Friday, April 16, 2021

Premier League in Europe

Chelsea moved past Porto on aggregate despite a 1-0 loss in the second leg between the clubs which featured a spectacular bicycle kick by Porto’s Mehdi Taremi in stoppage time.  Chelsea played defensively after entering the match with a two-goal advantage in the tie. The Blues now will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals. The Spanish side played to a goalless draw at Liverpool and advance on the strength of their 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in Madrid. Liverpool was meek in attack in both legs versus Madrid, mustering just a single goal by Mohamed Salah in the opening leg. The other Champions League semi-final will see Manchester City face PSG.  The Citizens scored a second consecutive 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund to advance. Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden scored for City while 17-year-old English prodigy Jude Bellingham scored his first Champions League goal for Dortmund. PSG eliminated Bayern Munich despite losing the clubs’ second leg match 1-0 on a goal by former Stoke striker Choupo-Moting. PSG advanced on the away goal tiebreaker because of their 3-2 first leg win in Germany. Bayern Munich played both legs without the services of the injured Robert Lewandowski. Arsenal played arguably its best game of the season in blitzing Slavia Praha 4-0 to advance to the Europa League semi-finals. Alexandre Lacazette had a pair of goals, including a penalty, and Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka scored for the Gunners. Emile Smith Rowe, who had a goal disallowed, assisted on Pepe’s goal, and played well in midfield as Arsenal barely missed the injured Martin Odegaard. Arsenal’s success was also achieved without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is ill with malaria. Arsenal will face former manager Unai Emery and Villareal in the Europa League semi-finals. Manchester United advanced to the Europa League semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Granada. The Red Devils received an early goal from Edinson Cavani and then easily controlled matters until Granada suffered an own goal in stoppage time. Manchester United faces Roma in the semi-final after the Italian club eliminated Ajax.

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