The football world was treated to a few spectacular contests in the quarter-final stage because the majority of the matches were evenly poised. Manchester City, Liverpool, Villarreal, and Real Madrid are the teams that have qualified for the semi-finals. The first leg will take place at the end of this month, with the second leg taking place at the start of May. This article discussed which teams could qualify for the UEFA Champions League 2022 finals.
Champions League 2021/2022: Semi-Finals Fixtures and Favourites
The opening legs of the semi-finals will take place on April 26 and 27. The second tie in this elimination round will take place on May 3 and 4, respectively. A total of four matches will be played in the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-final stage will be determined by goal differential. If the aggregate goals aren't enough to decide the winner, a penalty shootout will be held.
The defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, will face European heavyweights, Real Madrid, according to the draw. In the other semifinal, English club Liverpool will meet Spanish side Villarreal. Let's have a look at the teams with the best chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League 2022 finals.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid
First Leg Fixture: Tuesday (April 26/1 a.m.) | Venue: Etihad Stadium
Second Leg Fixture: Wednesday (May 4/1 a.m.) | Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Manchester City and Real Madrid both faced a tough opponents in the quarter-finals. Manchester City beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 at home in the first leg but had to settle for a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano in the second leg. Though both ties were difficult for the English champions. On the other hand, Real Madrid enjoyed a big lead over Chelsea after winning the first leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. It was believed that Madrid would have an easier time in the second leg, but Chelsea fought back strongly and won the match 3-2. However, Real Madrid proceeded to the semi-finals with a scoreline of 5-4 on aggregate.
The semi-finals ties between them will be difficult to predict because both teams have been in excellent form this season. Manchester City prefer to play in the build-up and control possession. Oppositely, Real Madrid have the potential to surprise the opponent out of nowhere, and this has been a feature of their game this season. Manchester City's top scorer is Riyad Mahrez, who has six goals, while Real Madrid's top scorer is Karim Benzema, who has twelve.
Verdict: Manchester City
Liverpool vs Villarreal
First Leg Fixture: Wednesday (April 27/1 a.m.) | Venue: Anfield
Second Leg Fixture: Tuesday (May 3/1 a.m.) | Venue: Estadio de la Ceramica
Villarreal's ousting of Bayern Munich from the competition was the most unexpected outcome of the quarter-finals. Villareal had created a fantastic chance for themselves after defeating Bayern Munich 1-0 at home in the first leg. They qualified for the semi-finals after a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. On the other hand, Liverpool enjoyed a big lead over Benfica after winning the first leg 3-1 away from home. Benfica performed well in the second leg, scoring three goals at Anfield. However, the match finished 3-3, and Liverpool proceeded to the next round with a 6-4 aggregate.
In the semi-finals, Liverpool may start as favourites against Villarreal. However, Villarreal's team has so much confidence right now that they can overcome Liverpool in this round. Therefore, it won't come as a surprise if Villarreal reach the final. Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool with eight goals, while Arnaut Danjuma leads Villarreal with six.
On paper and based on current form, no team appears to be a strong favorite to go to the semi-finals. Whoever executes their game plan properly in both games will have a better chance of advancing to the UEFA Champions League 2022 finals. Given the intensity of the quarter-finals, the semi-final stage promises to be even more exciting.