Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Only two Premier League teams remain alive in European Cup competition. Manchester City, having knocked Bayern Munich out in the last round of the Champions League, now faces 14-time European Champion Real Madrid in the semifinals with the clubs playing the first leg Tuesday in Madrid. The Citizens were agonizingly eliminated at this same stage of the competition by Real Madrid last season when Karim Benzema’s late penalty kick in the second leg at the Etihad saw Los Blancos advance on aggregate in their march to last year’s championship. Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola continues to search for his first Champions league title without Lionel Messi on his squad. Current star Erling Haaland could provide the breakthrough, but the Citizens must first dethrone Real Madrid. Either AC Milan or Inter Milan will await in the final. A far less glamorous semifinal featuring a Premier League squad will take place on Thursday when West Ham hosts AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of their Europa Conference League tie. The Hammers are still not mathematically safe from relegation in the Premier League. AZ Alkmaar is fourth in the Dutch Eredivisie. While West Ham has struggled in their domestic league, the Hammers are undefeated in their last twelve European matches and can lock in a Europa League berth if they can advance past AZ Alkmaar and go on to win the Conference League title.  

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