Soccer

Champions League quarterfinal second legs: PSG-Bayern decider, Dortmund-City round 2 & Liverpool’s challenge

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals are back this week on Paramount+ with the second legs of Paris Saint-Germain’s thrilling tie with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund’s finely poised clash with Manchester City and Liverpool’s uphill task against Real Madrid.

Chelsea have a 2-0 lead over FC Porto but will play second fiddle to the titanic tussle between PSG and Bayern on Tuesday after last week’s Munich madness that saw Mauricio Pochettino’s men escape the Allianz Arena with an improbable 3-2 win in the face of a relentless German attack.

On Wednesday, City travel to Westfalenstadion with a 2-1 lead as they aim to close out that tie and reach the semi-finals for a potential matchup with PSG or Bayern while Liverpool have a mountain to climb as they host Real Madrid at Anfield with a 3-1 deficit to overturn.

These return legs promise to be anything but straightforward and based on last week’s evidence, we are in for an absolute rollercoaster of emotions that you can watch exclusively on Paramount+.

More Munich madness?

PSG and Bayern were left counting the cost of their five-goal thriller last week as a number of players ended up injured due to the wild wintery conditions that contributed towards a modern classic of a Champions League encounter between two of European soccer’s heavyweights.

While another 90-minute-long goal fest would be extremely welcome, the chances are that this meeting at Parc des Princes will be more pragmatic than the first because both sides will have recognized that they cannot expect to advance if their defenses are as leaky as they were last week.

With Robert Lewandowski already ruled out for Bayern, Hansi Flick’s men are sweating the fitness of Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman with Jerome Boateng and Lucas Hernandez more likely to be fit to start in the French capital.

On the PSG side, captain Marquinhos is almost certain to miss the next few weeks while Abdou Diallo was once again unable to play over the weekend due to illness, but the big news is that Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi are no longer COVID-19 positive and Leandro Paredes’ ban is over.

After a 4-1 thumping of RC Strasbourg Alsace away from home and Bayern’s unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Union Berlin, the tables appear to have turned slightly in Les Parisiens’ favor pre-game.

Same story in Seville?

Chelsea and Porto return to Seville with the Premier League outfit holding a two-goal lead and looking set to advance to the semi-finals for manager Thomas Tuchel’s second time in as many editions after last year’s Lisbon final outing with PSG.

The Portuguese side will recover a few players who were missing for the first leg in Spain but the Blues’ 4-1 win away at Crystal Palace over the weekend will have their confidence high coming into the decisive return.

Porto have done well keep their European adventure alive this long, but it appears to be a bridge too far at this point as even the heroic victory over Juventus saw the Italians score four times over two legs only to go out on away goals.

Daunting task for Dortmund

Erling Haaland and his Dortmund teammates have their work cut out for them ahead of Wednesday’s return leg against City with Pep Guardiola’s men 2-1 ahead from the opener and looking heavy favorites to advance to the semis.

The Germans will have been boosted by watching Leeds United win 2-1 against a rotated Citizen side at Etihad Stadium over the weekend but this sort of result is more of an exception than the rule, especially given that Leeds’s two goals came from a grand total of two shots. Edin Terzic’s team have a sizeable mission in front of them to advance.

Haaland continues to struggle in front of goal with just two assists across six matches for club and country so the Norwegian hitman is due to break that duck and it could be the return of UCL nights to Westfalenstadion that spark him and the rest of the team to life once more.

Life in Liverpool yet?

Normally, you would fancy Liverpool to overturn an unfavorable scenario at Anfield due to the vocal support of the home supporters, but the Reds’ spiritual home has become something of a prison this season and Klopp’s men are only starting to recover their form in their own backyard.

It was a poor performance in Madrid and because of that, they find themselves 3-1 down with their away goal through Mohamed Salah their only lifeline as they search for at least a two-goal win if they are to stand a chance of progression.

We have seen Liverpool produce many memorable European nights at Anfield but it is difficult to see this team keeping Real out over 90 minutes and defensive solidity could be the key to deciding which side makes it to the semis.



 Source link

Back to top button
SoundCloud To Mp3