UEFA Champions League Tuesday: Quarterfinals Preview
The quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League continue on Tuesday with two second-leg matches at 3 PM ET.
Chelsea is the technical home team against FC Porto after defeating the Portugal Primeira League club, 2-0, in the first leg of the quarterfinals showdown last Wednesday. Mason Mount scored the opening goal at the 32nd-minute mark of the first half before Ben Chilwell took advantage of a defensive error in the 85th minute in the second half to score the insurance goal. The Blues only tallied six shots with three on target. The Dragons bettered both marks, with five of their eight total shots being on target.
Porto was the technical home team last week, with both matches being played on neutral soil in Seville, Spain, due to COVID travel restrictions. The Dragons must score at least two goals with a victory in this second leg to advance to the semifinals. A 2-0 win after regulation time will force extra time with the aggregate score tied at two goals apiece. If both teams scored in the extra time, but the score remains tied after the two after the two 15-minute halves, the road team wins via the away goals tie-breaker. A best-of-five penalty shootout resolves the match if the extra time went scoreless.
Manager Sergio Conceicao’s side rebounded on Saturday by defeating Tondela, 2-0m the Portugal top flight. Porto is unbeaten in the Portugal Primeira League since October but remains in second place to Sporting Life. Their loss to Chelsea last week was just the second time in nine Champions League matches this season where they failed to score. Conceicao may have to alter his 4-4-2 defensive formation that often keeps six players in back to generate the pressure necessary to score at least twice against a stout Blues’ defense. The Dragons scored four goals in their Final 16 legs against Juventus.
Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace by a 4-1 score on Saturday. Thomas Tuchel rested many of the starting XI that played on Wednesday, which resulted in a more offensively-oriented group on the pitch against the Eagles. Kai Havertz rewarded Tuchel’s decision to play him at a forward position by scoring the opening goal eight minutes into the match. Christian Pulisic then scored twice before Kurt Zouma scored the final goal.
The Blues allowed an opponent to score on Saturday for just the second time in their last ten games across all competitions. Chelsea has registered a clean sheet in seven of their nine matches in the Champions League. BookMaker
lists Chelsea as a -0.5 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.5.
Paris Saint-Germain hosts Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes after their 3-2 triumph at Allianz Arena on Wednesday. Kylian Mbappe produced a brace, and Marinquos scored the middle goal in the 28th minute to lead the Parisians to the upset victory. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has his team advance to the semifinals if they do not surrender two goals.
PSG followed up their victory on Wednesday with a 4-1 win at Strasbourg in Ligue 1 three days later. The Parisians are three points behind Lille for first place in the French top flight.
Bayern Munich got goals from Eric-Maxim Choupo Motine and Thomas Muller in the losing effort last week. Manager Hansi Flick continues to be without attacker Robert Lewandowski, out a few more weeks after injuring his knee during the international break playing for his Polish national team. Lewandowski has netted 42 goals in 36 matches across all competitions this season. Despite the final score, the Bavarians outshot PSG, 21-5, with 12 of their shots on target to just four for the Parisians.
Flick’s side comes off a 1-1 draw at home to Union Berlin on Saturday. Bayern Munich has scored only two goals in their two Bundesliga matches since the Lewandowski injury. Knocks also question the availability of Serge Gnarby, Douglas Costa, and Corentin Tolisso for this match.
The Bavarians must either win by two goals or score four goals in a victory, to advance to the semifinals. A 3-2 win after regulation time would force the extra time tie-breaker. BookMaker
lists Bayern Munich as a -0.25 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 3.5.
Both matches on the Paramount+ app (formerly CBS All-Access). The PSG-Bayern Munich match is also on TUDN.