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What do the UEFA Champions League semi-finals have in store?

April 23, 2024

After a thrilling set of quarter-final ties, it would be a fool’s game to predict the outcomes of the remaining UEFA Champions League fixtures. However, we’re going to attempt to do just that.

Before we step in, a quick reminder of the matches played out over the course of the last two weeks.

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain FC

Starting us off is that incredible tie between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. With Kylian Mbappé unable to influence proceedings in the first leg at the Parc des Princes, the Blaugrana managed to come away with a 3-2 victory. Taking a one-goal advantage to Camp Nou, along with a quick start in the second leg through Raphinha’s 12th-minute strike, pretty much guaranteed Barcelona a place in the final four.

However, it wasn’t to be, as Ronald Araújo would be given his marching orders for a last-man tackle in the 29th minute. The Ligue 1 club then managed to turn the game around, scoring four and winning the tie 6-4 on aggregate.

Borussia Dortmund v Club Atlético de Madrid

While nearly the entire footballing world would have been gushing over the craziness of the Barça-PSG tie, two other clubs were playing out a thriller of their own at Signal Iduna Park. After Dortmund managed to fall behind to a 2-1 scoreline in the first leg, they scored twice to take the lead at home. 

However, Atlético Madrid hit back with a couple of their own to restore their lead, only for the German side to score two more and win the tie 5-4 on aggregate. 

Arsenal FC v FC Bayern Munich

Moving on to Arsenal and Bayern Munich, then. Despite a rather average performance from the Bavarian team across both the legs, the Gunners failed to capitalise on a great opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals. 

Mikel Arteta’s team managed to play out a 2-2 draw at the Emirates. They followed it up with an uninspiring display at the Allianz Arena, where Joshua Kimmich’s solitary goal proved the difference.

Real Madrid CF v Manchester City FC

Probably regarded as the game of the quarter-finals, Man City and Real Madrid did not disappoint.

After a 3-3 draw in Madrid, we returned to the Etihad to see the Cityzens display a dominant performance but fail to make their opportunities count. Eventually, the game was decided on penalties, and the 14-time Champions League winners came out on top.

AN UNEXPECTED FINAL FOUR

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Munich

The first of two semi-final first legs will be played between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Although the first leg will take place at the Allianz Arena, I would say that the Spanish team go in as favourites.

Real Madrid are also having a much better league season compared to their opponents, currently sitting top of LaLiga with a healthy gap between themselves and second-placed Barça. Meanwhile, Bayern have already lost the Bundesliga title to Bayer Leverkusen and will go trophyless this campaign if they fail to lay their hands on the Champions League trophy.

Additionally, Bayern weren’t too convincing against Arsenal in the previous round, which is why they go into this tie as second favourites. 

Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain FC

The second semi-final between Borussia Dortmund and PSG may be the harder one to call. However, similar to the previous fixture, one side has an upper hand given their incredible league form.

PSG are cruising towards another Ligue 1 title this season, while Dortmund have found it tough, currently placed fifth in the Bundesliga table.

However, in the Champions League, Dortmund have recorded the joint-highest clean sheets along with Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and Real Sociedad (four). If they manage to frustrate PSG, the French side that have conceded 13 goals in the tournament, four more than themselves, Dortmund may find some joy.

That said, I would still favour PSG to win this tie thanks to the firepower they have up front. Mbappé leads the way for goals in this year’s Champions League with eight strikes, and his teammate Ousmane Dembélé also seems to be in good form, having scored in both legs against Barça in the quarter-final.

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