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Champions League: first leg of the semi-finals

The teams qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League were able to prepare for their future confrontation for two weeks. A fortnight after their quarter-final return, they are now ready for anything to reach the final of the cup with big ears. The Citizens of Guardiola receive this Tuesday the Merengues of Karim Benzema. For its part, Captain Emery’s yellow submarine sails to northern Europe to challenge Jürgen’s band. At Anfield, a very fine opposition awaits the outgoing winners of the Europa League.

Two steps: this is what separates the last survivors in the competition from the trophy. If they climb the first, they will obtain the right to play in the final. If they win the final, they will take the highest and final step of the climb. For those who have not understood it, these candidates for European triumph are preparing to play in the semi-finals of the most prestigious of the cups reserved for clubs: the Champions League. Among the teams still in contention, two have already raised the grail there. Liverpool have won the C1 six times. Finally, the other team is none other than the legendary Real Madrid, which has thirteen copies of the trophy in its collection. This also makes him the club that has shone the most in the competition.

History thus benefits the Reds and the people of Madrid. However, football has proven throughout its existence that it is not an exact science. While Real and Liverpool already have things to tell, Manchester City and Villarreal have ambitions to add their names to the list of winners. City are surely in a better position than the Spaniards. The Mancunians will undoubtedly want to erase from their heads the memory of the final lost last year against Chelsea.


Thirteen Champions League at these two clubs we remember. On the one hand there is a coach on a mission who hopes to deposit the first C1 in the Skyblues trophy cabinet and on the other one of the best players in the world who is chasing after the Golden Ball. Pep Guardiola intends to put an anti-Benzema plan to counter the enthusiasm of Real. Indeed, the Spanish technician and his players have the ambition to take care of the last Madrid club still in the running. After killing the choissimo in a far from exciting double confrontation, the Citizens now have to deal with a completely different profile. Today, Manchester City’s style of play is very easily identifiable. The Guardiolesque imprint has transformed the team into a veritable winning machine. The mentality is offensive with a desire to have control of the ball.

On the other side, we are still very far from the best Real of all time. Since the end of the BBC following the departure of CR7 and Gareth Bale’s change of priorities, Karim Benzema has taken over the keys to the truck alone. Over the years, the team has been rebuilt around him with new faces emerging like that of Vinicius Junior. This season, the Brazilian has considerably matured, establishing many automatisms with the French international. Behind them, the middle is aging but remains very strong. The defense is also solid but we know that it can crack at any time. The problem of this team lies in the fact that it is dependent on the form of the New. Just look at the return match against Paris. Thus, if City solves this problem, the Citizens should logically confirm their status as favorites.


During the quarter against Bayern, the fans were already full of hope. They had also created a slogan for the occasion: “If it sucks!” which can be translated as “Yes we can do it!“. For a city of 50,000 inhabitants, Vila-Real can count on strong support from their supporters. However, to believe it, you will first have to bring back a good result from England. If this year Villarreal deliver sawtooth performances in La Liga, the team shows a completely different face in LDC. The players seem to be playing this competition as if it could be the last time in their careers that they have the opportunity. And it works so far! Bayern completely fell into the trap in the previous round. They looked down on the yellow submarine and found themselves facing a band of starving people. To reach the final, this is how we will have to approach the confrontation against the Reds.

However, the advantage that Liverpool has is that the Bavarians have shown the example of what should be avoided: falling easy. Beyond the difference in level between the English and the Spaniards, Jürgen Klopp was able to observe how Villarreal played against a big team. A low block that can counter at full speed. Where Moreno and his teammates have expressed themselves best have been in the many holes left by Bayern’s poor defensive positioning. Before betting everything on the attack, Liverpool will therefore have to be very reactive in defensive transitions.

Manchester City and Liverpool appear as the two favorites to go to the final. However, nothing is 100% certain at this stage of the competition. The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday at 9 p.m. while the second will take place on Wednesday at the same time. The matches will be followed on Canal +, Bein and RMC.

Photo: Real Madrid


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