PSG qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League by eliminating Bayern Munich after a spectacular double confrontation. Neymar’s partners will now face the winner of Manchester City-Dortmund for a place in the final. Two opponents with very different profiles.
Manchester City, the well-oiled machine
If the end of the season promises to be thrilling in France and Spain, the case is already folded in England. Barring an improbable earthquake, Manchester City will win the seventh title in its history. Only the date of the coronation remains in suspense. Six days from the end, the Skyblues are 11 points ahead of Manchester United and 18 points over Leicester (who have one game less). A gap that seems impossible to close in such a short time. Especially considering City’s dominance over the Kingdom. Organized in 4-3-3, Pep Guardiola’s players have been walking around since last summer in the Premier League. With the best attack (67 goals scored) and the best defense (23 goals conceded).
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An impressive offensive armada
The collective is perfectly oiled, the game attractive and the show almost every time at the rendezvous. Only Leicester (2-5), Tottenham (2-0), Manchester United (0-2) and Leeds (1-2) managed to bring down the Citizens. It must be said that the leaders of PL have an impressive armada in the offensive sector. Without depending on a single great scorer, like Bayern Munich with Robert Lewandowski for example.
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At the Etihad Stadium, there are many who can shake the net: Gabriel Jesus (13 goals, all competitions), Phil Foden (12 goals), Riyad Mahrez (10 goals), Ferran Torres (9 goals) and Bernardo Silva (5 goals). While knowing that Ilkay Gündogan, who plays in the midfield, is the top scorer of this team (16). Not to mention the vista of Kevin De Bruyne to supply his partners with good balls (12 assists). With Rodri as sentinel and a particularly solid rearguard.
An almost perfect course in C1
In the Champions League, Manchester City has achieved an almost perfect course. Ruben Dias’ teammates have won all their matches, with the exception of a draw in Porto during the group stage (0-0). Beaten twice 3-0, OM know something about it. In nine games, the Citizens have scored 19 goals and have conceded only 2. They are also in favorable waivers to reach the last four, after their victory against Dortmund last week, in the quarterfinals first leg (2- 1). Still engaged in the FA Cup (semi-final Saturday against Chelsea) and the English League Cup (final against Tottenham on April 25), the Skyblues dream of a legendary quadruple.
If they find themselves facing PSG, it will be the second time in their history that they have reached the last four of the C1 (after 2016). A competition that has not really succeeded so far, despite the colossal investments of their owners from Abu Dhabi (who took over the club in 2008). They can still remember that they had released PSG five years ago in the quarter-finals, after a draw in the first leg at the Parc des Princes (2-2) and a victory in the return to the Etihad. On a strike at the entrance to the box from De Bruyne. It would clearly be the toughest opponent for Paris.
Dortmund, Haaland hides the forest
He alone makes the name of his club shine around the world. For a little over a year, Erling Haaland has carried Dortmund on his broad shoulders. By scoring faster than his shadow. The Norwegian striker is already 33 goals and 10 assists in 34 games this season (in all competitions). He is the current top scorer in the Champions League (10 goals in 7 games), ahead of Kylian Mbappé (8 goals in 9 games). At the forefront of a 4-3-3 system, the 20-year-old gunner does enormous damage to opposing defenses. Able to find the flaw in all positions, he represents a constant threat, supported by Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho (victim of muscle problems since last month).
Borussia can also count on Jude Bellingham, the English nugget (17), to boost his midfield. But Edin Terzic’s players still lack confidence lately. Their season has been disappointing overall, especially in the Bundesliga. Only 5th in the standings, BVB (still competing in the German Cup) is 19 points behind Bayern Munich (leader) and 7 points behind Eintracht Frankfurt, 4th, which occupies the last qualifying place for the next C1 . With the 3rd attack in the championship (58 goals scored) and only the 7th defense (41 goals conceded).
A revenge to be taken against Paris
In the Champions League either, the course is by no means idyllic. Emre Can’s partners have lost twice (against Lazio and City) and conceded two draws (against Lazio and Sevilla) so far. They will have to pull out all the stops to turn things around against Manchester City, this Wednesday at Signal Iduna Park, in the quarter-final second leg (9 p.m. on RMC Sport 2). Qualification will go through a great Haaland, whose future is still unclear.
If he finds himself facing Paris in the next round, the Scandinavian colossus will undoubtedly have a vengeful spirit. He obviously did not forget the taunts suffered at the Parc des Princes last year, after being eliminated in the round of 16. Led by Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe, the Parisians had spent part of the evening imitating his celebration. For an XXL chamber, in response to provocations orchestrated by Borussia on social networks before the meeting. The kind of humiliation that touches the ego. More generally, the whole Dortmund club has a bitter memory of this evening in the capital. In the event of a reunion, PSG will have to be very suspicious of an opponent who will seek to restore his image.