first_imgThis year we saw one of the most amazing Champions League quarter-finals in its long history. Two old foes and two clubs that haven’t reached this stage in a while were in the draw. What was the outcome?Bayern Munich – Real Madrid Well, those old foes meet again. It’s the 7th time that Bayern and Real will face each other in a Champions League semi-final. The last time was in 2017, when Real Madrid scored three times in extra time to advance to the final. Bayern didn’t dominate Sevilla as many anticipated it will, but it calmly and routinely disposed of a tricky opponent. You all know Real Madrid’s story by now. Juventus did the unimaginable by scoring three goals at Santiago Bernabeu, but a controversial penalty call in injury time converted by Ronaldo sent Los Blancos to this semi-final.The Germans will be keen to avenge their last two semi-final eliminations. With the Bundesliga title wrapped up, they’ll have all the time in the world to prepare and with Jupp Heynckes at the helm, they’ll have all the confidence in the world to advance. This is the first real threat they’ll face in this season’s knockout rounds. My apologies to Besiktas and Sevilla, but they are not Real Madrid. Zidane’s men had a much tougher road here, having had to play PSG and Juventus. Credit needs to be given where credit is due and Real Madrid really stepped up when it counted. Many pundits had written them off after a bad first half of the season, but Madrid’s players led by Cristiano Ronaldo raised to the occasion and showed why they’re the defending back-to-back champions. I don’t think Bayern has shown its true colors yet and will need to be at its best in order to reach the final. It is a daunting task, but one that the Bavarians are capable of pulling off. The encounters between these two are always mesmerizing affairs. I don’t think there’s a single football fanatic who’s not excited to see them face each other again.Liverpool – Roma Roma have played one Champions League final to date and guess what? It was against Liverpool. It happened in 1984 and The Reds won on penalty kicks. So, there’s a little bit of history between the two. Also, you remember that Mohamed Salah used to play for the Italians. That’s where Liverpool bought him from last summer. Both teams deserve to be here with special performances that saw them eliminate two clubs that some thought were destined to meet in the final – Manchester City and Barcelona. Roma’s comeback in particular, is one for the history books.Liverpool has a rich history that totals ten Champions League/European Cup semi-finals (including this one). The Reds have reached the final in seven of the other nine attempts. The last time they played in a final was 2007, when they lost to Chelsea and the last time they won the competition was in 2005 in that memorable final versus AC Milan. Then, they did something similar to what Juventus and Roma did in the quarter-finals by overcoming a 3-0 deficit (on their way to a penalty kick victory). Roma’s presence here is absolutely shocking. Di Francesco’s men did give signs of their ability to surprise when they finished atop a group that involved Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. They’ll be in for another uphill battle against the most prolific front trio in European football. I still give the advantage to Liverpool, mostly because Jurgen Klopp has been here and done it, meaning reached the final (with Borussia Dortmund in 2013).The first matches are going to be played on April 24/25, while the second legs will take place on May 1/2.last_img

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