In February, the UEFA Champions League begins with some thrilling ties and match-ups. Madrid Universal provides you with three key talking points as we head into the knockout stages.
On Wednesday night, PSG will take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie and need a strong performance to advance. They’re also hoping Kylian Mbappe can deliver for the first time since his incredible World Cup performances.
PSG vs Mba
PSG are at home on D-Day and need a strong performance to advance to the next round. After trailing 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with Bayern Munich, a win is essential for Paris to advance.
It will be a tall order for the French champions, but they must deliver for their star players, especially record-breaker Kylian Mbappe who could become only player in history to win both World Cup and Champions League titles during his career.
He will also be without fellow star forward Neymar for the match, with the Brazilian having been ruled out with an ankle injury sustained in February.
Mbappe has been one of the standout performers in Ligue 1 this season, yet has struggled to score goals consistently for his club. That could explain why Galtier has kept him off the scoreboard in all but two of his last 15 matches.
PSG vs Liverpool
PSG have been on fire lately. They’re the only side in Europe’s top four to boast a positive goal difference this season and their impressive record of 30 goals from 46 games has cemented them as strong favourites to win the Champions League title come May.
They’ve also experienced defeat in recent games. Liverpool defeated them 2-0 at Anfield back in September and Napoli also visited Anfield last month; both matches ended 2-2 for Liverpool.
Liverpool eventually came out on top thanks to a first-half penalty from James Milner and Daniel Sturridge’s header. However, Kylian Mbappe pulled one back for Paris Saint-Germain in the second half.
This match in Group C will come down to the wire, and Liverpool’s fate rests on the outcome. With a win, they can guarantee their place in the knockout rounds; if they lose, Napoli must beat them by two or more goals at Anfield to advance to the last 16.
PSG vs Real Madrid
On this evening, the Champions League returns with an electrifying tie between PSG and Real Madrid at Parc des Princes. There are plenty of storylines in play here – Kylian Mbappe could face his new club while Lionel Messi faces off against one of his old adversaries.
Both teams started the game well, with Mbappe and Benzema having the most chances. Gianluigi Donnarumma made some incredible saves to deny them all success.
Mbappe finally scored against his former club in the 93rd minute with some incredible footwork to take out two defenders and slide a side-foot past Courtois.
Real still looked the more formidable team on the night, and it took Karim Benzema’s moment of resolve to alter the course of the game.
There were plenty of other good chances for both teams, but the match ended with a 1-0 Real win with Casemiro being sent off. It was an incredible result for Carlo Ancelotti and his side who kept their cool under pressure from PSG and eventually advanced to the second leg.
PSG vs Inter Milan
PSG will be eager to rebound after their 1-0 loss in the first leg. Their attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi has been an important factor in their success this season; but can they deliver against Inter Milan?
PSG are fortunate to have an array of options at their disposal. Achraf Hakimi, Nuno Mendes and Sergio Ramos have all been called into the squad and can all provide something different for PSG’s attack.
PSG could look to Jamal Musiala, a young German attacker who has enjoyed an impressive start to his career. He’s already played 36 Bundesliga matches and scored 22 goals and 14 assists.
In a Champions League match, this could be his chance to make an impact. If he succeeds, it would be a major coup for the French capital club.
Champions League Talking Points
This year’s Champions League is sure to spark plenty of conversation, with Real Madrid and Manchester City set for round-of-16 action on Tuesday. There are also plenty of intriguing second legs in this week’s group stage and an abundance of major teams in Istanbul – meaning there should be plenty of drama along the way!
Ajax are the talk of the tournament so far – and not just due to Sebastien Haller. Erik ten Hag’s side cruised through Group C with 20 goals, signalling their potential for another impressive run.
UEFA have abolished the away goals rule for knockout stages, potentially altering how some matches are played. Ajax have had an impressive record this season but haven’t reached the final since 2017, so this could be their chance to finally break through and reach that milestone.
Liverpool and Real Madrid haven’t had the best seasons, but both could make a major comeback this season. That gives Liverpool an excellent chance at winning the Champions League; however, they may need some assistance along the way.
Tottenham and Chelsea have both lost their opening-leg ties in the Champions League, yet remain very much in it.
Source: يلا شوت