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UEFA Champions League Quarter-final; Chelsea & PSG Stay Resilient to Send FC Porto & Bayern Munich Out

Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League despite a 1-0 defeat in the second leg of their quarter-final against Porto.

Chelsea vs FC Porto

With a 0-2 away win, all Chelsea had to do was repel FC Porto for 90 minutes to go through to the UEFA Champions League final. Sergio Conceicao’s side was never going to let it be so easy and straightforward. From the beginning, they showed aggression, winning first and second balls against a more relaxed Chelsea. Despite their pressure, the first real chance fell to Chelsea in the 7th minute. Mason Mount found some space on the left but his shot deflected off Mbemba with Marche stranded. Minutes later and Edouard Mendy nearly gifted Porto the opener with a bad pass but Jorginho got across to deflect Otavios shot away on 12.

Porto showed physicality and grit, dominating the game through sheer force but the Chelsea defense stayed resolute. Mbemba lofted a ball behind the Chelsea defense and Ben Chilwell did not read it well, allowing Jesus corona to take the ball from but the Mexican fired over the bar on 31. It was an uneventful first half as it finished 0-0.

Chelsea came out for the second half better than they looked in the first. Chilwell set up Christian Pulisic but he couldn’t turn his body to shoot properly. The American winger was being fouled from all angles (11 by the time the game was over). N’golo Kante set up Mount but Wilson Manafa blocked the shot on 56. Porto tried to work something clever between Otavio, Corona, and Mehdi Taremi, but the latter’s header couldn’t work Mendy too much on 65. Kai Havertz slipped Pulisic but Pepe blocked his shot on 69.

It was tight and scruffy, just the way Porto wanted it. Hakim Ziyech would put Pulisic through but Marchesin kept the score level before an outrageous occurrence. In the 3rd of 4 minutes of extra-time Taremi pulled off an incredulous goal. A laser-like overhead kick that Mendy could only watch. It finished 0-1 to Porto as Chelsea qualified with 2-1 aggregate scores. Their first semi-final in seven (7) years.

Paris Saint-Germain knocked Bayern Munich out of the Champions League as a 1-0 win for the Bundesliga side was not enough. The French champions progress to the semi-finals on away goals.

PSG vs Bayern Munich

This match was all fireworks in the first leg and it was bound to explode the same way too. Speaking of explosiveness, Kylian Mbappe sped past the Bayern defense to fire a shot across goal in the 3rd minute. Mbappe powered his way through but the Bayern defense blocked his way. The ball ricocheted for Neymar but he couldn’t find a way past Manuel Neuer on 10. Leroy Sane got an opportunity to shoot but it went wide. Joshua Kimmich dragged a shot past the post. Neymar dazzled away from Kingsley Coman but his shot clipped the bar and veered away on 35. The Brazilian hit the bar again after great interplay with Mbappe who put him through on 37. Bayern replied with a goal. David Alaba fired a shot but Keylor Navas got down to save, the ball bounced up and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting powered in a header. 0-1. 

Almost immediately, Mbappe fired another shot wide before Navas saved an Alaba shot. The Austrian playing in his mutedly preferred midfield position fired wide from a decent position.
The game started explosively in the second half as Neymar collected a Leandro Paredes pass with his chest but volleyed over. Angel di Maria was rewinding the years and he squared the ball across the post but Neymar couldn’t connect. On 60, Sane slipped Thomas Muller through but Navas blocked the shot. It was end-to-end stuff and as exhilarating as a match can get. Bayern put the pressure for the second and PSG planned to hit on the counter but a combination of offside calls and an immaculate defensive performance from Lucas Hernandez kept the scores the same. Lucas Hernandez at one point prevented a 1v2 counter involving Neymar and Mbappe. But 0-1 it finished. PSG went through to the semi-final after enacting revenge on Bayern for last year’s final.

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