Champions League, last stage before the final !
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Champions League, last stage before the final !

The first leg of the Champions League semi-finals took place this week in a rather special atmosphere. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with stadiums emptied of their fans and after a week of turmoil due to the creation ad abortion of the Super League project, all European football fans were eagerly awaiting the return of their favourite competition.

Zidane's Real Madrid faced Chelsea while Paris Saint-Germain hosted Manchester City in the first leg of the semi-finals of the prestigious all-star competition.

Tighter than expected first legs

Reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League requires a level playing field with the best European clubs. Some of the big teams are already out of the running, such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus.

Once you get to this stage of the competition, you can't underestimate anyone.

However, for many fans, a Real Madrid victory over Chelsea seemed inevitable and so did a Manchester City victory over PSG.

After a draw between Real and Chelsea and an impressive start from Paris who were leading the game, football reminds us that we cannot judge two teams so easily on paper.

Real Madrid 1 - 1 Chelsea

From the first minutes of the match, Chelsea dominated. The Blues, with their efficient pressing and quick attacks, suffocated the Real Madrid players. Several clear chances were obtained but the young Timo Werner did not succeed in concretizing them.

Soon, in the 14th minute of the match, the American Pulisic, on a magnificent service from Rudiger, made a fool of the Madrid defence and scored the first goal.

The White House, at home, is 1-0 down in a crucial match, and it is necessary to come back to the score. Karim Benzema takes the lead, his first shot is deflected off the post, but his 29th minute effort goes under the bar and makes it 1-1.

Chelsea kept up the pressure, with Kante being voted man of the match. However, the scoreline remained the same, leaving both teams with the possibility of qualifying for the final.

Paris Saint Germain 1 - 2 Manchester City

Neymar and Mbappé were, of course, the expected stars of the Paris side. The Brazilian was on cloud nine in the double-header against Bayern, and Kylian Mbappe has been scoring goals since the Round of 16.

The pair were on target in the first half, but it was Di Maria and Marquinhos in particular who stood out with a magnificent corner that ended up in the net thanks to an excellent header from the defender.

Ahead by a goal at half-time, the Parisians were confident, they had to maintain their domination and score the breakthrough.

However, from the beginning of the second half, Paris takes the water. Guardiola's men have increased their intensity and take the game to their own devices. Neymar and Mbappe disappeared from the radar, the latter offered a good service for Verratti who was a bit short in the 56th minute, and then nothing.

Belgian De Bruyne equalised with a floating cross that surprised Navas in the 64th minute and Riyad Mahrez punished PSG with a free kick less than 7 minutes later.

The efforts and high level of Angel Di Maria will not have been enough to bring Paris back into the game, the Argentine was far too lonely tonight to hope to reverse the trend.

Everything is possible

If there is one thing that the Champions League has taught us recently, it is that until the final whistle of a double-header, nothing is over.

European football has seen many surprises or remontadas in recent years. It is no longer implausible to qualify despite conceding a huge score in the first leg.

Both semi-final first legs this season ended in a tie and a close score, leaving each team with the possibility of a final.

Chelsea - Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge

After a 1-all tie at the Santiago Bernabeu, everything is still to play for in this second leg of the Champions League. **Chelsea will start the match with a certain advantage, as that away goal would count double if the match is tied again. Real Madrid will have to score at least one goal to qualify.

Benzema and Eden Hazard should be in good shape and so should Modric and Kroos. We will note the almost certain absence of Carvajal, who was injured 6 days before this second leg.

Manchester City - PSG, Paris must do better

Trailing 2 goals to 1 at home, Paris Saint-Germain must come back and score at least 2 goals on Tuesday. Fortunately, in football anything is possible, especially when Neymar and Mbappe are in your team. The two stars will have to play a great game to redeem themselves from their performance in the first leg and reverse the trend.

Paris is capable of scoring quickly in the game and that is what the capital players will need to put pressure on the English club. But be careful not to get caught out again. The goals conceded at home don't leave much room for manoeuvre, to put it simply, they will have to score several times and not weaken in defence.

How to bet on the Champions League

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The second leg of the Champions League semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th May, so if you want to try your luck and bet on the Champions League, you can do so at the following sites:

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Interesting bets on the second leg

It's hard to predict the outcome of each of the two second legs in these semi-finals. But for those who like rematches and underdogs, the following odds may interest you:

  • PSG qualify for the final, priced at 7.4 on Gamdom;

  • Real Madrid win, priced at 3.45 on 3 different bookmakers.

If you're more interested in some original bets:

  • Chelsea qualify in a penalty shootout, priced at 21 on;

  • Manchester City wins by more than 2 goals, priced at 5.2 on Stake

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