Manchester City repeated its 2-1 win from last week to get past Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Wednesday, while Real Madrid held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield to progress.
Paris St. Germain will now face Manchester City, while Real Madrid will fight Chelsea for two places in the final.
Liverpool had a mountain to climb since last week when Klopp’s soldiers lost 3-1 in Madrid. The English champions of 2020 controlled possession (56.2% to 43.8%) and had more shots (15-6, 4-2 on target), but failed to materialize their superiority. Real was happy with the result, setting up a fantastic semifinal against Chelsea.
In Dortmund, Manchester City was trembling after 15 minutes when 17-year-old wunderkind Jude Bellingham put Borussia 1-0 ahead. Should the score have stayed the same until the end of the game, City would’ve been knocked out on the away goals rule. But second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez (55) and Phil Foden (75) put a big smile back on the faces of City’s fans, as the blue team in Manchester won the match 2-1. Pep Guardiola’s team will now battle Paris Saint Germain for a place in the final in Istanbul on May 29.
Champions League semifinals: when do they meet?
The pairings for the semifinals were already made in the previews draw. UEFA has yet to confirm which semifinal will be played on Tuesday, April 27, and which one the following day, with the return legs set for May 4 and 5.
Real Madrid will first host Chelsea, then go to Stamford Bridge in London for the return leg. PSG awaits Manchester City in Paris for what could become a Champions League classic. The two will then move to Manchester for the aggregate decider.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 14, 2021
Last season, Thomas Tuchel reached the final as PSG boss. The French powerhouse lost against Bayern in Lisbon, 1-0. This time, Tuchel, who’s now on Chelsea’s bench, could face his former team in the last act of the Champions League campaign.
Guardiola: ‘We start to build history’
Guardiola hasn’t reached the semifinals as City manager since taking charge in 2016. In the past four seasons, City stopped in the quarterfinals on three occasions, and was once shown the door in the round of 16.
This time, City is the big favorite to win the Champions League. Bookies have the English Premier League as the dominant leaders at +225 to enjoy European success in Istanbul at the end of May. PSG is at +400, with Real Madrid at +500 and Chelsea at +550.
As the odds suggest, City (-250) and Real Madrid (-120) are favored to make their way to the final, opposed to PSG’s +280 and Chelsea’s +220 respectively.
“We start to build history,” Guardiola said after City’s 2-1 win in Dortmund. “We were brilliant except the first minutes when they were good. I’m incredibly happy to be in the semi-finals, to be one of the best four teams in Europe, to be against big, strong teams. We will try to be good. We break this bridge from quarterfinals to semifinals.”
"He always creates something. He is dynamic offensively, defensively and in the small spaces.
"In the quarter final of the UCL he was the important player to help us go to play PSG."
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 14, 2021
Quadruple on the Line
City is on the hunt for a historical “Quadruple.”
The Premier League is all but sealed, with the Manchester club also playing the League Cup final against Tottenham (Sunday, April 25) and the semifinals in the FA Cup (vs Chelsea on Saturday, April 17) and in the Champions League.
No English club has managed to win the Quadruple, meaning it claimed all of the available trophies during a season.