Champions League update: quarterfinals down, semifinals to go

Photo courtesy of Who’s Denilo? on Unsplash.
Photo courtesy of Who’s Denilo? on Unsplash.

Arsenal F.C. vs. FC Bayern Munich

Arsenal F.C. and FC Bayern Munich played the first match of the quarterfinals in London. Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka grabbed the early momentum by scoring in just the 12th minute. That goal managed to fire up Bayern, which led the Bavarians to score just six minutes later. Midfielder Serge Gnabry won a one-on-one vs. Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya, giving his team the goal to tie the game. Later in the first half, Harry Kane scored a penalty to give Bayern the lead. However, late in the second half, Arsenal midfielder Leandro Trossard managed to equalize, which resulted in a first leg tie, 2–2. 

 

In the second leg in the Allianz Arena, only Bayern’s defender, Kimmich, was able to score a goal, which ultimately advanced Bayern Munich to the semifinals with a aggregate score of 3–2.

 

Real Madrid CF vs. Manchester City F.C.

The first leg between Real Madrid C.F. and Manchester City F.C. was played last week in the Santiago Bernabeu. City’s midfielder, Bernardo Silva, began the match with a goal in just the second minute. In the 12th minute, however, City defender Ruben Dias scored an own goal, bringing the game back to level terms. After Dias’s detrimental mistake, Los Blancos were able to turn the game around. Rodrygo scored the second goal for Madrid with an assist from his teammate Vinicius Junior. In the second half, Phil Foden tied the game 2–2 for City and later on, the third goal for the Sky Blues was scored by Joško Gvardiol in the 71st minute. Most assumed City would hold on for the win, but Federico Valverde fired the ball across the goal to the bottom corner to equalize for Real Madrid, 3–3. 

 

At the Etihad Stadium, 120 minutes of football resulted in a 1–1 tie, leading both teams to the penalty shootout. The men of the teams that were able to score in regulation were Rodrygo for Madrid and Kevin De Bruyne for Man City. At the end, Madrid and their heroic goalkeeper Andriy Lunin were able to win the penalty kicks, 4–3, and send Los Blancos straight to the next round.

 

FC Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Last week, the first leg for both teams was played at the Parc des Princes. Barca’s striker Raphinha was the first man to put his goal on the scoreboard. In the second half, PSG’s Ousmane Dembélé tied the game and just two minutes later, Les Parisiens scored their second goal. Once again, however, Raphinha scored for the Culers and led his team to gain back their confidence on the field. In the last few minutes of the match, Christensen put Barcelona back in front with a thunderbolt header past the goalkeeper. 

 

At the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the second leg left everyone in complete shock. Barca began the match with an astounding assist from Araujo, who drilled a right-footed cross to the post for Raphinha to score. Eventually, PSG was able to level the second leg with another goal from Dembélé. In the second half, the Ligue 1 champions displayed absolute dominance on the field. Vitinha striked low into the bottom-left corner of the net for a 2–1 PSG advantage. Kylian Mbappe added two goals — a penalty and a close-range strike — in the second half. Paris Saint-Germain’s extraordinary 4–1 comeback in the second leg secured their ticket into the semifinals.

 

Atlético de Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund

The first leg for these teams was a 2–1 win for Atletico de Madrid. Midfielder Rodrigo De Paul began the match with a hungry attitude to score, which he did in just the fourth minute. The second goal from Atletico was from Samuel Lino, who managed to fire the ball below Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel from inside the box. Dortmund striker Sebastian Haller managed to score late in the second half, cutting the deficit for the second leg to one goal. 

 

The second leg proved to be a surprising comeback from Dortmund. The black and yellow army were able to score the first two goals in the first half of the match through Julian Brandt and Ian Maatsen. Mats Hummels scored an own goal for Atletico in the first few minutes of the second half, bringing the match level on aggregate. Their second goal was scored minutes later by striker Angel Correa. However, a brilliantly-directed header across goal by Fullkrug put Atletico de Madrid behind in the match once more, 3–2. Only two minutes would pass before Dortmund’s fourth goal was scored on the edge of the box by their midfielder Marcel Sabitzer; the Austrian midfielder fired a left-footed rocket past Oblak into the bottom corner, giving Dortmund a one-goal advantage and a berth in the semifinals. 

 

A glance at the semifinals…

Los Blancos and Bayern Munich will kick off the first round of the semifinals. Both teams look strong, but Madrid have proven themselves time after time this season; their undefeated record puts them on the top of my winner predictions. The second set of semifinal matches will be played by Dortmund and PSG. Both teams had significant comebacks in their quarterfinals, which leaves room for either team to advance to the finals.

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