This week saw the first legs of the Champions League quarter finals take place. As such, I’m going to continue my reviews of the Champions League knockout stages. There were plenty of goals and talking points from the four games and I’ll cover these in this article. The second legs of the quarter finals take place next week.
Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund 2-1
Manchester City are the favourites for this years Champions League crown. With the way they are currently playing this is hardly a surprise. Led by talisman Kevin De Bruyne, the blues have been irresistible going forward this year.
It was De Bruyne who got City off to a strong start with an opener after 19 minutes. City dominated possession throughout the game, having 62% of the ball. However, they failed to capitalise on this dominance. They were punished on 84 minutes as Marco Reus scored a massive away goal having been slid in by Erling Haaland. This late goal appeared to have secured an impressive draw away from home for the German side. Pep Guardiola’s side had to show their grit and determination and grabbed a late goal through Phil Foden. This ensured that they will take an advantage to Germany for the second game.
If they can come through the second leg in Dortmund then it will set up a mouth-watering semi final. Manchester City has been drawn to face the winner of Bayern Munich and PSG. That matchup would surely be an entertaining watch for all soccer fans.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool 3-1
Liverpool’s indifferent recent form continued against Real with a poor defensive display from the reds. Real started quickly going up 2-0 thanks to goals from Vinicius and Marco Asensio. Mohamed Salah did pull a goal back in the second half for Liverpool to make it 2-1. However, a defensive howler from under fire Trent Alexander Arnold allowed Vinicius to add his second of the game and give the Spaniards a 3-1 advantage.
The second leg will be played at Anfield and Liverpool will have it all to do if they are to progress to the semi finals. The reds have reached the Champions League final in two of the last three years. In order to have another strong run this season, they need one of their best games of the year to overturn Real’s advantage.
Porto vs Chelsea 0-2
Going into the quarter finals, Porto appeared to be the weakest team left in the competition. They did not do anything to change this belief against Chelsea. The London side were impressive in their comfortable 2-0 win away from home. An excellent finish from the in form Mason Mount set the blues on their way. Throughout the game, Porto did not really threaten the Chelsea goal and it was always Chelsea who looked more likely to score next.
Christian Pulisic almost added the second when he hit the bar. Minutes later, Ben Chilwell did add the deserved second with a composed finish as he went round Agustín Marchesín and tapped into an empty net. The result puts Thomas Tuchel’s side in complete control of the tie before next week’s second leg.
If Porto are to have any chance of advancing to the semi finals they will have to offer a lot more going forward. However, this does not seem likely. The blues have only conceded 2 goals in total throughout this season’s Champions League.
Bayern Munich vs PSG 2-3
This match was certainly the game of the round so far. Two of the best sides in European soccer served up an end to end entertaining game. In the end it was a Kylian Mbappe double which gave the French side the advantage from the first leg. Bayern were without star striker Robert Lewandowski but as defending champions they would have hoped for a better result at home.
The game started perfectly for PSG with Mbappe putting the Parisians ahead after just 3 minutes before Marquinhos added a second. Bayern did fight back to make it 2-2 thanks to goals from Thomas Muller and Choupou-Moting. However, Mbappe got his second of the game after 68 minutes to seal an impressive victory. With these two goals, Mbappe is now the second top scorer in this season’s Champions League with 8 goals. This puts him second to fellow youngster Erling Haaland.
Bayern Munich will hope for a much stronger showing if they are to make it through to the semi finals for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons. Much of their chances may hinge on the availability of superstar striker Robert Lewandowski. If he is back playing, then Bayern is a very tricky side to stop.