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UEFA formalized the dates of the Champions League semi-finals on Thursday. Real Madrid and Chelsea will open the ball on April 27, followed by PSG and Manchester City on the 28th. A final square that brings together rising powers and more established clubs from the European continent.
There are only four left. PSG, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea will compete for places in the 2020/2021 Champions League final.
The draw had been known since March 19, the dates remained to be defined: UEFA formalized them on Thursday April 15 in a press release. After a first leg on April 28 at the Parc des Princes, PSG will visit Manchester City on May 4.
In the other semi-final, Real Madrid will host their home on April 27 and then travel to London on May 5 to try to validate their ticket to the final against Chelsea club Thomas Tuchel.
Two enticing double confrontations between four representative teams of European football today. Overview of the suitors.
• PSG in full swing
What if it was finally the right one for Parisians? Since its acquisition by the Qataris in 2012, PSG has been chasing a European crown. After the final lost last year against Bayern Munich, Paris proved that its presence in the last four was not linked to the weakness of its oppositions last year. Instead of Dortmund, Bergamo and Leipzig, the Neymar band offered themselves the scalps of Barça in the eighth (4-1, 1-1) and Bayern Munich in the quarters (3-2, 0-1).
Mbappé and his friends are no longer afraid of anyone and can hang on to one statistic: since 2017, all the teams that eliminated Bayern then won the trophy.
• Awesome Manchester City
Another rising power in European football, Manchester City will play only the second semi-final of the Champions League in its history, and the first with Guardiola. Much like PSG with the Qataris, the Champions League has been the club’s ultimate goal since the arrival of the Emirati owner in 2008 and his massive investments.
If City had seemed to run up against a glass ceiling under Guardiola’s leadership since 2016, the club believe in their star at the end of the season where they can sign an incredible quadruplet, never successful in the history of English football. Likely future champion of England (11 points ahead of Manchester United), semi-finalist of the Cup (this Saturday against Chelsea), finalist of the English League Cup (April 25 against Tottenham) and qualified Wednesday in C1 at the expense of Dortmund (2-1, 2-1), Manchester City are everywhere this year but can still lose everything.
• Chelsea under Tuchel, the quiet force
Chelsea is the story of a resurrection in 2021. Moribonds this winter, the “Blues” have regained all their defensive stability with the arrival in January of Thomas Tuchel, dismissed at Christmas by Paris. By taking the reins of the “Blues”, the German coach gave them back a defensive stability they lacked to launch them into an impressive streak of 14 games unbeaten which ended in early April.
Zidane is also warned: he has never beaten a Tuchel team in four confrontations (1 defeat, 3 draws) and the German knows the recipe to go to the final: it is he who took PSG there the year past…
• Real Madrid, the weight of history
In the pantheon of European clubs, Real Madrid has no equal with its 13 championships in the Champions League. Zinedine Zidane will seek a fourth final in five C1 appearances on the bench of the “White House”, with the slight disadvantage of receiving in the first leg on April 27. Heckled due to the poor start to the season, the Frenchman has held firm and trusted his players to bring his team back to the top of La Liga, thanks in particular to a dazzling Benzema in recent months.
The semi-final will also be the occasion of a distant duel which will be closely scrutinized between this “banished” from the France team and the one who is regularly accused of taking his place, Olivier Giroud.
The final is scheduled for May 29 in Istanbul (Turkey), at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium.