The second legs of two finely poised Champions League quarter finals take place on Wednesday night, as Liverpool welcome Real Madrid trying to turn around a 3-1 first leg defeat, whilst Manchester City head to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund with a 2-1 lead.
Liverpool v Real Madrid
Liverpool endured a miserable evening in Madrid last week as mistakes and controversial VAR decisions saw them lose to the Spanish giants 3-1. Two goals in the space of 10 minutes from Junior Vinicius and Marco Asensio saw Los Blancos go in at half time 2-0 up, but the English champions were thrown a lifeline through Mo Salah’s second half strike and crucial away goal. However, a second Junior Vinicius goal has left Liverpool with a mountain to climb back at Anfield.
There have been many famous European nights and comebacks at the home of the Reds over the years, but these have been witnessed by a passionate capacity crowd, something Liverpool won’t be able to enjoy this time.
Liverpool come into the game after finally ending their worst losing league run at Anfield since the 1950s thanks to a last gasp Trent Alexander Arnold strike to beat Aston Villa 2-1, whilst Real Madrid beat Barcelona by the same score line in El Clásico at the weekend to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games.
Interestingly, no side has beaten Liverpool in European competition more times than Madrid (four), and they have progressed in 15 of their last 16 UCL knockout ties in which they won the first leg.
For Liverpool to have any chance of progressing they will need to score early and in Mo Salah have a forward who has scored in four of the Reds’ last five games.
Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City
Favourites to lift their first ever Champions League title, Manchester City, go to Dortmund looking to protect a slender 2-1 lead to progress to the semi-finals.
City might count themselves fortunate to be taking an advantage over to Germany after another game that was marred with controversy. Having taken the lead through the imperious Kevin De Bruyne, Dortmund looked to have had a perfectly good Jude Bellingham goal disallowed before half time.
However, the German side did equalise late on through Marco Reus to grab what could be a crucial away goal, before Phil Foden scored in the 90th minute to give the Blues a slender advantage for the second leg.
It will be tough for City who face a Dortmund side who are unbeaten in eight Champions League games at home. That said, the English champions-elect have suffered just one defeat in their last 19 UCL games, winning 15 of them.
Dortmund were impressive in the first leg, despite defeat in Manchester. Marco Reus, who became Dortmund’s all-time top scorer in the UCL, will hope to add to his tally of 18 goals in the competition to send them through. But City arrive boasting plenty of talent too and Phil Foden’s late first leg goal could prove decisive in this tie.
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