The identities of our four Champions League semi-finalists were confirmed a few days ago and Puma interestingly appear to be the dominant apparel maker at this stage of the competition. Two of the teams in the last four- Manchester City and AC Milan, are outfitted by them, with the possibility of an all-Puma final also on the cards should the Citizens and the Rossoneri win their respective semis.
Quarter final results (aggregate scoreline over two legs)
Real Madrid (Adidas) 4-0 Chelsea (Nike)
Manchester City (Puma) 4-1 Bayern Munich (Adidas)
AC Milan (Puma) 2-1 Napoli (EA7)
Inter Milan (Nike) 5-3 SL Benfica (Adidas)
Real Madrid are the defending champions and after eliminating Liverpool in the Round of 16, Carlo Ancelotti’s side ended the hopes of another English side in the form of Chelsea, beating the Blues 2-0 home and away to register a comfortable 4-0 win on aggregate.
Chelsea had troubled Real when the two sides met in this competition last season, but were no match for Los Blancos this time around. They barely troubled the Spanish giants at the Bernabeu in the first leg, tamely going down 2-0. The reverse fixture was a bit better in terms of effort from Frank Lampard’s Blues, but the result stayed the same, with Real prevailing 2-0 thanks to a brace from Rodrygo.
When the draw was done, Man City vs Bayern was widely considered to be the pick of the ties, but it turned out to be a rather one-sided affair, with the English champions proving to be too good for the Bavarian giants. The Citizens won 3-0 at home and wore their third kit in the return leg in Germany. MCFC prevailed 4-1 on aggregate, and there was a clear gulf in class between the sides over the two legs, something that will definitely set alarm bells ringing at the Allianz Arena.
City’s imperious performance at the Etihad against Bayern explains why they are strong favourites for the title when you look at the odds at various sportsbooks via Betstation. Pep Guardiola’s men may have fallen short in previous seasons, but there’s a growing feeling in Manchester that this may be their year in Europe, and their upcoming semi-final against Real promises to be an absolute blockbuster.
There were three Italian sides on the other side of the draw, and we are now guaranteed an Italian side in the final, with Milan and Inter getting past their respective opponents. Milan had to do it the hard way against fellow Serie A outfit Napoli, who were left ruing Khvicha’s missed opportunities across both legs. The Rossoneri just about edged the tie 2-1 on aggregate.
Inter claimed a 2-0 win away at Portuguese outfit SL Benfica in the first leg, making their job easier for the return leg at the San Siro. That tie ended in a 3-3 draw, with Nicolo Barella and Joaquin Correa both scoring beauties for the Nerrazzurri.
Real Madrid and AC Milan are the designated hosts for the first leg of the semis, with City and Inter having home advantage for the return leg.