Yerry Mina to boost its defense.