Rescued Tiger Has Unfinished Business
Falcao returns to Manchester for intriguing Champions League clash
No player ever likes to be branded a flop but that was the general consensus of opinion among football supporters, following Colombian striker Radamel Falcao’s brief exploits at Manchester United and Chelsea.
He managed to score just 5 Premier League goals in total and was perhaps best remembered for his squinting reaction at being substituted in a FA Cup tie against Preston North End.
However, when Monaco visit the Etihad for the 1st leg of their last 16 Champions League tie with Manchester City, he will get the chance to prove to an English audience that he still has what it takes. Since being rescued from his English ordeal and returning to the French Riviera, it would not be exaggerating to say that things have gone exceedingly well. No team from Europe’s big 5 leagues has scored as many goals as Monaco (76) this season. It’s a frightening statistic that is illustrated perfectly in the Oulala infographic below and Falcao has accounted for 16 of that total.
Pep Guardiola’s City side have secured 4 clean sheets from their last 5 matches in all competitions but it will be some accomplishment if they can keep out a side with such a devastating attacking force and would go some way to silencing the critics who have been targeting the Citizens’ defensive frailties for the majority of the season.
Tuesday evening’s other tie sees one of Falcao’s former clubs, Atlético Madrid, making the trip to Germany to face a Bayer Leverkusen side that has another former Manchester United striker spearheading its attack, in the form of Chicarito.
Judging by the goals expectations based on the latest bookmakers odds, a tight affair looks in prospect, although, all eyes will surely be on Antoine Griezmann, who remains one of the hottest properties in Europe.
Leicester City crashed out of the FA Cup at the weekend and sit perilously close to the relegation zone, so they will welcome the distraction that Wednesday’s Champions League tie in Spain brings. However, if Sevilla, who sit just 3 points off the top of the La Liga table, bring their ‘A’ game, it could be another long night for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Porto host Juventus in the remaining 1st leg tie, with Gonzalo Higuain again expected to lead the line for the visitors.
Will Manchester belong to the Tiger – for one night at least?