Champions: It's City or Real, Atlético or Bayern

The first legs of the semis is under way, with yesterday's goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, in the match between Manchester City and Real Madrid. Both sides are optimistic, City because the club is sure of at least one goal in two games and Real because the return leg is at home.

Manchester City 0 Real Madrid 0

City soaked up the pressure in a match which we can read from the statistics. Real Madrid had more possession and more shots, a ball against the woodwork and the best chance on goal. But soccer is all about the goalkeeper taking the fish from the net. Real had a possession of 52 to 48 per cent, 11 shots against 5, three of which were on target (against two) and saw three shots saved (against City's one).

Playing tonight

Atlético Madrid v. Bayern München

How they got here

Benfica 2 Bayern München 2 (First leg 0-1) Aggregate: Bayern win 3-2

Jiménez 27 Vidal 38

Talisca 76   Müller 52

The match stats speak for themselves. Bayern had more ball possession (68 to 32%), more shots (16 to 9), one against the woodwork, 6 corners to 3 and 707 passes to 255. However, Benfica put on a great show in front of a packed house.



Atlético Madrid 2 Barcelona 0 (First leg 1-2) Aggregate: Atlético win 3-2

Griezmann 36, 88 (pen.)

It's called how to control a match, soak up the pressure and block access to goal. By far the busier team in defence, Atlético knew how to strike when necessary with clinical efficiency.


Played yesterday


Real Madrid 3 Wolfsburg 0 (First leg 0-2) Aggregate: Real Madrid win 3-2

Cristiano Ronaldo 15, 17, 77


Manchester City 1 Paris Saint-Germain 0 First leg: 2-2  Aggregate: City win 3-2

De Bruyne 76


Quarter-finals First Legs



Paris Saint-Germain 2 Manchester City 2


Ibrahimovic 41             De Bruyne 38

Rabiot 59                      Fernandinho 72


City come away from Paris one point the happier, meaning PSG have to win or draw by 3-3 or more goals at the Etihad Stadium next week to remain in the competition. The game saw both teams take and lose the lead, one which PSG showed more aggression with a ball possession of 64 to 36%, 16 shots against 11 (5 on target against 3) and saw four shots saved against City's 2. PSG also had a ball against the woodwork.


Wolfsburg 2 Real Madrid 0

Rodriguez 18 (pen.)

Arnold 25


The scoreline was set on 25 minutes and Wolfsburg could have got more. Seven of the home team's ten shots were on target compared with just 3 of Real's 21 although Real saw 5 shots saved and had six corner kicks to Wolfsburg's one.


Barcelona 2   Atlético Madrid 1

Suárez 63, 74   Torres 25


Not surprisingly, Barça kept up huge pressure on Atlético with a possession of 68 per cent to 32, nineteen shots (5 on target) against seven (2), six shots saved, one against the woodwork while Atlético, trying to soak up the pressure, saw one red card and no less than eight yellows.


Bayern München 1   SL Benfica

Vidal 2


On the night, not a bad result for Portugal's Sport Lisboa e Benfica which, despite seeing less of the ball (36% to 64%) managed ten shots, two on target (against Bayern's 15,5). Benfica also had four shots saved. All to play for in Lisbon.


Semi-Finals April 26, 27  May 3,4


How they got here: Last 16

Barcelona 3  Arsenal 1 (Agg. 5-1)

Neymar, 18  Elneny 51

Suárez 65

Messi 88

Barcelona enjoyed superior ball possession of 62% to 38%. That does not mean that Arsenal was out of the game. Barcelona's 17 shots (8 on target) were matched by the visitors' 18 shots (4 on). Both teams had seven corners and while Barça saw four shots blocked, Arsenal's strikers were denied 6 times by ter Stegen.


Bayern München 4 Juventus 2 (Agg. 6-4)

Lewandowski 73    Pogba 5

Müller 90+1           Cuadrado 28

Thiago Alcántara 108 ET

Coman 110 ET


In the first leg, Bayern had an easy victory in Turin by 2-0. That lasted for under half an hour in the return leg with Juventus tying the match at 2-2 through Pogba and Cuadrado after 5 and 28 minutes, respectively. Lewandowski kept Bayern in the match with a 73-minute strike and just as the game was about to end, Thomas Müller headed in Coman's cross. In extra time, Bayern proved the strongest team with two goals, winning the tie 6-4.


Atlético Madrid 0 PSV 0 (Agg. 0-0) 8-7 penalties

Manchester City 0 Dinamo Kiev 0 (Agg.3-1)


Zenit 1 SL Benfica 2 (First Leg 0-1) Agg. 1-3

Hulk 69     Gaitán 85, Talisca 90+6


When Hulk scored the goal, the tie was equalized but Benfica came back with two late goals, one right at the end of the game and the tie goes to Lisbon. An excellent performance by Benfica's goalkeeper, Ederson, denied Zenit, with six saves.



Chelsea 1                 PSG 2 (First Leg 1-2) Agg. 2-4

Diego Costa 27        Rabiot 16, Ibrahimovic, 67


Chelsea had more chances, 17 against 8, 9 on target against PSG's 5 but the visitors had a greater ball possession, controlling the game from 58% to 42%. However, Chelsea had 5 shots blocked against PSG's 3. Some dangerous play from Chelsea but the French champions were more efficient.


Wolfsburg 1 Gent 0 (First Leg 3-2) Agg. 4-2

Schürrle, 74


André Schürrle scored the only goal of the night on 74 minutes, in a game which saw almost equal ball possession (49 to 51 per cent) but with the German side having 17 shots against the visitors' 7 (5 on target, against two). Wolfsburg also had six corners to Gent's one, and Gent goalkeeper was busier, Sels making six saves against Casteels' one.


Real Madrid 2 Roma 0 (First Leg 2-0) Agg. 4-0

Cristiano Ronaldo 64

James Rodriguez 68


Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored ninety goals in the Champions League, the most any player has ever scored in the competition. The first came from a Ronaldo near-post volley after Modric found Lukas Vázquez, who performed several step-overs before serving Ronaldo. Four minutes later, it was Ronaldo who dribbled the ball to the box and made the assist to Colombian striker James Rodriguez, who put the ball under the falling keeper, Szczęsny.


Champions League First Legs


D. Kiev (Ukraine) 1 Manchester City (England) 3

Buyalskiy 59            Agüero 15, Silva 40, Touré 90

By the time Dinamo pulled one back, Manchester City had cruised to a 2-0 lead in what was a balanced game slightly favoring Dimano (53 to 47% ball possession in favor of the home team, 13 shots to 12, 6 corners to 3). However City was far more clinical and experienced as a group and Yaya Touré put the game out of reach with his 90th-minute left-foot curling shot.


PSV (Netherlands) 0 Atlético Madrid (Spain) 0


A balanced game in which Atlético had the edge, 51% of ball possession to 49% and ten corners to one. Atlético had 12 shots, 4 on target, 4 off and 4 saved; PSV had five, one on, two off and two saved. Cocu has it all to do away in Madrid if the Dutch side is going through to the next round.


Arsenal (England) 0 Barcelona (Spain) 2

                                 Messi 2

Lionel Messi had never beaten Petr Cech. Before tonight. Arsenal had their chances but at the end of the day it was a question of who put the ball away and this was again Messi, with a brace. Barcelona had a ball possession of 65 per cent to 35 and 16 shots to 7. Messi scored after 71' and 83' (Penalty)


Juventus (Italy) 2 Bayern München (Germany) 2

                             Müller 43 Robben 55

Dybala 63

Sturaro 76

Bayern had the match sewn up at 2-0 ahead but allowed Juventus to fight back for the home draw. The home side had 12 shots, seven on target; Bayern had 14 but 5 on. Juve had two shots blocked against Bayern's one but Bayern enjoyed superior ball possession (64 to 36%).


Gent (Belgium) 2 Wolfsburg (Germany) 3

Kums 80               Draxler 44, 54  Kruse 60

Coulibaly 89


The visitors had put the game out of reach by the time Gent got on the scoreboard, and in the end it was too little, too late.


Roma (Italy) 0 Real Madrid (Spain) 2

                         Ronaldo 57, Jesé 86

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first goal on 57 minutes, Jes'e adding to Roma's misery in the final touches of the game, meaning that Roma has to win 3-0 in Madrid without reply to stay in the competition. Real controlled the game with a 61 to 39% possession ratio and had more shots - 19 to 11.


SL Benfica 1 Zenit St. Petersburg 0

Jonas 90+1


Sport Lisboa e Benfica won by the narrowest of margins, 1-0, a header scored by Jonas on 90 + 1 minutes after Domenico Criscito got sent off (Zenit) and Jonas scored from the free kick. Zenit had started the match well but was held by Benfica, which did not allow the visitors many chances. The game stats speak for themselves: Benfica enjoyed a ball possession of 69 to 31%, had 15 shots, 5 on target against Zenit's 5/2. Benfica saw 4 shots blocked to Zenit's 1 and had five corners to 3.


Zenit however almost held out for the goalless draw but it wasn't to be. Benfica takes the most slender of leads to Saint Petersburg.


Paris Saint-Germain 2 Chelsea FC 1

Ibrahimovic 39            Mikel 45+1

Cavani 78


PSG put the pressure on Chelsea and no doubt Courtois was far busier than Trapp in goal. With a ball possession of 61 per cent (to 39), PSG rained in no less than 20 shots (8 on) against Chelsea's 9 (4) and the home side had 9 corners to 3. However, like Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain travels across the English Channel with a one-goal lead.


Champions League Matches (Last 16, first legs)

Tuesday 16

Benfica (Portugal) 1 Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia) 0

Paris Saint-Germain (France) 2 Chelsea FC (England) 1


Wednesday 17

Gent (Belgium) 2 Wolfsburg (Germany) 3

Roma (Italy) 0 Real Madrid (Spain) 2


Tuesday 23

Arsenal (England) 0 Barcelona (Spain) 2

Juventus (Italy) 2 Bayern München (Germany) 2


Wednesday 24

D. Kiev (Ukraine) 1 Manchester City (England) 3

PSV (Netherlands) 0 Atlético Madrid (Spain) 0


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