In the midweek champions league game Juventus played host to Barcelona at the Juventus stadium. Barcelona had been in bad from with a 2-0 loss to Malaga the weekend previous, although anything can happen in the Champions League as they demonstrated in the earlier round against PSG scoring 3 goals in the last 5 minutes. Juventus were in great form and were being tipped as slight favorites. The game started quickley with Juve keen to press Barcelona’s back 4. After only 7 minutes this came to fruition with a super finish from star striker Paulo Dybala. After the goal Barcelona seemed to settle a bit and nearly levelled through Andreas Iniesta. Then Juve broke quickly and once again that man Dybala buried his second goal with a delightful finish. 2-0 and Barca were stunned. In the second hald Barcelona had some chances but were given the ultimate penalty once again when centre half Georgio Cheillini rose above Mascherano to head in Juve’s 3rd goal and the stadium was rocking. Juventus then took the sting out of the game and held onto their clean sheet. The second leg at the Nou Camp is sure to be an entailing encounter with Juve’s rock solid defence. As Barcelons proved before though , anything is possible.
Before the game Ireland were top of group on 10 points 4 ahead of Wales. There was a cracking atmosphere in Dublin in the build up to the game and it was sure to be a full house in the Aviva Stadium. When the game started both teams were very cagey with no real chances being created at either end of the pitch. Wales owned the ball for large periods of the first half with Ireland mostly living on scraps. Joe Allen was very influential for them and kept the ball really well. The teams went into the half time break tied at 0-0. In the second half the crowd really got behind the Irish team. With the game threatening to open up a bit Gareth Bale fired Wales’ first real attempt on goal wide of Darren Randolph’s post. Bale was Irelands biggest worry as he had so much attacking prowess. With 20 minutes to go Ireland captain Seamus Coleman burst onto a ball only to be hit with a horrendous tackle by welsh left back Neil Taylor. Coleman was hurt bad and suffered a double fracture in his right leg. Taylor saw red and Wales were down to 10. Cyrus Christie came on for him and caused real problems for Wales. In the end neither team could break the deadlock which left Ireland joint top on 11 points. There next game is at home to Austria and it is sure to be a cracker!