England’s Best Face Spanish Test In Two Champions League Semi Finals

By Ian John
May 6, 2022

Earlier this week, we noted that the semi-finalists in the three big UEFA competitions would be decided this week.

Well, in the biggest of those three competitions, the Champions League, we now know which teams will contest the semi-finals at the end of April, with the second leg taking place in early May. The final will be held in late May.

The four quarter final second leg ties were all very different games, but exciting in their own ways and in the end, we are left with two English teams, plus two from Spain, to contest the semi-finals.

There is also the possibility of a repeat of the 1981 and 2018 Champions League Finals should two specific teams both get through from their respective semis.

In this article, we are first going to recap how the four quarterfinals turned out, before we turn our attention to the semi-finals later this month to give you a quick preview of the games, as well as some preliminary tips and bets to consider in the early bird markets for those games.

As usual, any odds shown on the games are taken from bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing, but they may change in the run up to each semi-final.

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To begin, let’s take a quick look at how the four quarter final ties played out over the second legs this week.

READ: Get a Free Bet during the Champions League Semi Finals.

Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg Results

Real Madrid 2-3 Chelsea (AET – Real Madrid win 5-4 on aggregate)

The most dramatic and exciting game this week was certainly at the Bernebeu where Real Madrid managed to come back after a spirited Chelsea fightback threatened to see the Londoners claim an incredible win.

With Real leading 3-1 from the first leg in London, the Spanish side were hot favourites to progress but it was the English Champions League holders who began better and took the lead through Mason Mount.

Then early in the second half, Antonio Rudiger’s header made it 2-0 and brought the tie level.

Marcos Alonso thought he had made it 3-0, but his goal was ruled out for a hand ball, but a few minutes later Timo Werner put Chelsea 3-0 up and winning 4-3 on aggregate and Madrid looked to be on their way out.

But on 80 minutes, Luke Modric’s sublime pass allowed Rodrygo to fire home to bring the tie level and then in extra time, Vinicius Jr’s cross was headed home by Benzema to put Real back in front.

Chelsea tried to level but Real hung on to move into the semi-finals.

Bayern Munich 1-1 Villarreal (Villarreal win 2-1 on aggregate)

After a surprising 1-0 win in Spain in the first leg,  Villarreal stunned Bayern Munich by earning a draw in the Allianz Arena to make it through to the Champions League semi final and knock out one of the favourites for the trophy.

Bayern had the better of things in the first half, but Villarreal looked dangerous on the break, but at the interval, the teams were locked together at 0-0.

However, in the second half Robert Lewandowski put Bayern in front and it appeared as if the German Champions would go on to clain the win.

Instead, Villarreal started to look dangerous on the counter attack and as Bayern pressed for the winner, they were caught out. Parejo and Lo Celso linking well to play in Moreno whose back post cross was bundled home by the substitute Chukwueze.

Bayern couldn’t score in the short amount of time remaining in the game meaning Villarreal surprised many by claiming a semi-final spot.

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City (Manchester City win 1-0 on aggregate)

Atletico Madrid’s attempts to frustrate Manchester City and grab a goal on the counter or later in the game, didn’t work out as the end of this game descended into ugly scenes as a resilient Manchester City hung on to their 1-0 first leg lead to claim a spot in the semi-finals.

City enjoyed the lions share of the possession, especially in the first half, but against the massed ranks of Atletico defence and their gamesmanship, both teams went in at the interval without a goal being scored.

The second half finally saw Atletico start to become more offensive, in both senses of the word. They disrupted City’s rhythm, often being physical and borderline legal, but despite this, as the game wore on City’s defense held firm.

Atletico mounted a sustained attack on City’s goal late in the game but Felipe’s red card, followed by unsavoury scenes just before and after the final whistle marred the game, but in the end, it was City that progressed by that single goal in the first leg.

Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (Liverpool win 6-4 on aggregate)

Benfica made a real fight of this game at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp rested a number of first teamers for this game and the Reds did look more unsettled as a result of that. However, their progress to the semi-final was never really in doubt.

The Reds went in front in the first half when Ibrahima Konate headed home in an almost carbon copy of his goal from the first leg. Goncalo Ramos levelled for Benfica before half time as the teams went in at 1-1 on the night, with Liverpool leading 4-2 on aggregate.

The tie was effectively ended in the space of ten minutes in the second half when Roberto Firmino scored two goals in the 55th and 65th minutes to put Liverpool 6-2 up.

But Benfica, to their credit, did not give up and they levelled the game through goals from Yaremchuk and Nunez.

Despite that, the Portuguese side never really got close to upsetting Liverpool and despite their spirited effort, it was the home side who went through comfortably.

Champions League Semi Final Ties

Tuesday 26th April

  • Manchester City v Real Madrid

Wednesday 27th April

  • Liverpool v Villarreal

Tuesday 3rd May

  • Villarreal v Liverpool

Wednesday 4th May

  • Real Madrid v Manchester City

Game Previews

Manchester City v Real Madrid

These two teams have met six times previously, all in this competition and all since September 2012. Those six games have seen both teams win twice each, with two other games drawn.

City have won both the two most recent games between the two by a 2-1 scoreline, doing so in February and August 2020.

However, when the teams met at this stage of the 2016 tournament, Real moved into the final on the back of a 1-0 aggregate win.

Both teams are top of their respective domestic divisions, although Real have a much larger lead than City, but in truth of the two teams, City have certainly looked the better of the two for large chunks of the season so far.

This will be a hugely entertaining two-legged tie and City are the 1/2 favourites to win the first leg, with Real 5/1 and 10/3 on the draw.

City are 4/11 to qualify with bet365, while Real Madrid are 2/1 to make it through to the final.

Liverpool v Villarreal

Villarreal’s reward for their surprise win over Bayern Munich is a semifinal against a Liverpool side that they have already faced in a European Semi Final before.

Those two games back in April and May 2006 were the only two matches between the two and the Spaniards won 1-0 in the home leg, before they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in the second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool currently lie second in the Premier League a point behind Manchester City, who they face in the FA Cup Semi Final this weekend at Wembley. The Reds have already won the Carabao Cup and are still on for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.

Villarreal lie 7th in La Liga, eight points behind Real Sociedad in sixth spot and they have won just one of their last four, which was that game against Bayern Munich, but they have beaten Arsenal, Manchester United, Juventus and now Bayern Munich in Europe in recent times so they will be no pushovers.

Liverpool are 2/9 to win the first leg with Villarreal 10/1 and 11/2 on the draw. The Reds are also 1/7 to qualify with Villarreal 9/2 to make the final.

The two English sides are now the joint 5/4 favourites to win the trophy outright, with Real Madrid 6/1 and Villarreal 20/1.

Check back later this month for a more up to date preview of both semi-finals.

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