UEFA Champions League Semifinal Second Leg Recap
The second leg of the semifinals for the UEFA Champions League got underway this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Four teams were fighting for the two spots that will face off in the final in Milan on May 28th.
Here is my recap of the second legs and the video highlights for each match:
Bayern Munich 2 — Atletico Madrid 1 (aggregate 2-2 Atletico advance on away goals.)
Trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Madrid a week ago, Bayern took the advantage after Xabi Alonso‘s deflected free-kick in the 31st minute. Bayern had a huge chance to extend their lead, however Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak saved Thomas Muller‘s poorly taken penalty kick.
Antoine Griezmann‘s cool finish in the 53rd minute gave Atletico a 2-1 aggregate lead. It was the Frenchman’s 31st goal in all competitions this season. Robert Lewandowski‘s header in the 74th minute prepared us for an exciting finish as it was 2-2 on aggregate. Fernando Torres had a great chance to ice the game for Atletico on a penalty kick, but Manuel Neuer saved the opportunity. Diego Simeone‘s side however was able to hold on and reach their second Champions League final in the last three years. Bayern dominated in possession, 73% to 27%. Bayern had 33 total shots in the match, however Oblak made nine saves for Atletico. Neuer made three saves for Munich which kept them alive in the second leg.
Manchester City held the Spanish giants to a 0-0 first leg draw at the Etihad Stadium last week. After being out in the first leg due to a thigh injury, Cristiano Ronaldo was back in Zinedine Zidane‘s line-up for the second leg at the Bernabeu. Karim Benzema was not available after picking up an injury in the first leg. Madrid got a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute after Gareth Bale‘s shot deflected off of Manchester City’s Fernando for an own-goal.
Manchester City’s hugest chance came after Fernandinho‘s shot chipped off the crossbar. Even after leading, Madrid dominated through the second half as Bale also hit the crossbar and Joe Hart saved both Luka Modric‘s and Ronaldo’s chances. Sergio Aguero saw his late shot soar over the bar in the final minutes which would’ve been a late winner for City. Real Madrid advance to the final for the 14th time in their history. They defeated Atletico Madrid in the 2014 final, 4-1 after extra-time. Madrid held the advantage in possession 55% to 45%. Joe Hart made four saves for City, while made one save for Madrid. According to BBC Sport, this was the third consecutive season Manchester City were eliminated from the Champions League by Spanish competition.
After two hard-fought semifinals, the Champions League final is now set with two rivals facing off in the finals. Both Atletico and Real are also still fighting for the La Liga title with only two weekends remaining. Thanks to the exciting semifinals throughout Europe, we can expect the final to be just as exciting as years past. Check back on SportsTalkFeed for all the action regarding the UEFA Champions League and the final in Milan on May 28th.
Writer’s note: Stay tuned here for all of your European Soccer updates. Follow me on twitter @lhenry019