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PSG and Chelsea awaits opponents

14 Apr 2021 / 22:30 H.

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea will discover their Champions League semifinal opponents on Wednesday (Thursday, 3am Malaysia time) as Liverpool host Real Madrid and Manchester City go to Borussia Dortmund in the remaining last eight second legs.

PSG claimed their biggest Champions League scalp since they came under Qatari ownership as they ousted the holders Bayern Munich on Tuesday, advancing on away goals despite losing the second leg 1-0 in Paris.

It was revenge for the Parisians following their defeat against Bayern in last season's final in Lisbon and comes after they knocked out Barcelona in the last 16.

Mauricio Pochettino's side will now face either Pep Guardiola's City or the Dortmund of Erling Braut Haaland in the last four, with the Premier League leaders leading that tie 2-1 after the first leg.

After so many disappointing defeats in European knockout ties since the Qatar Sports Investments takeover of 2011, PSG will not fear whoever they face next, and the club are confident their victory over Bayern can convince superstar duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to sign new contracts.

The two most expensive signings of all time when they arrived in 2017, both are out of contract at the end of next season but negotiations over new deals are ongoing.

“For me there is no debate, it is obvious that I feel very comfortable here and at home at Paris Saint-Germain. I feel happier than I did before,“ Neymar told Brazilian channel TNT Sports after the game.

Of the result, he said: “We needed that. We needed to show ourselves that we could beat them, and we did it.”

There will be no seventh European Cup for Bayern, whose only remaining objective this season is to secure a ninth straight Bundesliga title, before the increasingly likely departure of coach Hansi Flick.

“Everyone understands that I am thinking about my future,“ Flick told German broadcaster Sky. He has been linked with the soon to be vacant Germany job.

Chelsea are through to the semifinals for the first time since 2014 after edging FC Porto 2-1 on aggregate.

Thomas Tuchel's team were in control of the tie after winning 2-0 in Seville last week, and they held out in the return also played in the Spanish city despite losing 1-0 on the night to a superb stoppage time overhead kick by the Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi.

Chelsea's form since Tuchel was appointed in late January continues to impress and they will be dangerous opponents for either Madrid or Liverpool in the last four.

“You see when Chelsea were last in the semifinals. We are not used to being there. It’s a big achievement,“ said Tuchel after his side dispatched the Portuguese champions.

Winners of the Champions League in 2012, Chelsea have not been this far since they knocked out PSG in the last eight in 2014 only to lose to Atletico Madrid in the semifinals.

There is now the tantalising possibility that Chelsea could end up in the May final in Istanbul against PSG, the club that sacked Tuchel in December and replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino.

Liverpool twice beat Chelsea in epic Champions League semifinals in 2005 and 2007 but they have a mountain to climb if they are to end up facing the London club in Europe again.

Jurgen Klopp's side must overturn a 3-1 firstleg deficit when they welcome Zinedine Zidane's in-form Real to an empty Anfield on Wednesday. (Thursday, 3am Malaysia time)

The Reds famously beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield in the 2019 semifinals after losing 3-0 away in the first leg, but Klopp sounded a note of caution about any chance of another great comeback this time.

“You don’t get a comeback because you had one in the past. You only have a chance if you play really good football in the present and that’s what we have to do,“ said the German. – AFP

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