UEFA Champions League Update
By Mark Molz
In a year of uncertainties, one thing is certain, and that is the Champions League never failing to disappoint.
Four teams remain in the hunt to take home the ever so coveted Champions League Title. The Premier League boasts two teams in this year's semi-finals in Manchester City and Chelsea FC. Meanwhile, PSG and Real Madrid represent their respective leagues in Ligue 1 and La Liga.
Last year's champions, Bayern Munich, fell to PSG in the quarterfinals leaving this year's trophy up for grabs amongst the last four. Let’s take a look at the last four teams and see which one has the best chance at taking home the UCL final to their club.
Real Madrid vs. Chelsea
Chelsea will be looking to secure their second Champions League title in club history, meanwhile Real Madrid are hoping to add another victory to their already record holding thirteen titles.
Currently 1-1 on aggregate, Chelsea has the lead with their crucial away goal in last week's competition. Captain America, Christian Pulisic, put one away against the Real side in the 14’ minute, which could turn out to be the winner if they can hold Real to a clean sheet in game two of the semi-finals.
Real Madrid will need to come out aggressive in hopes of putting an away goal in at Stamford Bridge. Karim Benzema scored their equalizer in game one of their semi-finals matchup and I wouldn’t be surprised if he found the net again. Benzema has been in top form recently and he will be fighting to push his team through to the finals.
It is hard to bet against such a storied club in Real Madrid, so that is exactly what I will not do. Real will use their experience against Thomas Tuchels Chelsea, snatch the victory at Stamford Bridge, and push their way to the finals where they will either face Manchester City or PSG.
Manchester City vs. PSG
The first leg of the semi-finals was a tale of two-halves. PSG came out aggressive, fast, and ready to bury City. City on the other hand looked slow, timid, and had a difficult time getting the ball inside the box, leaving them trailing at half-time 1-0 to the French side.
But, with Pep Guardiola managing the City side most viewers knew the second half would be much different. The mastermind simply out coached Pochettino, and to put it simply, Pep was playing chess once again, while everyone seemed to be stuck with checkers. One free-kick goal from Kevin De-Bruyne and another from Riyad Mahrez found City leaving the French grounds with a 2-1 victory and two extremely important away goals.
In order for PSG to secure their spot in the UCL final they will have to march into the Etihad and score a minimum of two goals against Pep’s team and with Neymar and Mbappe on the pitch it surely seems like a possible feat. In the round of 16 they were able to put four goals away against Europe’s greats in Barcelona, with a sensational hat-trick from Mbappe. But, while PSG has some of the top scorers in the world. City has been in top form for months and it feels ambitious to bet against them on one of the biggest stages in Europe.
City will push their way to the finals where they will face Real in hope of taking down one of Europe’s great giants. While Real is looking to add to their current record of thirteen titles, City will be hoping to add their first UCL trophy to their cabinet.
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Ryan Ford '23,