Second legs of same drama - UCL night begins | Eurasia Diary -

18 September, Wednesday

Second legs of same drama - UCL night begins

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UEFA Champions League second legs matches start on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All matches start whistle will be blown at the same time. 

First-day matches are Barcelona-Manchester United and Juventus-Ajax.

At Old-Trafford victory, Barcelona makes possible to qualify semi-final chances. However, both managers announced conflictual opinions. 

In terms of line-ups, "Red Devils" have as several injuries and also Luke Shaw is suspended player. 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær: "Belief is massive. Everyone's got talent and a certain ability. We've seen against PSG we have the ability to come back against a massive team. Barcelona historically is the best but if we give our all, get that better concentration – we slept for a second, even though they had a lot of the ball – so that concentration is key. In football, you know anything can happen. If we keep a clean sheet, we're in the tie. We know we can score goals from set-pieces – we're bigger than them – but we have to defend well. I don't mind if the goal comes in the 93rd minute. We have to be fitter and keep going. All I am thinking about is tomorrow, enough to score and stop them to score. We are now 1-0 down, half-time but if it is a game with many goals in it we stand a bigger chance.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde: "We're here with the hope of qualifying, but we're up against a great opponent. They're good, but so are we. We want to get to the semis. We're aware of Manchester United's strengths and we can't let it become a game in which we have one chance and then they have another. If there's space to run into, they're good. They have a lot of quality and a real winning attitude – that's why we have to show we're better. We scored away from home, but the tie isn't decided. We're not going to speculate. We'll try to stop them scoring and score ourselves. Our priority is to score, not to go out thinking we have an advantage. I don't know what plans the opposition will have. We have what they've done in this Champions League as references. They've won three of their four away games and beat Juve and PSG in the last minute. We have to focus on ourselves.

Head Referee is Felix Brych from Germany. His assistants are Mark Borsch and Stefan Lupp 

Fourth official

Pavel Královec (CZE)

Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

Bastian Dankert (GER)

Assistant Video Assistant Referee

Marco Fritz (GER)

After an unexpected draw, Juventus will want to defeat Ajax at Juventus stadium. In Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo is looking the fit for this match. In Juventus squad, Caceres and Perin miss the match. Ajax defender Tagliafico is suspended player and it is considered serious missing for Ajax defense. 

Erik ten Hag, Ajax coach: "This team [Juventus] are a lot better than Real. They are very mature. We did very well last week and we will have to do that again tomorrow. At the start of the season, nobody expected us to be in the final eight of the Champions League. But the team has developed to such an extent that we can compete with these giants. We believe in it and have faith in a good result. That is how we will meet Juventus tomorrow."

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach: "It's a big night, where we can achieve something huge. Ronaldo is in better shape compared to the first leg. He has the great quality of becoming a different kind of player on matchday. Ajax has never lost away from home after the preliminary round, let's hope it will go differently this time. We must respect them, they are a strong side. We need to make fewer mistakes in the build-up. Cristiano Ronaldo has extraordinary quality. In certain moments he becomes an unstoppable player and you can see it on his face."

French referee Clement Turpin will control this match. 

Assistant referees

Nicolas Danos (FRA)

Cyril Gringore (FRA)

Fourth official

Benoît Bastien (FRA)

Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

Nicolas Rainville (FRA)

Assistant Video Assistant Referee

François Letexier (FRA)



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