THERE’S been little drama in the quarterfinals matches of the Champions League, as if the competing teams merely followed an unwritten script.
Last season’s finalist Paris Saint-Germain lost 0-1 to defending champions Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes in Paris, but advanced on away goals (3-3 on aggregate).
In the semifinals, the French club will face Manchester City, which beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 (4-2 on aggregate) away in Westfalenstadion.
In the other semifinals matchup, it’s Real Madrid vs Chelsea.
Los Blancos drew Liverpool 0-0 (3-1 on aggregate) at Anfield to advance, while the Blues did just enough to edge out Porto despite losing 0-1 (2-1 on aggregate) in a neutral venue in Seville, Spain.
This season’s semifinals, which kicks off two weeks from now, is a certified battle between giants with none of the teams considered as underdogs.
Curiously, the knockout rounds have yet to register a comeback tie, so it might be too much to ask if the semifinals would produce one or two edge-of-your-seat come-from-behind wins.
Three of the semifinalists have been part of epic comeback ties.
Comebacks have become a trademark of Champions League knockout rounds in the last two decades, and three of this season’s quarterfinalists had been involved in a few of those epic matchups in the last decade.
In the 2012 Round of 16, Chelsea outscored Napoli 4-1 after losing 1-3 in the first leg, and went on to lift the Champions League trophy against Bayern.
Real Madrid and PSG, though, were at the losing end of comebacks.
The Spanish side, after winning 2-1 at home, lost 1-4 to Ajax in their 2019 Round of 16 tie.
And one of the greatest comebacks in history came at PSG’s expense, with FC Barcelona overturning a 0-4 loss in the first leg with a 6-1 win at Camp Nou.
It wouldn’t hurt if we’d witness another epic comeback or two in the semifinals this season.
April 15, 2021
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