Manchester City have a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Kevin De Bruyne scored a crucial goal for Manchester City in the 70th minute of the first leg at the Etihad. Phil Foden, who had just been introduced as a substitute two minutes earlier, picked out De Bruyne inside the area after a brilliant piece of play. The Belgian international dispatched it to the back of the net without much hassle, to give City a narrow lead ahead of the second leg.
A 1-0 deficit means that the tie is far from done and dusted, but the reigning La Liga champions have experienced another blow to their momentum since the Etihad defeat – going down 1-0 to Mallorca in Saturday’s La Liga clash after previously winning six on the bounce in all competitions.
Form Guide: Manchester City
The Premier League title is now firmly in Man City’s hands for the remainder of the season after a 2-2 draw with Liverpool which certainly lived up to the pre-game hype.
A non-stop first half saw De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus strike for the champions on either side of Diogo Jota’s response, but after failing to take advantage of Liverpool’s high line before the break, Jurgen Klopp’s side immediately responded in the second period through Sadio Mane.
Despite failing to kill the game off in the opening periods, the 2020-21 English top-flight title will be theirs as long as they do not drop any more points between now and the finale, but there is also the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final with the Reds and potential Champions League final with the Merseyside counterparts to contend with.
Form Guide: Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid suffered a dispiriting 1-0 loss to Mallorca over the weekend. Atletico fell to a surprise defeat on the weekend, away to Mallorca to leave them on the brink of dropping out of the top four in LaLiga.
But Diego Simeone’s side will be urged on by a vociferous backing at the Wanda Metropolitano, albeit shorn of 5,000 fans after a UEFA ruling against the Atleti fans following discriminatory behavior in Manchester.
How the match could go
Atletico Madrid are on a poor run, coming from two straight defeats and scoring goals has also been an issue. They need to win this by at least two clear goals but it is hard to see where these will come from. Manchester City will be under no pressure, needing just a draw to advance, but they can be devastating in attack if invited to. We expect a tactical game here like it was in the first leg and under 2.5 goals is a possibility.
Atletico would be looking for a goal to at least get the tie in the balance and such an approach will of course leave the Atletico backline vulnerable to City’s sweeping moves on the break, which will be more difficult to contain in the absence of Gimenez, so we can only envisage the Citizens prevailing once more to advance to the final four.
Manchester City to win
The first leg of this tie might have only ended 1-0 to Man City but anyone who watched the match would know that City murdered Atletico Madrid for the entirety of the game. In our view, Man City wasn’t at their best either and that is a scary thought for the hosts heading into this tie. Man City know nothing but attack so you know how they’ll approach this match. Atletico Madrid will look to soak up that pressure but, eventually, they’ll need to find a goal unless they want to limp out of the competition; when that happens, City should pick them off. 1xbet have 1.81 and Paripesa have 1.81 odds.
Under 2.5 Goals
it’s just going to be the first leg all over again – at least it will be for 95% of the match. With that considered, it’s hard to imagine this game being loaded with goals. Recent form backs up a low-scoring encounter too. Atletico Madrid have gone under 2.5 goals in four of their last five games whilst Man City have fallen south of the 2.5 mark in four of their last five away matches. Atletico have grappled so much with inconsistency this season and going into this game they haven’t scored a lot. Four of their last five matches have ended in under 2.5 goals, Atletico scoring more than a goal in just one. Paripesa have 1.81 and 1xbet have 1.81 odds.
Anytime Goalscorer (Manchester City)
Kevin de Bryune
It seems the Belgian is leaving it late to lead his side to trophies this season. He has been sensational in the past few games Kevin De Bruyne has scored in five of his last six competitive starts. This makes him a prime candidate to find the back of the net here today. Paripesa have 4.00 odds for him to score.
He was rested during the Liverpool clash and was brought in late on to find the winner. He had a chance to do that but was unlucky to put the ball past Alison in goal. He would be passed that now as the full focus would be on advancing to the semifinals of the UCL. Paripesa have 2.70 odds for him to score.
Anytime Goalscorer (Atletico Madrid)
João Félix scored Atlético’s last UEFA home goal in a draw against City’s rivals Manchester United. Today an inspirational performance would be required from him to see his side go through to the next round of the competition. He scored two goals in their last La Liga win and he is sure a talented player to look out for today. Paripesa have 3.70 odds for him to score.
The Uruguayan is currently the team’s top scorer this season and not including him here would be abysmal. He was involved in two goals off the bench in their last win in La Liga, also an unused substitute in the first leg of action against City it seems he was rested for the second leg as his coach wouldn’t want to be showing all his cards. He has the experience to turn over games and he can be instrumental for his side when they need the goals to qualify for the next round. Paripesa have 4.20 odds for him to score.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.