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UEFA Champions League

As we head to the second leg of the Champions league – Chelsea, Madrid, PSG, Bayern City, Dortmund.


El Clasico

In front of no supporters in the modest surroundings of Real Madrid's training ground, these two historic rivals proved why their encounters are still worth watching. While Barca and Real Madrid might have lost some of their sparkle as teams, El Clasico is still the most compelling fixture in the club game. When it's on, you watch

Goals from Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid complete the El Clasico double over Barcelona in the season and move to the top of the league table even as the title race is heating up. Lionel Messi went without scoring in a Clasico for the 7th straight time.

 Madrid jumped to the top of the La Liga table to take poll position in an intense title race after they defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the El Clasico 2021 at home on Saturday. Goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos gave Zinedine Zidane's men the 2nd El Clasico win of the season.

Vinicius Jnr.

Arguably, the star of the show from the first half was Vinicius Junior, as Barcelona simply couldn't live with his blistering pace and endless trickery. After his brilliant display against Liverpool in midweek, it finally seems that the real Vinicius has stood up.


Leo Messi

Lionel Messi had seven attempts on goal, including when he hit the post with an audacious effort directly from a corner towards the end of the first half.

Barcelona player had more shots, but Messi could not find a way through in what could potentially be his final tangle with Madrid in this famous fixture.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has now gone seven Clasicos in all competitions without scoring the longest drought of his career against Los Blancos.

Karim Benzema

At the head of Madrid's attack, Karim Benzema simply cannot stop scoring, irrespective of the opponents.

Benzema ended a run of nine appearances against Barca in all competitions without a goal, his longest such run against a single opponent as a Madrid player in the 13th minute. 

Benzema has now scored in his past seven LaLiga games, netting nine times overall during this period.

The Frenchman is the fourth Madrid player in the 21st century to have scored in seven consecutive top-flight outings after Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.


Carlos Casemiro

Casemiro received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Mingueza, before Ilaix Moriba rattled the crossbar with almost the last kick of the game as Madrid sealed a league double over their rivals for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Koeman

"If you're a Barcelona fan and you saw this game you'd be very annoyed with two of the referee's decisions. It was a clear, clear penalty and then he only gave four minutes of stoppage time," he said.

Below are tweets following the Clasico;


Chelsea-Palace

Impressive Chelsea moved back into the top four of the Premier League with a dominant victory at Crystal Palace.

Beaten 5-2 at home last weekend by struggling West Brom, the Blues quickly set about making amends, scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes, during which the overwhelmed home side barely got a kick of the ball.

Kai Havertz curled in the first before turning provider to set up Christian Pulisic to fire the second into the roof of the net from close range.

Kurt Zouma ended the game as a contest on the half-hour mark, rising highest to head in a Mason Mount free-kick.

And the visitors could easily have had more before the break but for some good goalkeeping from Vicente Guaita and a goalline clearance from Patrick van Aanholt to clear another Zouma effort.

Christian Benteke headed in Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross to reduce the deficit to reward an improved second-half showing from Palace with 25 minutes to go, but Pulisic’s finish from Reece James’ cross ended any hope of an unlikely comeback.

 The Blues are in good shape for the second leg of the champions league. The game would be played at the Stamford Bridge on Tuesday at 7:00GMT.

Meanwhile the Blues have two away goals and will therefore go into this game full of confidence.


Liverpool

Liverpool were then controversially denied an equaliser as a dubious VAR review ruled out Roberto Firmino’s reply. But Mohamed Salah levelled just before the hour mark before Alexander-Arnold responded in style to the criticism he has received of late. 

Liverpool will now gear up for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The Reds will go into this one with a two goal deficit after loosing 3-1 away to the Los Brancos a week ago.


Manchester City

 Guardiola paid for heavily rotating his side with Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final, second leg, against Borussia Dortmund clearly his priority. Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Ruben Dias, who were left on the bench with City holding a slender 2-1 lead to take to Germany in midweek.

A stoppage time goal from 10-men Leeds took all three points.

City looked the most likely to net a winner, but it was Leeds who snatched all three points when Dallas was released in on goal on the counterattack, with the 29-year-old slotting a finish underneath Ederson.


Paris Saint Germain

Kylian Mbappe's goal set Paris Saint-Germain on their way to a 4-1 win at Strasbourg on Saturday as Mauricio Pochettino's side moved back to within three points of leaders Lille in the Ligue 1 title race.

Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean also scored in the first half while Leandro Paredes netted the fourth from a free-kick as PSG made short work of a trip to Alsace in between the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile PSG's stunning 3-2 win away to Bayern on Wednesday gave them the upper hand before the return leg in Paris this coming Tuesday.


Bayern Munich

Ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals second leg against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern might have extra problems with Kingsley Coman and Jerome Boateng both having to be subbed.

But Hans Flick explained after the game that it was clear from the start that Kingsley Colman would be playing only 45 minutes.


PREDICTIONS

Liverpool vrs Real Madrid

The Reds are definitely going to do a lot of attacking, and Klopp could employ a four attacking mindset with Salah, Mane, Firmino and Jota. This however could leave his defense a little shaking when the Whites lunch any counter, with the likes of Vinicius Jnr. and Asensio in the 4-3-3 formation with Benzema.

 The match is likely to see both teams scoring but I tip Madrid to win at the Anfield.

Score line: Real 3-2 Liverpool


PLAYER TO SCORE

Madrid: Vinicius Jnr., Benzema, Asensio

Liverpool: Salah, Jota


PARIS VRS BARYEN

Although Kingsley Colman might play 45 minutes, the German Gaints are expected to go into the game with all-attacking mindset with a 4-2-4 formation. Paris however will be force to do a lot of defensive work whiles they wait for a counter with Mbappe and Neymar sponsored by Di Maria.

Despite getting three away goals, Paris could be shock at home. Meanwhile both teams will score.

Score line: Paris 2-4 Baryen


PLAYER TO SCORE

Paris: Mbappe, Di Maria


Baryen: Sane, Muller, Colman, Goretzka


Laliga Santander league table after Clasico;


English Premier League (EPL) table after Chelsea won as City lost;

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Chelsea El Clasico La Liga Real Madrid Toni Kroos

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