Chelsea’s woes continue, Pep Guardiola’s City one step closer to booking their berths for the semi finals
Real Madrid vs Chelsea
The first legs of the Champions League quarterfinals provided four intriguing games. We analyse and separate the week’s most important talking themes from Europe’s best club championship.
Chelsea’s trip to Real Madrid was never intended to be a fight
The most dreaded attacking tandem in European football should be Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior. Each player’s skill set perfectly matches the other, and the pair’s understanding is nearly telepathic.
The Blues icon and Chelsea’s subsequent union is more for practical reasons than romantic ones. It’ll keep them busy till the conclusion of the season. A win or a draw was not predicted, therefore Wednesday’s 2-0 setback was foreseeable.
Toddy Boehly’s investment of roughly £600 in less than a year elevates expectations for what transpires further at Chelsea.
Action speaks louder than words, therefore rather than making silly pre-game predictions to the media, the owner should zip it and start putting things together.
It was difficult to believe that the midweek match was between the two most recent Champions League winners- Chelsea is a long way from that level currently.
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich
Thomas Tuchel’s biggest dissatisfaction with Bayern’s 3-0 loss at Etihad arises from the fact that such a scoreline was avoidable. The hosts struggled to get the ball out of the defense in the first half, as Rodri and John Stones were constantly crowded by red shirts – usually Leroy Sane and Jamial Musiala – and Erling Haaland wasn’t given many chances to rush at goal and grapple defenders. It wasn’t exactly the sort of display you’d expect from Bayern Munich. However, it was exactly the type of performance that City had been putting on in recent weeks: competent, clinical, and with the ability to shift through the gears fast.
AC Milan vs Napoli
Rafael Leao is all the rage right now. While he was undeniably dangerous against Napoli on Wednesday, he wasn’t the reason the Rossoneri took a 1-0 aggregate lead. Leao’s supporting cast, which includes but is not limited to goalkeeper Mike Maignan, defender Davide Calabria, and midfielders Ismael Bennacer and Brahim Diaz, deserves credit. Each contributed significantly to Milan’s second win in ten days.
Bennacer and Diaz’s bold play coupled with Laeo to score Milan’s lone goal. Diaz added another layer to Mian’s game by not only creating chances but also cutting down passing lanes when they didn’t have the ball. When the two came cutting at their heels, Napoli often had to rethink their play.
Benfica vs Inter Milan
The Champions League revolves entirely around results. It isn’t a popularity battle, or Inter Milan would not be in such a strong position to advance to the semifinals.
Inter, a team that few people would consider particularly entertaining to watch, won the opening leg of their quarterfinal away at Benfica on Tuesday, and they are now ahead 2-0 overall.
Benfica had possession but took an absurdly long time to make each and every final pass, whereas Inter scored quickly.
Prior to the second leg in Milan the following week, the Italian Outfit now enjoys a significant edge. They deserve it as well. In the Champions League, one doesn’t keep three straight clean sheets without doing something effectively.