Champions League Players of the Week Quarterfinals First leg #522

Ajax Winger: David Neres

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Ajax youngster David Neres had his Champions League moment in a huge match against Juventus at the Amsterdam Stadium. We are in the quarter-final stage of the competition this is when everything counts. Ajax superstar in the making was well aware that as he delivered in a very crucial moment. Truth be told Ajax annihilate Juve they were the better team throughout the entire match they proved their value and their worth and should have won the match quite easily. However, Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus a very important away goal. Despite that the energy and the enthusiasm that Ajax played with only strengthened as the game. David Neres came through in the opening minute of the second house to get Ajax back into the game. Even though Juventus secured an away goal it is something Ajax can live with. Juve had very few opportunities throughout the match and Ajax was the far better team. David Neres scored a goal in an almost immediate response to Cristiano Ronaldo. Ajax continued to have control as they dominated the majority of the match. Make no mistake Juventus will go into the second leg as favorites but this young Ajax team is capable of knocking them out even at the Allianz stadium in Turin. It is possible it is a very tough place to play but teams have gone there and been successful. Collectively as a team Ajax had incredible chemistry it seemed everyone was on the same page but David Neres was clearly the standout star. He is a player that Roma wanted to get their hands on last summer and I think a departure from Amsterdam is only imminent going forward. He has so much quality for a player at such a young age. The thing about this Ajax team is they have several difference-maker throughout the squad we saw what they did to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. David Neres played an incredibly important role he showed his Pace technical ability that goes along with a high level of intelligence. He played a dominant role in the performance even though the match ended 1-1 his impact keeps ajax very much in this. Ajax has so many different weapons in which they can go at you on this occasion it was David Neres in the second leg it could be someone else. This is an incredibly young but talented team and this week was even more clear of what the Dutch Club has to their disposal. I’ve been saying this for a while Ajax could be the dark horses. Even though Juventus lead on away goal rule it was an underwhelming performance for Juventus. If they’re not careful Ajax could steal this one from them even at the Allianz Arena. David Neres was the standout star in the second leg it literally could be anyone which is why this team will be incredibly difficult to prepare for. David Neres was sensational he did what was asked of him and kept Ajax in this even after conceding right before halftime it completely changed the momentum of the match this team may be young but they will go into Italy with confidence and momentum and belief that they can beat them. It was David Neres this time next time it could be anyone Ajax will have extra motivation because this is probably their last ride together.

 

 

Juventus Winger: Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo was brought to Juventus for one particular reason. He didn’t make the move to Italy for the food or even for the Scudetto for that matter. He was brought here to win the champions league for Juventus. This is something that even at the start of the season was not only a hope but an expectation. It’s Juventus fails that transfer in its first year could be viewed as a failure. Cristiano Ronaldo knows exactly what’s expected of him. His hat-trick brought Juventus back from the dead in the round of 16 against Atletico Madrid. He made it intimately clear that that is why they brought him here. Cristiano Ronaldo has been injured since the International break and has not appeared in a match since then. Partly because he was recovering from an injury and also they wanted to save him for this very particular match. As I mentioned Juventus did not play well and have a lot to be concerned about going into the second leg. However, Cristiano Ronaldo came back from his injury and delivered even in a game in which Juventus found its share of problems. A Cristiano Ronaldo strike gave the Italians the lead right before halftime. A minute into the second half the game broke even but Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus a very important away goal. It puts Juventus in a position to advance to the semi-finals however shutting out this Ajax team even in their own backyard as I explained will be very difficult. The positive is even though the performance was very poor they got the away-goal that puts them on the front foot. They must make the adjustments in the second leg or they will go out. With all that being said when you have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo you always have a chance. He scored his 125th Champions League goal and his 41st goal in The Knockout stages. Although I do not consider him the best player in the world any longer in the big games Cristiano Ronaldo more times than not delivers even in a game in which Juventus play poorly Cristiano Ronaldo came through again justifying the reasons why he was brought to Juve the scary thing is he may not even be at 100% yet.

 

 

Liverpool Striker: Bobby Firmino

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Liverpool finds themselves in a title race as they are on the very tail of Manchester City. It has been a very successful year for them. Yet again in the Champions League, they look like one of the favorites. With the attack as strong as it has been and the defense and goalkeeper sorted out from last season they have everything needed to win the Champions League. For the second consecutive year, Liverpool faced off with Porto. This time in a quarterfinal. The performance itself could have been better but they have a critical Advantage going into the second leg in Portugal. At Anfield Liverpool one a very competitive 2-0 win. It was not their best performance by any stretch of imagination quite honestly it could have been a lot more if it wasn’t for wasted opportunities. However, with all that being said this victory was not orchestrated by Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah they’re two big stars. It was behind the Brilliance of Bobby Firmino as he contributed to both goals setting them up really nicely for what will be a tough battle in Portugal with an opportunity to make their second consecutive semi-final. Liverpool front 3 was absolutely terrifying last season. This season they have still been incredible but there has been a little lack of production statistically speaking Bobby Firmino Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have scored the fewer goals than last year. They still didn’t been great but seemingly the odd man out has been Bobby Firmino after scoring 27 goals last season he has managed just half of that as he has 15 goals. Which is a really good amount but significantly less the last year he’s not having the best season but against Porto, he pulled all the strings and was absolutely superb. He scored a goal assisted another in a very important victory for Liverpool. If Bobby Firmino can play like this the rest of the Champions League campaign Liverpool will have a great chance not only to get there but to Win It. Liverpool must take Porto seriously in the next game but they have all the pieces in place to go on a huge run. Bobby Firmino it’s starting to look like his old self again it was only one game but he dominated the Run of play and you could argue he was the most impressive performer of this week in the Champions League. When he is on form he is so incredibly dangerous. When Liverpool match up with Roma in last year’s semi-finals he was the player I was the most worried about. When he’s on form and he’s playing well he’s absolutely deadly. You could even make the argument that he’s the most valuable player in Liverpool. The way he can impact the game and crucial moments makes him almost indispensable. Mohamed Salah and sadio Mane still the headlines for good reason but In every big game he has that hunger and desire to deliver greatness this week was no different.

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