Well, the Champions League still sort of surprises. The Wednesday soccer news starts with Spurs falling behind by two goals early in Turin only to draw level by the final whistle. At least 90 more minutes to decide the series at Wembley and the bigger question about what counts as an upset in the Champions League.
"Did we score too early? No, we played well against a strong side," Juventus winger Federico Bernardeschi said. "It’s a shame we drew 2-2 but we still have the return leg and we know that we can go and win in London. We were bound to come under pressure after the first ten minutes, you can’t keep up that intensity for the whole match. We showed desire and ruthlessness – we didn’t deserve to draw.”
So what the Spurs comeback a surprise? Was Juventus talking that early two goal lead? "Not really" is a reasonable response to both. We're seeing evenly matched series involving the big name clubs starting in this round. There are only so many FC Basel vs Manchester City games to go around.
That "what counts as a surprise in the round of 16" question will be underlined later today with the start of the PSG vs Real Madrid series. Spurs finished ahead of Real Madrid in their group after all, with PSG dominating the fall stage of the Champions League. Yet, it's Real Madrid that has to be considered the favorite. They might be disappointing in La Liga, they're not keeping up with Barcelona, but they're still the defending Champions League title holders. Champions League champion has to count for something, with Real Madrid playing a game they know how to win.
"I’m not sure which side has the most pressure on them," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We don’t feel pressured, we are used to playing in such games. We want to experience a good match and people come out to see a spectacle. It is not a final for me. It is a Champions League game. What we have to do is play well and if we do that the sky is the limit."
Pro Soccer Talk's Joe Prince-Wright's take on Spurs comeback against Juventus. The Guardian's Sid Lowe uses PSG player Unai Emery to preview their Champions League series against Real Madrid. The NY Times' Rory Smith explains the pressure on running Real Madrid.
Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick and Christopher Palmeri report on MLS moving their streaming service to ESPN+. MLSsoccer.com's Kevin Nielsen looks at how Real Salt Lake is dealing with the arrival of new players. SBI Soccer's Gavin Ewbank has Dom Dwyer back in action for Orlando City. The Washington Post's Steven Goff has Yamil Asad now officially a DC United player.
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