2021 Champions League Breakdown: Man City, Real Madrid in Control

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Fran Santiago / Stringer

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain booked their places into the UEFA Champions League semi finals on Tuesday and two more teams will have the opportunity to secure their spots Wednesday.

Man City snagged a late goal through Phil Foden to secure its first leg win over Borussia Dortmund after Erling Haaland and Co. did quite well to limit the Citizens’ opportunities for the majority of the match.

Meanwhile, Liverpool trails Real Madrid by two goals after a phenomenal Vinicius Jr. showing gave the Madridistas a 3-1 lead on aggregate.

If you’re looking for some more pregame reading, check out my piece on the 20 Best Premier League Players This Season.

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Top Goalscorers (UCL)

Real Madrid: Karim Benzema - 5

Liverpool: Mohamed Salah - 6

Key Injuries/Suspensions

Real Madrid: Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard, Federico Valverde

Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi, Caoimhin Kelleher, Curtis Jones


Real Madrid and Liverpool have had some intense affairs throughout the years in the Champions League, meeting six times throughout the competition’s history.

Madrid have been winners in their three most recent encounters, including their controversial 3-1 victory in the 2017/18 final when Sergio Ramos wrestled Mohamed Salah to ground in the first half.

The Reds haven’t won against Madrid 2008/09 campaign when Liverpool earned a 5-0 aggregate win against Los Blancos in the Round of 16. Liverpool would ultimately fall to Chelsea in the following round that season in a 12-goal thriller over two legs.


Zinedine Zidane’s side played about as perfect a first leg as they could’ve imagined and now Real Madrid sit in prime position to reach the semi finals with a date against Chelsea awaiting.

First, they must stave off Liverpool’s attacking trio of Firmino, Mane and Salah, who will certainly be going for it all in order to turn around last week’s 3-1 deficit.

Both clubs continue to miss key members defensively, but it didn’t seem to both Madrid in the first leg. Zidane’s scheme worked to perfection, and the midfield trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos made the pitch smaller for Liverpool by cutting out the passing lanes and making things uncomfortable for the English side.

Meanwhile, if Vinicius Jr. is able to replicate his brilliance of a week ago, the Reds will really be in for a long night because the Brazilian’s willingness to get at Trent Alexander-Arnold and the Liverpool back line was a major reason for Los Blancos’ success.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-0

Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund

Top Goalscorers (UCL)

Man City: Ferran Torres - 4

Dortmund: Erling Haaland - 10

Key Injuries/Suspensions

Man City: Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Aguero

Dortmund: Axel Witsel, Jadon Sancho, Marcel Schmelzer 


Given both club’s rises since the turn of the 21st century, or just prior in Dortmund’s case, Man City and Dortmund have only met twice previously in this competition. 

The Yellow and Black won and drew against the Citizens in 2012/13 when former manager Jurgen Klopp led the side to the Champions League final against Bayern. Dortmund would lose to their German rivals that season.


Manchester City was far from convincing in their first leg win, however, they did still manage to top Dortmund. Pep Guardiola will certainly need to make adjustments heading into Wednesday’s encounter if they are to improve upon their result from a week ago and advance to the semi finals.

Erling Haaland had his chances in the first meeting, but couldn’t come up with a goal. City will have to do everything they can to keep the Norwegian off the scoresheet because he’s the key that can unlock this fixture for Dortmund.

Without Sancho once again, Dortmund’s attack doesn’t possess the same strength it normally has, so the Citizens must take full advantage of the situation with a near full complement of attacking options. City will look to join Chelsea as representatives of the Premier League in the next round. 

Prediction: Man City 2-1

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