UEFA Champions League: Man City, Liverpool hold on to reach semis

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The UEFA Champions League semifinals are set after Premier League title combatants Manchester City and Liverpool each finished off their quarterfinal tie on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Real Madrid reach semifinals; Bayern Munich beaten by Villarreal ]

It’ll be an all-English-versus-Spanish final four, with Man City set to face 13-time UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid, and Liverpool to take on Villarreal, the unexpected, long-shot semifinalists of 2021-22.

Atletico Madrid 0-0 (0-1 agg.) Manchester City – highlights

Manchester City approached Wednesday’s second leg expecting a tough battle, and they got one from opening to closing whistles. Atletico Madrid finished with 10 men after Felipe was shown a second yellow card at the start of second-half stoppage time, which lasted 10 minutes due to some slightly unsavory scenes in one corner of the Metropolitano Stadium.

The sides combined for significantly more yellow cards (11) than shots on target (4), though that’s not to say the quality of play was poor or that there were no attacking attempts. Both sides will feel unlucky to have not scored during their stretches of dominance — Manchester City through much of the first half, and Atletico Madrid most notably over the final 20 minutes.

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester City stats

Final score: Atletico Madrid 0, Manchester City 0

Goal scorers: Atletico Madrid (None), Manchester City (None)

Shots: Atletico Madrid 14, Manchester City 10

Shots on goal: Atletico Madrid 3, Manchester City 1

Possession: Atletico Madrid 40%, Manchester City 60%


Liverpool 3-3 (6-4 agg.) Benfica – highlights

Liverpool held a 3-1 advantage ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at Anfield, and Jurgen Klopp’s side needed nearly every bit of it to hold on for a 6-4 aggregate victory. The Reds find themselves 180 (or 210) minutes from third UEFA Champions League final in five seasons, with only an Villarreal side standing in their way.

Ibrahima Konate opened the scoring with a powerful header in the 21st minute, but Benfica hit back just 11 minutes later when Goncalo Ramos guided a fine finish home from the edge of the box.

Roberto Firmino bagged a brace with goals in the 55th and 65th minutes, putting the game beyond Benfica’s reach, though the visitors refused to surrender and were justly rewarded in the final 20 minutes.

Up 3-1 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate, Liverpool’s penchant for defensive lapses reared its ugly head once again.

Liverpool vs Benfica final score, stats

Final score: Liverpool 3, Benfica 3

Goal scorers: Liverpool (Konate (21, Firmino 55′, 65), Benfica (Ramos 32′, Yaremchuk 73′, Nuñez 82′)

Shots: Liverpool 17, Benfica 6

Shots on goal: Liverpool 6, Benfica 4

Possession: Liverpool 67%, Benfica 33%