Two of England’s finest were in action tonight. Both Manchester City and Liverpool played second-legs that they hoped would propel them into the last four of the UEFA Champions League.
City were at Atletico, nursing a narrow 1-0 advantage from the Etihad last week. Liverpool meanwhile entertained Benfica, after a commanding first-leg 3-1 victory in Lisbon.
Both could conceivably meet in the competition’s final in Paris, IF successful tonight, AND should their prospective semi-final opponents be tamed.
Ifs and buts galore then, ahead of what was sure to be an exciting and possibly eventful evening.
Atletico Madrid v Manchester City
A tough first half in Madrid, with City showing plenty of composure in the face of some fierce, trademark challenges.
Felipe recklessly clattered into Foden early doors, and was eventually booked for a similar lunge against De Bruyne. Gundogan hit a post during a goalmouth scramble, but chances were very few and far between.
The second period was extremely uncomfortable for City for a host of reasons. Atletico played in slightly more expansive style, but late in the piece completely lost control and committed several offences, notably against Foden.
Savic, Felipe, who was deservedly sent off, and manager Simeone all looked and acted as if all reason had been lost. Anyone really surprised? I understand there were incidents in the tunnel after the match, too.
Awful scenes, but City grittily saw it through to set up a mouth-watering semi against Real. KDB and Kyle Walker limped off, and Foden was bandaged around the head almost throughout. It was that kind of battle.
Final score 0-0 (City go through 1-0 on aggregate)
Liverpool v Benfica
The Merseysiders and their guests shared a goal apiece in the first period at Anfield, through Konate and Ramos. Klopp’s men had a comfortable cushion from that first leg, and it would take something extraordinary to knock them off course.
The second-half was an entertaining goal-fest. Bobby Firmino helped himself to a couple, and Yaremchuk and Nunez replied for Benfica to force a thrilling draw. Villareal await in the semi-final.
Final score 3-3 (Liverpool go through 6-4 on aggregate)
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