On this week’s review section we congratulate Chelsea, wonder if English domination in Europe is over and see a Brazilian chief step down. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
Of course it’s good for all the sides that have got through to the quarter final stage of the Champions League – good for their bank balance and their fans. But it was particularly good for London side Chelsea, who seemed down and out after being mauled 3-1 at Napoli in the first leg. They faced the Italian outfit at Stanford Bridge knowing the opposition was in free-scoring form – they’d just beaten Cagliari 6-3 in Serie A, and Chelsea were staring down the barrel of elimination from the competition. But a remarkable game saw the Blues win it in extra time with a 105th minute piledriver by their right back Ivanovic. It looks like Chelsea are experiencing ‘new manager bounce‘ – since di Matteo took over, they have played three, won three, scored seven and conceded only one.
It might have been good for Chelsea but they are the sole representatives from the English Premier League in either the Champions or Europa League as both Manchester sides were knocked out of the Europa League. City were beaten by Portuguese side Sporting, despite winning 3-2 at home they go out on away goals after losing the first leg 1-0. Their city rivals United were well beaten again by Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao – United went out 5-3 on aggregate. Unless Chelsea go on to make the final this could be one of the poorest ever European campaigns for English sides in recent times.
It has been a bad week for Ricardo Teixeira who stood down from his post as the head of the CBF – the Brazilian Football Federation – after 23 years in charge. He cited poor health as the main reason but he has been under pressure for a while over allegations of corruption which he denies. This could get ugly for Teixeira.
down and out: finished; knocked out; unable to continue or progress
mauled: beaten easily; the opposition had many chances and scored a lot of goals
outfit: team; club
free-scoring form: recently the team is scoring a lot of goals; they have no trouble scoring
the sole representatives: The only team left
staring down the barrel: close to defeat/disaster
the first leg : The first of two games
piledriver: strong shot; screamer
on aggregate: In total
new manager bounce: a phenomenon whereby a new manager starts and a team’s results suddenly improve