It’s tempting to label the UEFA Champions League semifinal berths awarded, given blowouts in three of four contests and a challenging score line in the fifth.
Real Madrid thumped Juventus, Barcelona put up four on Roma, and Liverpool picked up a three-goal win without a single away goal conceded to Manchester City.
The other first leg saw Bayern Munich score twice on the road in beating Sevilla 2-1 ahead of the return leg at the Allianz Arena.
But would you be surprised to learn that City is still considered the best odds by bookmakers to flip its first leg on its ear?
Underdogs to advance:
4) AS Roma — The most lenient bookmakers are giving Roma a 20:1 chance to overturn the 4-1 advantage Barcelona built at home, probably leaning hard on Edin Dzeko‘s away goal. The most skeptical will hand out 100:1 odds.
Barca hasn’t allowed four goals since Valentine’s Day 2016 in the first leg of the UCL Round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain. We know how that turned out for PSG.
3) Juventus — Last season’s finalists have to overcome a 3-0 home loss, and hanging that sort of result on Real at the Bernabeu is pretty unusual….thought Barcelona did it in December. That was a different time for Real, but it is a glimmer of hope.
2) Sevilla — Most sites are quoting La Liga’s mainstays as 16:1 long shots to post a two-goal win or 2-1 mirror at Bayern Munich. Sevilla is a well-tested tournament team, but the way Bayern has been navigating their slate under Jupp Heynckes, it’s hard to imagine anything but a Bayern win.
- Man City (approx. 8:1) — Going down 3-0 at Anfield is certainly a mountain to climb, but City’s been one of the best teams in the world this season at both ends of the pitch. In league play, City has put up a 3-0 or four-plus goal win on 10 occasions this season, including wins over Arsenal and 10-man Liverpool.