Just put Luis Suarez on English soil and he’ll start scoring like crazy again. The Uruguayan striker scored twice as Barcelona beat Manchester City 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League knockout stage clash. Meanwhile, in Northern Italy, Juventus took the conservative approached which worked well for them, beating Dortmund 2-1 which leaves up all in suspense for the second leg.
But in the Barcelona – City encounter? It’s all over. Once again, it looked like two teams from completely different classes of football coming together. Barcelona’s finishing was poor and lazy. Lionel Messi missed an injury time penalty kick and the rebound in front of a wide open goal. And still, Manchester City, playing without Yaya Toure, were inferior throughout the 90 minutes, and now have to play with a losing result in the second leg at the Camp Nou, not to mention score at least twice in that match. Possible? Anything is possible. Realistic? Not so much.
Suarez has been criticized for his scoring or lack of at Barcelona. He certainly fixed that impression on a very big stage with two goals in the first half. The first after some defensive mistakes on City’s behalf, but the second goal was pure delight, as Messi made mince meat of the City defensive attempts before the play finished setting up Suarez with a close range finish. Poor defending in the second half allowed Sergio Aguero to get his name on the scorers list, but it wasn’t and probably won’t be enough for the second leg. Gael Clichy was sent off with a second yellow card after kicking Dani Alves in the knee following the Aguero goal.
In Turin, Juventus allowed the dangerous Dortmund to dominate possession and look like the more organized team and got away with it, forcing Dortmund to stay away from the counter attacks that make them so dangerous.
Some poor defending and goalkeeping from Roman Weindenfeller allowed Carlos Tevez to open the scoring with a close range tapper in the 13th minute, but Marco Reus made the most of a tragic slip by Georgio Chiellini to equalize five minutes later.
Dortmund kept looking like the better side throughout the first half, but more defensive problems when it comes to marking allowed Paul Pogba to locate a wide open Alvaro Morata in the middle of the penalty box and score the winning goal for Juventus, who have their work cut out for them in the second leg.