UEFA Champions League: Semi-finals 2nd Leg Preview


 

After a tense start to this year’s Champions League semi-finals, the four teams played in their respective leagues. The Tuesday teams Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, after a non-spectacular 0-0 draw, had a lot in their mind, as they both are still fighting at the very top of their league tables. The Spanish side had a tough away game against Valencia, proving once again that their calendar for this final sprint is the toughest one out of the three that are fighting for La Liga title. Raúl García managed to get a header before the end of the first half and Atlético held their lead all the way. This win helps the Madrid side keep their momentum going, as they seem to be able to fight off any opponent that crosses their path. With only 3 more games left, they only need 2 wins in order to be crowned Spanish champions for the first time since 1995-1996 season. On the other hand, Mourinho’s Chelsea had a crucial away game against EPL leader Liverpool. Much like against Atlético, Chelsea had a clear idea of defending at 110% and taking advantage of any Liverpool mistakes in order to get ahead. That’s exactly what they did when Steven Gerrard couldn’t control a ball properly and Demba Ba was left alone to approach the goalkeeper and put the ball in the back of the net. After former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres came in near the end of the game, he got a ball and a deserted Chelsea field in order to sprint across it and assist Willian. 2-0 final result and Chelsea put the excitement back to the title race, with what looks to be a three-way battle between Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. While the Londoners played with many subs, this win gives them a boost and well-deserved rest to some important players in order to beat Atlético on Wednesday and reach the Champions League final.

The Wednesday teams Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munich had a clash in styles that proved Madrid more successful as they will take a 1-0 lead to Germany next Tuesday. The German side already won the Bundesliga a month ago, but they’re trying to regain their momentum for this very important final sprint of the season. Having conceded many goals since crowned champions, this weekend was no exception as they had to revert Bremen’s goals twice, but ending up with a solid 5-2 win. With some of the world’s best attackers and a very creative midfield, it’s no surprise that Bayern can pull off a scandalous win over Madrid on Tuesday. The Spanish side have always suffered more than usual anywhere in Germany, which is why after the 1-0 loss at the Bernabéu, many of Bayern’s important leaders asked the fans to be more passionate and make Madrid’s visit very unpleasant. While their goal-scoring abilities seem to be sharp, Bayern’s style of play has suffered in this time of the season. Having scored no away goals, they must be stronger than ever defending, as a Madrid goal will make things very complicated. On the other hand, Madrid was barely threatened by CA Osasuna this weekend at won 4-0 with Ronaldo scoring two wonderful goals from well outside the box. After this injury, this is the first time we’ve seen the Portuguese star regain his accuracy, just in time for Tuesday’s clash. Ronaldo barely participated in the 1-0 victory, but the minutes played against Osasuna will prove to be important for his form. The Spanish side was wonderful in defense against Bayern, and was lucky to take advantage of one of the chances they had, considering Guardiola’s team high ball possession. All the while knowing Germany is not a friendly territory, Madrid will try to make a considerable effort to score a goal quickly that will make things complicated for Bayern. We will most likely experience one of those great and memorable European nights.

 

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