By Niall Clarke
- Manchester City earn a 2-2 draw away at Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League
- Barcelona defeat Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Camp Nou
- Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg claim victories at home
Manchester City secured a 2-2 draw away at Paris Saint Germain to put themselves in a great position to qualify for their first Champions League semi final.
Paris Saint Germain 2-2 Manchester City
It was almost a comedy of errors. The quality lacked but the entertainment came in abundance as City earned a good result in Paris. Two away goals courtesy of Kevin De Bruyne and Fernando have set the Citizens for the second leg in Manchester in six days time in a better position than expected.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a first half penalty before De Bruyne gave City a surprise lead on 38 minutes. It was only moments later when Fernando’s pass was blocked by Ibrahimovic and the ball rolled into the net. Some more poor defending cost Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the second half when Adrian Rabiot put the hosts in front, but PSG were not solid at the back themselves. Fernandinho punished some comical defending with a deflected effort that found the back of the net. 2-2 on the night and an excellent result for City heading into the second leg.
It was not the highest quality game you will see, but the drama more than made up for it. The Manchester City faithful will travel back across the English Channel with hopes of a first Champions League semi finals. It is advantage City after the first leg, but the return match in Manchester will be interesting. Both teams are capable of much better, can either of them deliver?
Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona came from behind to beat rivals Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp, but it was Fernando Torres that made the headlines. The Spanish striker gave Atletico the lead with a tidy finish in the first half, only to be sent off for a second yellow card 10 minutes later. It was a rash tackle that changed the complex of the tie completely as Atletico had looked comfortable up until that point.
Barcelona piled the pressure on in the second half and deservedly overturned the deficit thanks to two goals by Suarez. It was crucial that the Catalans came out for the first leg with a win because Atletico are notoriously hard to break down. The Madrid side will have to come out and play in the second leg and that will play right into Barcelona’s hands.
Wolfsburg 2-0 Real Madrid
The most shocking result came in Germany where Wolfsburg upset Real Madrid 2-0 thanks to goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximillian Arnold. There was controversy early as Gareth Bale’s penalty claim was waved away by the referee. Instead Wolfsburg would take the lead from the spot and go on to double their lead seven minutes later.
It was a fantastic performance and result for The Wolves who go into the second leg with a two goals advantage and without conceding an away goal. It was stated in the preview article that Wolfsburg could surprise a few and they certainly have and now they have a great chance of reaching the last four of the Champions League. Real Madrid’s defending on the night was lacking, and they can only wait for the return of Raphael Varane at centre back.
Bayern Munich 1-0 Benfica
Arturo Vidal’s strike in the opening minutes gave Bayern Munich a one goal advantage after the first leg of the tie against Benfica.
The German’s will be disappointed they did not come out with a bigger result at home and it leaves Benfica with a slim chance in Lisbon next week. The Portuguese side defended well, but they will need more going forward as they have to score in the second leg. Bayern will also likely score in Lisbon so they may need three goals on the night, which Porto managed last season.
The Champions League returns on the 12th and 13th of April
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