MATCHDAY: City-Real Madrid 1st leg in Champions League semis

A look at what is happening in European soccer on Tuesday:



The semifinals begin with the master of European soccer visiting an upstart. Real Madrid is the record 13-time European champion, while Manchester City has reached the final only once — last year, when it lost to Chelsea. When it comes to heritage in the competition, the gap between the teams is sizeable but City is starting to look at home at Europe’s top table and is bidding to eliminate Real in the knockout stage for the second time in three seasons. In 2020, City won both home and away in the last 16. Real was also ousted by an English team, Chelsea, in last season’s semifinals but is a tougher proposition a year on with striker Karim Benzema in the form of his life, having scored hat tricks in the last 16 and quarterfinals. Real’s route to the semis has been challenging, overcoming Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea and now meeting the English Premier League champion and current leader. With Liverpool a potential opponent in the final, the path could hardly have been tougher. City will start the slight favorite but has a big issue at right back, with Joao Cancelo suspended and both Kyle Walker and John Stones injured. Real should also be fresher, having been inactive over a weekend that was reserved for the Copa del Rey final.


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