Two finely balanced ties take center stage in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, as the quarterfinal stage concludes.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]
Manchester United head to Barcelona for their second leg hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg against Lionel Messi and Co. It will be a tall order for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men, but he more than anyone knows that even the impossible is possible at the Nou Camp…
In the other quarterfinal second leg there is an intriguing clash as Juventus host Ajax with the scores locked at 1-1 from the first leg in Amsterdam. Cristiano Ronaldo is working his way back to full fitness, but the likes of Dusan Tadic will be aiming to secure another famous away win after they dumped reigning champs Real Madrid out in the last round.
Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with analysis and reaction from both games.
Tuesday’s UCL quarterfinal, second leg schedule
Barcelona v. Manchester United – 3 p.m. ET kick off (Barcelona lead 1-0 on aggregate)
Juventus v. Ajax – 3 p.m. ET kick off (1-1 on aggregate)
Mexico’s Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano is destined for big things.
His manager for the Mexican national team, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has been talking about the PSV Eindhoven winger ahead of their friendly against Paraguay on Tuesday and has added further fuel to the fire that Chucky is heading to one of European soccer’s big boys.
Amid plenty of reports that the speedy winger could be heading to Manchester United, Martino believes Lozano, 23, is ready.
“Taking an intermediate step in Dutch football or Portuguese football, that has been traditional for Latino players,” Martino said. “I think Hirving has had an influential time in Holland and shown he can be a player who is incredibly valuable and can make the jump to the biggest clubs in Europe. It’s clear. I think from the analysis side of the player, he’s absolutely ready.”
Lozano’s breakout at the 2018 World Cup for Mexico saw him finally arrive on the world stage, but anybody who has been following his career since a teenager will know he has been destined for the top.
The former Pachuca star has now become the star man for Dutch giants PSV — he scored 17 goals in 29 league games last season, and has 15 in 24 appearances this term — and a move this summer seems almost inevitable.
Lozano was previously linked with a move to reigning Premier League champions Man City but a move to United would probably suit his strengths a lot better. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticks around as boss, as expected, then Lozano’s pace and direct style on the counter would definitely suit United’s style of play. He can play on both flanks and just behind a striker, and the fact he is chipping in with plenty of goals for the reigning Dutch champs proves he is maturing as the end product is now there.
Moving to the Premier League or La Liga is the next logical step for Lozano, and PSV will be compensated handsomely for buying the Mexican star in 2017. He is contracted until the summer of 2023 and would likely cost north of $60 million.
For only the second time this season, Dutch Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven have lost a league match.
Ajax stormed back for a 3-0 victory over PSV on Sunday in Der Topper, the long-standing rivalry between the two Dutch powerhouses.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from the Manchester Derby ]
The victory moves Ajax up to third place on 32 points this season, while PSV remains atop the league table on 39 points.
David Neres, Lasse Schöne and Donny van de Beek each scored in a span of 11 minutes after the halftime break to five the hosts a comfortable result.
Neres broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when he stunned PSV with a long-distance volley that couldn’t be dealt with by goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.
Schone then found the back of the net three minutes later, while Van de Beek capped off the outing with the dagger in the 72 minute.
Sunday’s win also gives Ajax a slim advantage over their rival in the all-time Eredivisie series, 54-24-53.
Matt Miazga has made a name for himself this season in Europe, but the next step for the U.S. Men’s National Team defender at Chelsea will be determined during preseason.
[ MORE: Premier League Player Power Rankings — The Top 20 ]
According to ESPN FC, the Premier League champions will evaluate Miazga’s progress this summer following a successful loan spell with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.
The 21-year-old made 29 appearances while on loan in the Eredivisie, and helped guide Vitesse to the KNVB Cup for the club’s first major trophy in its 125-year history.
Despite Miazga’s progress this season, a second loan spell seems likely for the American, with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord seen as two of the favorites to land the Chelsea centerback next season. Feyenoord captured the Dutch first-division title this season.
At the moment, Chelsea has several top-quality central defenders on its roster, and even with John Terry leaving at season’s end, there’s no guarantee Miazga would see significant minutes during the 2017/18 campaign.
If you’re having a rough Monday morning, things could always be worse.
You could be PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.
[ MORE: United, Mourinho lucky ]
On Sunday PSV’s goalkeeper scored one of the most bizarre own goals ever as he stopped a shot on the line in the 82nd minute, then as he pulled the ball into his chest while on the floor he actually carried the ball over the line.
The Goal Decision System (GDS) awarded the game-winning goal and the reigning Dutch champs lost 2-1 to Feyenoord who are the current Eredivise leaders and stretched their lead over third-place PSV to 11 points.
Take a look at the video below to see the monumental error, as the video replay showed that all of the ball was about one blade of grass over the line.
Fine margins indeed…