And that concludes Apex Football’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals coverage. We are very sure you enjoyed every bit of the goals and the drama served up by some f Europe’s elite clubs over the last two days. Till we come your way during the semi-finals, have a great time!
In our feature encounter at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Manchester City secured their place in back-to-back UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history, with a fiery 0-0 draw which was enough to set up a last-four date with Spanish giants and record holders Real Madrid. The Cityzens were made to battle hard but they still progressed courtesy of their 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium last week.
The victory sets up a meeting with Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the last four, in a repeat of their UEFA Europa League semi-final from 2015/2016. The Spanish side will be eyeing up another famous scalp after knocking out Bayern Munich and Juventus already in this campaign.
After 90 minutes of pulsating action at Anfield, Liverpool confirmed their progression to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-finals for the first time since they won the competition in 2018/19, with two Roberto Firmino goals helping to stave off a late fightback from a resilient Benfica side, as the Reds played out a 3-3 draw and a 6-4 aggregate victory.
FULL-TIME AT ANFIELD: Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (6-4 AGG)
FULL-TIME AT THE WANDA METROPOLITANO STADIUM: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City (0-1 AGG)
90+3′ MIN: The referee shows a red card (second booking on the night) to Felipe for a nasty challenge on Phil Foden.
RED CARD!!! To Felipe (Atletico Madrid)
83′ MIN: Gooal! No wait, it’s been ruled out for offside. Darwin Nunez disagrees, but the linesman seems sure about his call. Possible change! There could be offside in the lead up. Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk wants to look at it, so he’s going to review using VAR. Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk points to the centre spot to indicate that the goal stands after the VAR review. Darwin Nunez goes wild in celebration.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (D. Nunez; AGG 6-4)
73′ MIN: Roman Yaremchuk finds the back of the net but the referee has ruled it out for offside! But hold your horses….Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk straight away wants to review previous situation with VAR, presumably for a possible offside in the build-up. Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk points to the centre spot to indicate that the goal stands after the VAR review. Roman Yaremchuk (Benfica) goes wild in celebration.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 3-2 Benfica (R. Yaremchuk; AGG 6-3)
65′ MIN: Konstantinos Tsimikas floats a lovely ball in from the free kick to Roberto Firmino and he slots the ball inside the right post to add to the Reds’ advantage.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 3-1 Benfica (R. Firmino; AGG 6-2)
55′ MIN: Diogo Jota feeds Roberto Firmino who taps the ball into an empty net.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 2-1 Benfica (R. Firmino; AGG 5-2)
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT ANFIELD: Liverpool 1-1 Benfica (4-2 AGG)
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE WANDA METROPOLITANO STADIUM: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City (0-1 AGG)
HALF-TIME AT ANFIELD: Liverpool 1-1 Benfica (4-2 AGG)
HALF-TIME AT THE WANDA METROPOLITANO STADIUM: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City (0-1 AGG)
32′ MIN: Goncalo Ramos receives a great chance inside the box and drills a shot into the bottom left corner.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 1-1 Benfica (Ramos; AGG 4-2)
21′ MIN: Tsimikas’ deep corner, Konate rises highest in between Vertonghen and Otamendi to send a powerful header down and into the net.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Liverpool 1-0 Benfica (I. Konate; AGG 4-1)
KICK-OFF AT ANFIELD: Liverpool 0-0 Benfica (3-1 AGG)
KICK-OFF AT THE WANDA METROPOLITANO STADIUM: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City (0-1 AGG)
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has made as much as seven changes to his side while fielding an XI capable of doing the business tonight. Talismanic forward Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk are all on the bench, same as Fabinho, Trent Alexander Arnold, Andy Robertson, Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain while Takumi Minamino has been left out entirely.
Benfica manager has made only one change with Diogo Goncalves coming in for Rafa Silva.
City gaffer Pep Guardiola makes two changes to his starting XI as Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez both start, while the usual suspects in Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden are also in the line-up.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone has named Frenchman Antoine Griezmann and Portuguese international Joao Felix upfront in the hope of getting a goal and tying the game but he still has five players in defence as the Rojiblancos remain wary of the threat posed by Pep Guardiola’s
In an announcement on Monday, the European football’s governing body instructed the Spanish club to close at least 5,000 of the Wanda Metropolitano’s 68,456 seats following “discriminatory behaviour” by their fans during the first leg last week. Following an appeal by Atletico, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has suspended that punishment for security reasons, arguing that the partial closure would have to be implemented at too short a notice.
Ahead of their clash with Manchester City, Atletico Madrid received a boost as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in their favour of having a full capacity crowd for the match, after UEFA had penalized the Spanish outfit.
As usual, Apex Football will bring you LIVE updates as the action unfolds. So keep it locked and do not go anywhere….it’s about to go down!
The winners of tonight’s fixtures would see them face Villarreal or Real Madrid in the semi-finals. The winner of the clash involving Liverpool and Benfica will face Villareal while Real Madrid awaits the winner between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City in the last-four.
In the second encounter on the night, Bundesliga giants and five-time winners Bayern Munich were eliminated by Spanish opposition Villarreal after they played out a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena. The first leg was won by the Yellow Submarine courtesy of an Arnaut Danjuma’s effort, but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring on the night and levelled the tie on aggregate but the visitors had the final say as Nigerian international Samuel Chukwueze who was an 84th minute substitute, scored in the 88th minute to send the Bavarians packing from the competition, as Villarreal won the tie 2-1 on aggregate.
In the ensuing 30 minutes, Karim Benzema showed why he is the favourite for the Ballon d’Or this year by netting to make it 3-2 on the night but 5-4 on aggregate which was enough to hand Madrid the tie.
As fans of good football, we are definitely expecting another night of drama and excitement following the events from Tuesday night in which Real Madrid and Villarreal both booked their places in the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition. In one of the biggest games last night, holders Chelsea gave record winners Real Madrid a run for their money as they won 3-2 after extra-time at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The Blues had overturned their 3-1 first leg deficit and were three goals up before Rodrygo levelled the tie on aggregate (4-4) thereby sending the match into extra-time.
Tonight’s UCL action is the return legs of both fixtures. The first leg between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City ended in a 1-0 victory for the Cityzens, while Merseysiders Liverpool earned a comfortable 3-1 away win at Benfica in Lisbon last week.
A fantastic evening to you soccer fans! You are welcome to another fascinating night of UEFA Champions League action between Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid vs Premier League champions Manchester City set to go down at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and another English Premier League side Liverpool taking on Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit Benfica which will hold at Anfield.