Blog

Coventry City player ratings after their 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest

The Sky Blues suffered a 2-0 defeat away at in-form Nottingham Forest (Author: Gardener)

Nottingham ForestA bumpy goal from Brennan Johnson in the first half put Nottingham Forest on course for the full three points against a struggling Coventry City side at the City Ground. The Sky Blues took the game to their Midland rivals but found themselves with a goal against the flow of play in the first 45 minutes full of confidence and effort but without a clinical touch in front of goal. And despite a determined push for an equalizer after the break, James Garner doubled the home side's lead to send City to defeat. The other move saw Todd Kane return to the starting XI as a right-back, with Fankaty Dabo interestingly moving to the left couch, where he was preferred to Ian Maatsen, who fell on the bench – the manager presumably on the bench from Dabo who does a better job than the Chelsea loanee against Forest's formidable threat on the right. Elsewhere, the coach brought in Ben Sheaf to shore up midfield, while Jamie Allen provided extra legs in midfield, deployed initially at the head of a penalty area alongside Callum O'Hare and behind lone striker Viktor Gyokeres, who led the line . Unsurprisingly, the home side had a lot of possession and tried to spread it wide and feed the men in front, but City started the game with confidence, playing on the front foot and trying to get the game early on with the home side foraying into goal. Gus Hamer passed the ball to Viktor Gyokeres in the box and the tall striker took a touch before disappointingly flicking his shot wide of the far post in the fifth minute. Callum O'Hare tested Brice Samba for the first time with a long-range shot soon after, while Coventry continued to look more enterprising, stringing together some beautiful passes in and around the opposition box to unnerve and grumble the home crowd. City were ready for the competition and kept fighting for every ball, but it was Forest who took the lead completely against the flow of play when Jack Colback was played back by Keinan Davis and put a menacing ball across the face of the goal. Jake Bidwell stopped it on the line at the bottom of the far post but lost his balance and fell, allowing Brennan Johnson to sneak in and put it in the net with 25 minutes left. The goal was a real blow for the Sky Blues, whose only blunder was not having a clinical touch in front of goal as O'Hare tried to lob a loose ball over the keeper's head but sent it well over the bar , while Allen failed to squeeze a decent shot past Samba. Forest had three corners within six minutes just after the half-hour, but the visitors managed to survive the set pieces as the home side ended the half as the stronger of the two sides - the goal gave them a clear boost. The Sky Blues started the second half like the first, with plenty of attacking attempts leading to a decent blast and a thunderous long-range shot from Ben Sheaf that forced Samba into a decent save. O'Hare played Gyokeres into the box minutes later, but despite the Swede squirming into the area, the Swede hit his shot high over the bar. But City's efforts were all in vain when Forest picked them up a second time just after the hour mark, this time James Garner was slipped through by Davis on the overlap to the left of goal from where he slammed it past Simon Moore onto the roof of the net. Robins made a double substitution, sending Ian Maatsen and Fabio Tavares for Sheaf and Kane, but Forest made changes of their own and ended the game looking comfortable. Exposed for the opening goal after the ball was played over the goal largely undisturbed in the first half. The centre-back switched to the right flank, taking the armband and a lot of responsibility as he read the game well and was alert to most dangers, but City's defense was opened up twice by tall centre-forward Keinan Davis for the two goals. The Scot was used in the heart of the back three rather than on the right like he was over the weekend, but the Scot was to blame for a couple of misplaced passes in the first half, one that gave Forest a chance to double their lead but for some frantic defense. Had a break from work trying to keep Brennan Johnson quiet but found himself body-checking the talented young striker early on. Bombed forward on the overlap to support attack of opportunity despite being in the left center half. He threw himself into a terrific block to deflect a powerful Zinckernagel shot, but couldn't stop Johnson from stealing the ball at the far post when Forest took the lead against the flow of play in the 25th minute. Had to backtrack to contain the threat from James Garner and Jack Colback on Forest's left from where the first goal came - the defender was hit by a defensive split ball from Davis to play Colback behind. He exuded confidence in possession, constantly analyzing the game well to eliminate potential killer passes in another decent performance from the classy Brazilian midfielder. Returned to the starting XI where he used his long legs well to reclaim the ball with some decent tackles. Deployed on the left to keep Djed Spence calm, which he did to good effect in a decent battle between the two full-backs. Had a lively start to the game and was a steady handful for Forest Defense despite lacking clinical note. Lead the line alone and had a good chance in the fifth minute when he received the ball in the box but disappointingly flicked his shot wide. Passed through by O'Hare in the second half but fired high over the bar as he lacked that final edge in front of goal. NOTTINGHAM FOREST (3-4-1-2): Brice Samba; Joe Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo, Scott McKenna; Djed Spence, Ryan Yates, James Garner, Jack Colback; Philip Zinkernagel (58 mins, for Joe Lolley); Brennan Johnson (77 mins, for Lewis Grabban), Keinan Davis (77 mins, for Sam Surridge).

Read

Champions League result, final score and reaction as Benzema scores the hat trick

Chelsea vs Real Madrid LIVE: Champions League result, final score and reaction as Benzema scores hat-trick - Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid: Reaction to first leg of quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge (Author: Gardener)

BenzemaChelsea vs Real Madrid LIVE: Champions League result, final score and reaction as Benzema scores hat-trick Karim Benzema scored a scintillating hat-trick to put Real Madrid under control in a 3-1 Champions League quarter-finals win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman scored two superb header goals in the first half and although Kai Havertz recovered one with his own header for Chelsea before the break, Benzema capitalized on an Edouard Mendy strike early in the second period to make it 3-1. It was an incredibly entertaining, open game in west London but the Blues have everything they need to do in Madrid next week to take the defense of their Champions League trophy to the semi-finals. The competition is a repeat of last season's semi-finals where the Premier League side emerged 3-1 aggregate winners, but this time they need to make an almighty European comeback to progress to the last 16 against either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid. Follow all of Stamford Bridge's reactions below: 40' - GOAL! Havertz heads home to put Chelsea ahead again (1-2)24' - TOR! Benzema quick in the double with a second header (0-2) 22:09 , Michael Jones A night where Karim Benzema rose above and undercut Chelsea too. That's the main storyline of a remarkable night of Champions League football at Stamford Bridge as the great Real Madrid became just the second player to score hat-tricks in consecutive knockout games in the competition. The only other player to do so was the player he backed in Cristiano Ronaldo, which itself symbolizes how Benzema has now taken center stage at the age of 34. Such calls to history lent an element of foreshadowing to Chelsea's future, well beyond their future in competition this season after a 3-1 home loss. There is at least some doubt as to whether the club can quite be the same force they were during the Roman Abramovich era, as potential new owner Todd Boehly watched from the stands. 22:04 , Michael Jones Karim Benzema has become the fourth player to score a hat-trick in consecutive Champions League games, after Cristiano Ronaldo (2017), Lionel Messi (2016) and Luiz Adriano (2014). The Real Madrid forward is also the first player to achieve a European treble in a competition against Chelsea. 22:01 , Michael Jones Real Madrid are within one foot of the Champions League semi-finals after Karim Benzema scored another hat-trick as Los Blancos beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea started quickly and created several early opens, but Real's Vinicius Jr. had the best chance - hitting the crossbar with a deflected shot within ten minutes. Despite home possession, the visitors had far more power and Karim Benzema struck with two incredible headers in the space of three minutes, first a powerful shot after a double win with Vini Jr., then a aimed shot back over the goal and following a Luka cross Modric. time, Benzema saw his hat-trick and restored the two-goal lead the Spaniards maintained despite a series of second-half efforts from the Blues. 21:57 , Michael Jones Real Madrid beat Chelsea for the first time in their history thanks to a Karim Benzema hat-trick! 21:53, Michael Jones 90+5 mins: Chelsea have a lot of work ahead of them in the second leg. They weren't at their best tonight and were punished by the ever-disciplined Karim Benzema, who scored a hat-trick in the space of 46 minutes. Kai Havertz's goal keeps Chelsea in the tie but they need to go to the Bernabeu and score at least two goals with no response. Chelsea are in poor form and Thomas Tuchel will have to work to rectify that ahead of next week's meeting in Madrid. 21:50, Michael Jones 90+3 min: There is a chance for Chelsea! He shoots at goal with his left foot, but smokes it over the bar from the penalty area! 21:48, Michael Jones 90 minutes: Five minutes of added time to play at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea still have time to reduce the deficit but Real Madrid are making it difficult. 21:44, Michael Jones 87 minutes: Carvajal fouls Mount on the left wing and Chelsea have an opportunity to whip a cross into the box. Reece James swings it in the middle and sends it too close to Courtois, who plucks the ball out of the air. Time is running out for Chelsea to score a second goal. 21:43 , Michael Jones 84 mins: Valverde goes off the ball and the referee stops the game as Chelsea put together a decent attack down the left. Gareth Bale replaces Karim Benzema for Real Madrid. 21:38, Michael Jones 81 minutes: Ruben Loftus-Cheek brings the ball back onto the field for Chelsea and finds Mount in the penalty area. He spins the ball towards goal but Nacho is there to set the block! Havertz gets the ball just outside the Real Madrid penalty area and turns nicely away from Camavinga. He lets fly with a left-footed shot but fails to hit Courtois and sends the shot straight to the Real goalkeeper. 21:34 , Michael Jones 75 min: Toni Kroos leaves for Real Madrid with teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, the man who is due to come on. Real Madrid manage this game well. 21:28, Michael Jones 72 min: Close! Chelsea plays the ball to Lukaku, who is disowned by Casemiro, but the ball rolls to Mason Mount. He runs for a first shot and almost rolls it into the net from long range, but the ball just lands on the wrong side of the bar! Reece James hooked a cross into the center of the box and took out Romelu Lukaku, who headed wide of the right post. This time Cesar Azpilicueta swings a cross from the left. 21:24 , Michael Jones 67 min: It's getting a bit intense out there. Azpilicueta rushes into a challenge against Modric and Chelsea to get the ball away from Real's press. It comes out on the right to Havertz and he gets fouled but the incoming Ferland Mendy. 21:21, Michael Jones 64 mins: Eder Militao tried to continue but he injured his leg and Nacho has to replace him. 21:17, Michael Jones 61 minutes: Havertz tries to weave around Militao but has to settle for a pass back to Pulisic inside the box. Pulisic switches to his left foot and shoots, but the effort is gentle and Courtois grabs it without too much trouble. 21:15 , Michael Jones 58 mins: Karim Benzema becomes the first player ever to score a European hat-trick against Chelsea, with the Frenchman scoring his three goals after just 46 minutes of play. It is also his second consecutive hat-trick in the Champions League after scoring three goals in the second leg of the round of 16 against PSG. 21:13, Michael Jones 55 minutes: Ziyech's corner fizzles out for Chelsea and is cleared by Real Madrid, whose fans cheer her on loudly. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Romelu Lukaku warm up for Chelsea, will we see them soon? 21:11, Michael Jones 52 minutes: Mateo Kovacic buys a free kick after pulling Luka Modric into the foul. Chelsea play it fast, Kai Havertz pushes the ball into the penalty area for Christian Pulisic. He tries to cross the ball in the middle and wins a corner after his pass is blocked from behind. 21:07, Michael Jones 49 minutes: That's a terrible goal for Chelsea. He has scored seven goals in his last two games. Kai Havertz sees a shot blocked by Dani Carvajal, but the ball rolls to Cesar Azpilicueta. He fires a right footed shot back at goal but Thibaut Courtois leaps to his left and smacks the ball wide of the back post! 21:04 , Michael Jones 46 min.: Horror show by Edouard Mendy. A simple long ball is thrown onto the field by Real and Mendy comes out of his box and controls the ball. Karim Benzema presses him and the goalkeeper embezzles a pass to Antonio Rüdiger. Benzema takes the ball and shakes off the defender before tipping it into the wide open goal! 9:03 p.m., Michael Jones kicks off: Thomas Tuchel makes a few changes at the break, with Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech replacing Andreas Christensen and N’Golo Kante. 20:59 , Michael Jones Karim Benzema has scored more than 2 goals in his last four games for Real Madrid - the only other player to score twice in four consecutive games in the five major European leagues this season (all competitions), is Kylian Mbappe. 20:55 , Michael Jones Karim Benzema is the first player to score more than 10 goals in a single season in Champions League history and the first to do so in Europe since Just Fontaine in 1958/59. 20:51 , Michael Jones Two great header goals from Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid what looked like a comfortable lead, but Kai Havertz gave Chelsea a way back into the clash. 20:47, Michael Jones 45+1 min: What a first half that was! Karim Benzema scored two lovely goals for Real Madrid to rock the home side but Chelsea responded with Kai Havertz who has brought them back close to La Liga leaders. Karim Benzema should have scored a hat trick! Vinicius Junior runs in on the left and collects a through ball. Antonio Rüdiger fails and Benzema shoots wide of the far post from the top six meters! 20:40, Michael Jones 40 min: Chelsea are back! Reece James drives the ball down the right wing and brings it to the edge of the box. He passes inside to Jorginho, who lifts the ball to the center of the box. Kai Havertz runs over Dani Carvajal's shoulder and hits the ball in the air. His header is good and beats the keeper, although Thibaut Courtois gets a hand on the ball! 20:38, Michael Jones 36 mins: Kante comes into the penalty area to get the ball but Casemiro manages to put it behind him for a corner. Mason Mount brings it in the middle and Thiago Silva bursts through a cluster of bodies to put his effort wide of the target. Dani Carvajal appears in the center of the pitch for Real Madrid and slides the ball to Karim Benzema before continuing his run into the penalty area. Benzema gives it to Valverde, who shoves a pass into the box which Carvajal collects. Edouard Mendy puts out a hand to keep them away and Andreas Christensen completes the clearance for Chelsea. 20:31, Michael Jones 30 min: Chelsea are still dangerous. Reece James carries the ball down the right side and gets Kai Havertz out with a nice pass over the front edge of the box. The forward only sees a shot but Luka Modric climbs back and knocks the ball back to his keeper but Havertz is able to shoot. 20:28 , Michael Jones 27 min: Penalty cry! Do they go all out and risk sending more goals, or consolidate and try to limit the damage? Kai Havertz prefers the first option and puts the ball in the penalty area. 20:24, Michael Jones 24 min: Benzema again! He has his second in three minutes with another fine header. Luka Modric swings the ball from the inside channel into the penalty area and Benzema just barely lets it land. 20:21, Michael Jones 21 min: What a goal! Real Madrid add some pace to their attack with Karim Benzema dropping to collect the ball and turning it towards goal. He directs a pass to Vinicius Junior, who sprints away from Andreas Christensen and carries the ball to the touchline. He bangs it back into the box, where Benzema hits the ball with a perfectly executed header that hits Edouard Mendy at the near post! 20:21, Michael Jones 19 mins: Antonio Rudiger joins Eder Militao in the book thanks to a clumsy nudge at Valverde. He is then encouraged to shoot when the ball comes at him just outside the box. Instead, the ball is chipped into the box where Mason Mount reaches the ball first and heads it safely into Thibaut Courtois' hands. 20:16, Michael Jones 16 min: Save! The free kick is almost 20 meters to the left of the goal. There are a couple of potential set pieces but this one remains Reece James whipping a decent low curling shot on target and forcing a jump stop on Thibaut Courtois! 20:15, Michael Jones 14 minutes: Yellow card for Eder Militao! Real Madrid appeared to be in control of the ball as it was returned to Militao. He controls the ball wrong and gives Kai Havertz the time he needs to gain possession of the ball on the edge of Madrid's penalty area. Militao panics and pulls Havertz to the ground, giving Chelsea a free-kick in a dangerous area. 20:11, Michael Jones 11 min: Get off the bar! They win the ball in the middle of the field and Karim Benzema charges forward on the right flank. He plays a pass into the path of Federico Valverde, who drives to the edge of the box and shoots the ball to Vinicius Junior. He rolls it onto his right foot and shoots, smashing his shot off the bar allowing Chelsea to clear their lines! 20:08, Michael Jones 9 minutes: N'Golo Kante closes Toni Kroos and gives away a free kick to Real Madrid. It's picked up quickly, with the ball slammed into the right side of Chelsea's box to match Federico Valverde's run off the wing. Edouard Mendy makes an early decision to come out and get the ball, beating the midfielder right inside his own box and managing to control him to end the attack. 20:07, Michael Jones 6 min: Chance! 20:07, Michael Jones 6 min: Chance! 20:07, Michael Jones 6 min: Chance! 20:07, Michael Jones 6 min: Chance! 20:07, Michael Jones 6 min: Chance! Kai Havertz gets his first goal glimpse with a run into the right side of the penalty area. This allows Havertz to check in on his preferred left foot and put a shot away. Alaba stretches out a leg at the last moment and manages to touch the ball, sending the shot wide of the far post. 20:05, Michael Jones 3 mins: Karim Benzema drops a little low to receive the ball from Toni Kroos and slide Vinicius Junior down the left wing. The ball comes over to Eder Militao, who has fought his way up from defence, and his long-range shot goes wide of the target. 8:01 p.m., Michael Jones Kai Havertz starts the first leg of this Champions League quarter-final. The ball comes back to Antonio Rüdiger, who sends a diagonal pass to Reece James. Mason Mount runs down the left and gets the ball, swinging an early cross that almost caused trouble for the Real Madrid defence, but David Alaba covered Christian Pulisic's run and the ball bounced safely through the box. 19:56 , Michael Jones This game should be a blast. Chelsea are the reigning European champions and face 13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid. They have never been beaten by Madrid and Thomas Tuchel has never lost to a Spanish side as a coach. 19:51 , Michael Jones A note on team selection from Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who explained why he chose Cesar Azpilicueta over Marcos Alonso. Pulišić can cause problems for any team, he's back after huge travel demands during the international break and we hope he has the impact we want him to have.” 19:48 , Michael Jones David Alaba's 100th save tonight in the Champions League and is the first Austrian to reach this mark. 19:45 , Michael Jones The Blues have kept 10 clean sheets in 15 games since Thomas Tuchel's first Champions League game as Chelsea manager; most of any team. They also have the lowest goals-against-per-game ratio (0.47) during that period, conceding just seven goals. 19:42 , Michael Jones It's raining quite heavily around Stamford Bridge as players warm up on the pitch. 19:38 , Michael Jones Mason Mount makes his 150th appearance for Chelsea in all competitions tonight, including 25 in the Champions League. He has been involved in 50 goals for the Blues (25 goals and 25 assists), including five in this competition (two goals and three assists). 19:34 , Michael Jones Chelsea have played 13 home and away games against Spanish clubs - they have won six of those games and lost seven. The Londoners went unbeaten in their first five home knockout games against Spanish sides in Uefa competition (W4 D1) but managed just three wins (D3 L2) in the eight games that followed. Thomas Tuchel is also an unbeaten head coach against Spanish clubs with four wins and five draws. Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea are "one of the best clubs in the world" ahead of their 19:30 Champions League clash in the world." The Belgian goalkeeper will be back at his old playground at Stamford Bridge, when Real Madrid take on Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg, the west London club amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. And Courtois, 29, urged Chelsea fans to keep the Blues at the top of the game. Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea are 'one of the best clubs in the world' 19:27 , Michael Jones Chelsea and Real Madrid have both scored 17 goals and conceded five in their eight Champions League games this season. Real Madrid have faced Chelsea five times without defeat, beating them. It is the most games against a single opponent that the Spanish team has gone without a win. 19:24 , Michael Jones Edouard Mendy kept nine clean sheets in 12 Champions League games last season, the most in a season by a goalkeeper for an English side in the history of the competition. He has added five more to his seven appearances this season and conceded just two goals. 19:21 , Michael Jones Chelsea have now won their last three games and eight of their last nine. This season it looked like the Blues would finish first in Group H after a 4-0 lead before going into the final round of games 1-1 defeat in Turin gives them a head-to-head advantage over their Italian rivals. However, a Zenit goal four minutes into injury time resulted in a 3–3 draw that left Chelsea on 13 points, two behind Juventus. first-leg win over Lille and then secured a place in the quarter-finals with a 2-1 win in France. 19:18 , Michael Jones Excitement builds at Stamford Bridge ahead of kick-off. 19:15 , Michael Jones Hakim Ziyech spoke about last season's Champions League win over Real Madrid and said tonight's game will be a completely different scenario. "It's a completely different situation than last year, a different atmosphere, a different time," he says. "They [Real Madrid] have also improved as a squad, with some young players, so it's a very different game to last year." We know how difficult it can be against Real Madrid. It's going to be a tough game, a physical game, a mind game, but one to enjoy from the first minute to the last.” Thomas Tuchel hopes Carlo Ancelotti can be on the touchline 19-12 at Stamford Bridge, Michael Jones Thomas Tuchel hopes Carlo Ancelotti can shake off his positive Covid test in time to be on the sidelines in Wednesday's Champions League clash between Chelsea and Real Madrid Chelsea boss Ancelotti did not travel to London with Madrid on Tuesday since he continues to return positive coronavirus tests. The 62-year-old is still hoping to return a negative test in time to fly to London for the quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti's absence would no doubt be a blow to Madrid, but Chelsea boss Tuchel is still hoping his counterpart on the bench can sit. Tuchel missed Chelsea's Club World Cup semi-finals after testing positive for Covid but was able to jet to Abu Dhabi in time to coach the Blues to their triumph over Palmeiras in the final on February 12. Thomas Tuchel hopes Carlo Ancelotti can be on the touchline 19:08 at Stamford Bridge , Michael Jones Both sides beat French opponents in the round of 16 this season, Karim Benzema's hat-trick inspired Real Madrid to comeback wins over Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea past Lille. This is one of two 2021/22 quarter-finals between former European champions, the other being Benfica's draw with Liverpool. 19:04 , Michael Jones Holders Chelsea are aiming for a fifth straight Champions League knockout round win for the first time in their history. The Blues have progressed in eight of their last nine meetings at this stage of the competition. 18:59 , Michael Jones Eden Hazard played for Chelsea between 2012 and 2019 before joining Real Madrid. He scored 110 goals in 352 games in all competitions for the Blues. There have been rumors of his possible return to the club. He has not played since coming on as a late substitute in the 3-0 home win against Alavés on 19 February and will miss both games in this quarter-final. The Belgian underwent surgery for a metal plate in his right fibula on March 29 and is expected to be out for a month. 18:55, Michael Jones Christian Pulisic put in a fantastic performance against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge last season and the American is looking forward to taking on the La Liga leaders again tonight. The Chelsea midfielder said: "We had a good result [against them] last year and hope to do the same this year. It's a knockout game in the Champions League and it won't be easy but having won everything last season we should be confident.” 18:53 , Michael Jones Thomas Tuchel insists his public effort , convincing Andreas Christensen to sign a new Chelsea deal didn't backfire. Denmark defender Christensen is reportedly close to joining Barcelona on a free transfer this summer. Christensen appeared close to signing a new Chelsea contract in November and Tuchel even challenged the 25-year-old to sign at Stamford Bridge Club in a bid to fulfill his rich potential. However, Christensen switched agents in December and the arrival of new agents ushered in an apparent change of heart regarding his long-term future. Barcelona expect to bring Christensen to the Nou-Camp in the summer, with Chelsea boss Tuchel insisting any decision made by the Danish star must be respected. 18:49 , Michael Jones Thomas Tuchel makes four changes to the Chelsea side who lost to Brentford at the weekend. Andreas Christensen and Reece James are recalled to bolster defence.Jorginho partner N'Golo Kante in midfield Christian Pulisic starts up front along with Kai Havertz and Mason Mount.Marcos Alonso, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are the players who fold. Why Chelsea's slip-up against Brentford shouldn't be a major concern 18:45 , Michael Jones Around this time last year, as Thomas Tuchel's reinvention of Chelsea began with a remarkable 14-game unbeaten streak, something strange happened. On what should have been a routine afternoon at Stamford Bridge against relegation contenders West Brom, Chelsea were unceremoniously throttled to a 5-2 defeat by Sam Allardyce's cold hand. The result inevitably provoked an immediate investigation, and theories abounded as to what mysterious virus might have appeared in Tuchel's carefully constructed machine. Instead, of course, within the next two months Chelsea secured fourth place and won the Champions League. Well, not for Brentford, playing to such an electric counter-rhythm, it amounted to a kind of shock therapy for Chelsea's defence, which went utterly insane during a blistering eleven-minute second-half streak. Why Chelsea's blip shouldn't be a cause for concern 18:42 , Michael Jones 18:39 , Michael Jones Chelsea's 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions (12 wins, two draws) ended on Saturday with a 4-1 home game against London rivals Brentford at Stamford Bridge, their first loss to the Bees since 1939. The weekend's four goals conceded equaled Chelsea's seven previous home games in all competitions combined, a streak that included four goals conceded. 18:36 , Michael Jones Goals from Timo Werner (28) and Mason Mount (85) secured a 2-0 second leg win at Stamford Bridge last season as Chelsea beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The first leg in Spain had ended 1-1 and Christian Pulišić's 14th-minute opener for the visitors was canceled out by Karim Benzema 15 minutes later. The teams had only met in three games prior to last season - two finals both won by Chelsea, who are unbeaten against Madrid. Their last meeting before 2021 came at the 1998 Uefa Super Cup in Monaco, when a goal by Gustavo Poyet seven minutes from time at the Stade Louis II gave holders Chelsea a 1-0 win over Madrid, who went through had qualified for a Champions League win. The English club also won the final of the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup against Madrid in Piraeus. The first game ended 1-1, Peter Osgood's 56th-minute goal at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadion being leveled by Ignacio Zoco in the final minute. Two days later at the same stadium, first-half goals from John Dempsey (31) and again Osgood (39) saw Chelsea lift their first European Cup, although Sebastián Fleitas recovered one for Madrid with 15 minutes to go. 18:31 , Michael Jones This is the second time in as many seasons that Real Madrid and Chelsea have met in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Last year, the Blues beat Real 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and lifted the trophy by beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final. Can they beat Real again this time? Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois doesn't think so: "Last season's duel was different. If we generate the right intensity, we're capable of winning.” 18:28, Michael Jones Speaking ahead of tonight's quarter-final game, Thomas Tuchel said he was looking forward to a special occasion at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea manager said: "We should be very aware that teams with that kind of quality, flair and experience can create a special occasion. 18:24 , Michael Jones While we await the reveal of Chelsea's starting XI, here are some team news that could come into play.Jorginho, Reece James and Mateo Kovacic could all have been on the bench for the Blues' 4-1 shock Home defeat to Brentford in the Premier League at the weekend. Christian Pulisic could also be used after a stint with the United States national team. One person who will not be at Stamford Bridge is former Blues forward Eden Hazard. He has not traveled with the Real team after undergoing surgery to remove a metal plate in his right leg. 6:20pm, Michael Jones Thibaut Courtois returns to Stamford Bridge tonight at a difficult time for the Blues who are awaiting new owners after current owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale. Courtois has played more than 150 games for "one of the best clubs in the world" and says the potential bidders will buy. "I think it's been a tough month for the club and the fans but I think you can see that. All the people who love Chelsea really put all their energy together," Courtois said. "The new owners need to know which club you buy. And hopefully they can keep that spirit that has always been there. "All in all I was a part of Chelsea for seven years and that was a big part of my career." I hope the new owners will understand what they are buying and that Chelsea can remain as one of the best clubs in the world." Thibaut Courtois hopes that Chelsea fans won't boo him on his return to Stamford Bridge 18:15 Michael Jones Thibaut Courtois has said he hopes for a 'happy return' to Stamford Bridge with Real Madrid but admits that Chelsea fans could boo him.Courtois left Chelsea for the Spanish capital in 2018 after making clear his desire to leave the club and not showing up for training.His agent later explained that this was due to the Belgian's desire to be close to his family having previously played in Madrid for Atletico while on loan from the London club, with Chelsea set to face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, Cour to He will return to west London in the first leg on Wednesday. The two sides met behind closed doors last year but this is the first time the Belgium goalkeeper has played in front of Chelsea supporters since his chaotic departure from the club - and Courtois is aware of the potential welcome. Thibaut Courtois hopes Chelsea fans won't boo him on the 18-11 return to Stamford Bridge. Michael Jones Carlo Ancelotti makes two changes to the Real Madrid side who beat Celta Vigo 2-1 at the weekend. 18:05 , Michael Jones Real Madrid have announced their starting line-up for tonight's clash at Stamford Bridge. 18:00 , Michael Jones Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is expected to be present for tonight's Champions League quarter-final game against Chelsea after missing the La Liga game against Celta Vigo due to a positive Covid-19 test. Ancelotti, 62, did not travel to London with his players and staff for the first leg against his former side on Tuesday but tested negative on Wednesday. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday he hoped Ancelotti would make it to the game : "It's always much better and nicer to be there and have direct influence." He's a big, big manager, a big personality , it would be nice to have him on the sidelines in games like this." That's what we love most as coaches, to be in the middle of the group, to constantly communicate not only with words but also with a smile, a hug." 17:35 , Luke Baker Welcome to The Independent's coverage of the Champions League quarter-final first leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge Thomas Tuchel's side head into this game after a shocking 4-1 win over Brentford on Saturday and amid uncertainty over the club's ownership due to the forced sale of Roman Abramovich.However, Chelsea were in fine form ahead of the Brentford defeat, while Real Madrid defeated Celta at the weekend Beat Vigo 2-1 to respond to a 4-0 demolition of El Clasico rivals Barcelona. A two-leg hat-trick to secure an unlikely comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain in the preliminary round, while Chelsea edged Lille 4-1 in two games to reach that stage. Everything is set for an intriguing quarter-final draw.

Read

Champions League result, final standings and reaction to De Bruyne winner

Man City vs Atletico Madrid LIVE: Champions League result, full time standings and reaction to De Bruyne's winner 1-0 Manchester City Atletico Madrid: Follow all the action as Pep Guardiola's side take a lead in the quarter-finals first leg on Diego Simeone's LaLiga wins champions (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeaguePlease use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Man City vs Atletico Madrid LIVE: Champions League result, full time standings and reaction as De Bruyne netted the winner in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. After City were frustrated by the visitors for much of the game, City finally broke through in the 70th minute when Phil Foden brought on Kevin De Bruyne, who expertly finished off Jan Oblak and gave them an opener for next week's second leg at the Wanda Metropolitan . Video: Blood Red: "Go with the traditional Front 3" | Liverpool attack against Manchester City | Analysis of Anfield (Liverpool Echo) Blood Red: "Go with the traditional Front 3" | Liverpool attack against Manchester City | Anfield Blood Red analysis: "He wants to score!" - Jurgen Klopp on Mohamed Salah's desire to score Both Guardiola and his opponent Diego Simeone suffered heartaches in the final of this competition with their current clubs, but City remain favorites from long range this time - too if this proves to be a huge test for the Cityzens in the last eight. The winners of this clash meet either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals after last month's draw. Follow all the reactions below as Man City beat Atletico Madrid: GOAL! 70' - De Bruyn finally gives City the lead after Foden passes (1-0) HALF TIME! City dominate possession but fail to break Atletico defense (0-0) 22:10 , Dylan Terry "It was a really tough game," he said. "In the past they could have lost that game but Atletico didn't have a shot on goal." Substitutions changed the game and City were by far the better team. They kept their composure and I think they will go there and keep winning. “Can you find a way not to win at your best? The big players decide the big games, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden.” 22:06, De Bruyne's Dylan Terry More on their delicious clash against Liverpool on Sunday. He said: "It's five days until Sunday. Both teams played tonight. "It's a big game and everyone is looking forward to it, including the players." 10:05pm, Dylan Terry Match winner Kevin de Bruyne has shared his thoughts on the game. He told BT Sport: "The first half was tight, in the second half we had a couple of chances and it was good that we took one." I made the run and Phil [Foden] found me perfect, me I had to stay calm and luckily I made it. I recommend anyone who says anything [about us] that they try to play against it on the training ground. “We have to keep our composure and not try to interfere with their action. That's how they play. When the game is tight, they need to attack a little more. 21:55 , Dylan Terry Here's the winning moment. 21:50, Dylan Terry full-time: That's it. Manchester City go into the second leg in Spain with a deserved 1-0 lead. Kevin de Bruyne broke through in the 70th minute after a great game from substitute Phil Foden. Will both teams be happy with that? Atletico have to show a lot more forward if they want to reach the semifinals. 21:49 , Dylan Terry 90 + 2 minutes: Vrsaljko fouls Grealish again! It's the third time he's been substituted on and finally the Atletico Madrid full-back is in the book. Now Ederson has also been booked after protesting after a ball-less incident between Correa and Laporte. 21:47 , Dylan Terry 90+1min: Correa tries to get behind City's defense and force a corner, but Ake does an excellent job of winning the goal kick. The game is heading towards a 1-0 win for the English champions. 21:46 , Dylan Terry 90 minutes: Two minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of this period. 21:46, Dylan Terry 89 mins: Man City are testing but they're in no hurry to find a second goal. Grealish is fouled by Vrsaljko. The Englishman is then penalized for running in Vrsaljko when it looked like it was the other way around! 21:44 , Dylan Terry 88 min: Foden and De Bruyne connect again sensationally! Foden with a ridiculous pass with the outside of his boot finds De Bruyne in the box. The Belgian tries to pull back a cross, but it's blocked. Foden then tries his luck with a shot but he fires away from De Bruyne. Foden has been remarkable since coming on. 21:42, Dylan Terry 86 mins: Cancelo finds De Bruyne while City tries to break an Atletico Madrid move. The Portuguese full-back finds De Bruyne and he tries to score from 25 yards but it's way over the top. 21:41 , Dylan Terry 85 min: Jesus also receives a warning and will miss the second leg. 21:40 , Dylan Terry 83 mins: Handbags! Grealish goes down on the touchline and Correa smacks the ball in the leg and then the Manchester City man's face. Guardiola is right in front and he has some stern words for Correa before pulling Grealish away as he tries to interfere. Correa walks in the book. 21:39 , Dylan Terry 83 minutes: will both teams be happy with it? Man City don't take player signings lightly. 21:37 , Dylan Terry 81 min: Thomas Lemar has entered the fight in place of Joao Felix. 21:37 , Dylan Terry 81 minutes: Magic from Foden! Twinkle toes inside the box as he defeats two Atletico Madrid players before squaring for De Bruyne whose shot is blocked by Felipe! 21:35, Dylan Terry 79 mins: Vrsaljko sends a good cross into Manchester City's box and it almost falls for Cunha, but Stones does enough to put the ball back to Ederson. A little more space for the hosts now at Atletico have caught up on the pitch. 21:33, Dylan Terry 77 mins: Kondogbia goes down in a chase with Rodri. The Manchester City midfielder doesn't look like he did anything wrong but the free-kick is awarded right in the City half. He gets wedged towards the back post and Laporte deals with it. 21:31, Dylan Terry 76 mins: Atletico Madrid didn't really worry Ederson all night. That has to change at some point in this duel. But will they wait for the second leg? It's a risky game. 21:31, Dylan Terry 74 minutes: City is right back at Atletico's neck. They feel like they can get that job done tonight. De Bruyne tries to push it through to Jesus but Felipe is over to cut off the pass. De Bruyne then fouls Kondogbia and Atletico have some relief. 21:29 , Dylan Terry 21:28 , Dylan Terry 72 minutes: Seismic goal in this tie. Will Atlético now try to find a goal? 21:26, Dylan Terry 70 mins: Foden off the bench and he puts it on for De Bruyne! The replacement makes an immediate impression! Foden picks up the ball 25 yards from goal. He looks up and finds De Bruyne with a pass through Reinaldo's legs and De Bruyne sweeps the ball past Oblak! 21:25, Dylan Terry 68 minutes: Three substitutions for Manchester City. Grealish, Foden and Jesus for Mahrez, Gundogan and Sterling. Rodrigo de Paul goes straight into the book for a late challenge against Grealish! 21:23 , Dylan Terry 67 min: Big appeals! De Bruyne tries to slide a pass to Sterling and the Englishman goes down under pressure from Felipe. 21:22 , Dylan Terry 66 mins: Crowd frustration is definitely growing as Man City's passing eases off a bit. Atletico will surpass that. It's going into the last quarter of the first leg. 21:21 , Dylan Terry Calvary arrives for Atletico. 21:20, Dylan Terry 64 minutes: Sterling pits under pressure from Felipe. There was a little nudge, but not enough for a penalty. However, Felipe nods away after a corner and City has another chance to load the penalty area. It comes and Laporte has a free header! He jumps and hits the ball but can't quite get over it and he's a few yards over the top. 21:18 , Dylan Terry 62 minutes: In the last few minutes, both teams have returned to their formations from the first half. Manchester City are playing a rather slow build-up while Atletico sit deep. Phil Foden is warming up pretty intense now. 21:16, Dylan Terry 60 min: Here come the substitutions. Koke, Griezmann and Llorente are replacing De Paul, Correa and Cunha. 21:13 , Dylan Terry 58 minutes: It's getting a bit stingy here, as Mahrez finds some space and Koke quickly makes the foul. Another hallmark of Atleti. The free kick is quickly taken to Sterling and he tries his luck with a low shot over the goal that rolls wide. 21:12, Dylan Terry 56 mins: De Bruyne is on target this time and Oblak is clever on his left to save! He smothers the ball the second time. City has a shot on goal! 21:11, Dylan Terry 54 minutes: Free kick for Manchester City 30 yards from goal. De Bruyne plays briefly to Gundogan and he lays it down to Mahrez who is then fouled 10 yards closer! This time it's 22 meters or so in front of the goal. 21:08, Dylan Terry 52 minutes: De Bruyne brings it briefly to Mahrez, but Felipe heads clear. Atletico then break again and they have three up! Koke tries to find Llorente with an inch-perfect pass but he had to give it to Felix on the other side! Llorente collects it on the edge of the area, but his cross/shot goes straight into Ederson's arms. A waste. Atletico already looks much stronger. 21:06, Dylan Terry 50 min: A sign for the future? The crowd is up and there's already more energy for this second half. That will play into the hands of Manchester City. The hosts still have a corner. 21:05, Dylan Terry 48 min: Best chance of the game for Man City! De Bruyne whips a ball into Gundogan. The German pans and rolls one towards the far corner which Sterling tries to deflect the goal but it's wide. Picked up an Atletico player and goes to the corner. Atletico then suddenly break out of the resulting corner! However, he slows down and decides to find Felix on the left but gets the pass wrong and it goes on a throw. It was an opportunity for both sides. 21:02 , Dylan Terry 47 min: Oh, hello! 21:01 , Dylan Terry 46 min: Right, the players are out again. 20:57 , Dylan Terry second leg comes then. 20:53 , Dylan Terry Goalless, yes. 20:47, Dylan Terry Halftime: No stoppage time at the end of the first half. At all. Atletico Madrid will be very happy. Manchester City with some thought. 20:46, Dylan Terry 45 min: Still no shots on goal in the match. 20:44 , Dylan Terry 44 min: Silva tries to create something, but a swarm of red and white shirts immediately surrounds him. He goes down, but the referee has nothing of it. Stones tries his luck from 25 yards... that will never bother Oblak as it sails over the bar. A sign of frustration? The camera cuts to Foden and Grealish on the bench. 20:42, Dylan Terry 42 mins: De Bruyne appeals for a penalty after going down between two Atletico Madrid defenders in the penalty area. Felipe made contact, but De Bruyne met him more often than the other way around. The ball was already gone. Atletico starts at the end of the first half (first leg!) lost time 20:41 , Dylan Terry 40 mins: Cancelo and De Bruyne with a little mix up as Belgian plays a pass when his teammate has already run somewhere else. But City have so much time on the ball that they can pick it up again straight away without an Atleti challenge. De Bruyne then sends another cross straight into Oblak's arms. 20:39, Dylan Terry 38 mins: Mahrez shoves a nice through ball into Cancelo on the right side of the box, but his low cross is collected by Oblak. Rodri then attempts a similar pass into Cancelo but it's a bit too much on this one.Manchester City must try to contain their frustrations.Atletico have a rare attack going forward but Vrsaljko's pass is too early as Llorente doesn't recover can bring to the side. 20:36 , Dylan Terry 36 min: Five attempts for Manchester City to none for Atletico. I'll let you find out who's got what.Hint: The city is attacking again. 20:34 , Dylan Terry 34 min: Nothing is going for Atletico at the moment. A high ball clearly comes from Ake but the assistant referee gives the throw to Manchester City, much to Llorente's confusion. Atletico finally defuse City's pressure as Felix pulls a foul from De Bruyne. 20:33 , Dylan Terry How to mine them? 20:32, Dylan Terry 32 minutes: De Bruyne's corner is saved by Felix at the near post. De Bruyne then sends another cross but it's too close to Oblak. But City immediately got the ball back. 20:31, Dylan Terry 30 mins: Kondogbia dribbles the ball towards the halfway line but he has nothing to aim for in front of him and Rodri wins it back with a perfectly timed tackle, his slide challenge excellent and the hosts take a corner. 20:29, Dylan Terry 28 mins: Stones makes a tag to Sterling on the left. City keep checking before Cancelo attempts a clean pass in the box to Mahrez who dribbles out of play. Incidentally, Atletico does not take any risks with the kick-offs. No playing from behind for Simeone. 20:27, Dylan Terry 26 mins: Another decent chance to create something for Atletico as Felix tries to put Koke behind City's defence. He plays the pass but Laporte just ducks for cover before earning a free kick. It goes without saying that Atletico will need to make the most of their limited time in the City half tonight. 20:25 , Dylan Terry 24 mins: Atletico Madrid finally find a way into the Manchester City half as Felix shoots inside and out before Cancelo comes over to collect the ball with a really classy defense. 20:24 , Dylan Terry All Manchester City midway through the first half. 20:23 , Dylan Terry 22 minutes: There are so few places in this Atletico Madrid defense. They play with three centre-backs, remember that. Corner to Manchester City as they work it short to Gundogan on the edge of the box. Gundogan takes the shot but snaps for it and it goes well over the bar. 20:21, Dylan Terry 20 min: Everything is going through Cancelo at the moment. He pushes it to De Bruyne on the edge of the box but Felipe is over to wipe out the threat before the Belgian can try to get a shot away. Another Cancelo cross into the box but Mahrez fails to cross his marker on time and Oblak claims again. 20:20 , Dylan Terry 18 min: Every time Atletico grabs the ball, it's recaptured by Manchester City within three or four seconds. Relentless pressure from the hosts without much of a chance. Cancello drives forward and deposits on Mahrez on the right side. He whips in a dangerous cross that Gundogan narrowly dodges down the middle as Oblak leaps for the ball. 20:17, Dylan Terry 16 mins: It was all Manchester City after fifteen minutes at the Etihad Stadium. Atletico Madrid barely got a kick in the opposing half. But that's what they do. Rodri tries to pass Cancelo a pass but it's wayward and Atletico take a throw-in. A total of 69 percent ball possession so far for the hosts. 20:15, Dylan Terry 14 mins: Laporte is first in the corner but it's a long way from Oblak's goal. City started this game with a majority, but there's no doubt about that. Penalty appeal! Sterling jumps in and out of a couple of Atletico challenges before going under outside of the area. 20:13, Dylan Terry 12 mins: Mahrez slices a ball inside for De Bruyne, but the Belgian can't quite access it before sliding off slippery service. It's rainy Manchester weather tonight. City get back in front as Cancelo delivers a cross towards Gundogan but is cleared before the German. De Bruyne then tries his luck and Vrsaljko blocks it for a corner. 20:10 , Dylan Terry The respect is there. 20:10, Dylan Terry 10 mins: De Bruyne finds Cancelo 25 yards from goal and the Portuguese defender decides to take the shot. He tries his luck and it takes off an Atletico shirt but doesn't quite fall to Sterling in the penalty area. First signs of space for the Premier League leaders. 20:09, Dylan Terry 8 mins: Late challenge from Kondogbia to Cancelo. The Atletico midfielder was sensational for his side at Old Trafford last month but he gives City an opportunity to send a free-kick into the box after the foul. De Bruyne swings in but Savic flicks a clear header. Atletico then try to break, but Felix is ​​the only player forward and four city shirts surround him to close the space and eliminate the danger. 20:06, Dylan Terry 6 mins: Bernardo Silva seems to be the central point of attack for Manchester City, with Sterling on the left, Mahrez on the right and De Bruyne as number 10. Plenty of passes from the hosts so far. 20:05, Dylan Terry 4 mins: Atletico barely have a kick for the first three minutes before Laporte goes over the top looking for Sterling and finds it just too hard for the England international to bring him down. City pinned Atletico in their own half early stages. No real surprise. Llorente is eventually found in the City half after a hooked pass by Felix, but he fouls Ake and City comes forward again. 20:02, Dylan Terry 2 mins: It's Cancelo on the right and Nathan Ake on the left for Manchester City. Atletico immediately revert to their defensive form as the hosts begin their long evening in the visitors' half. 20:01, Dylan Terry 1 min: Here we go. It's Manchester City versus Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16. 19:57 , Dylan Terry Players step onto the field as we speak. It's Manchester City's blue against Atletico Madrid's red and white. 19:56 , Dylan Terry The Etihad is packed for tonight's Champions League quarter-finals. It really has a great feel to it. Sometimes this competition is unbeatable. 19:53 , Dylan Terry He told BT Sport: “We have to be ourselves. We want to try to impose our game all the time. "But of course Atletico have qualities, they're Spanish champions and they've always had good results in Europe and they've been a tough opponent in the knockout stages for a decade." 19:51 , Dylan Terry So then, less than 10 minutes until kick-off at the Etihad! 19:49 , Dylan Terry Diego Simeone on how he plans to attack Manchester City challenge. "We will play where we think we can hurt them," he said. "We will use our qualities that we have been playing for years and continue to compete." But City are a nice side to watch. What I like most about teams that play as well as they do is the strength and effort they put into winning back the ball while continuing to play offensively. “They have some great players – Sterling, De Bruyne – but what wakes me up is they run, they press, they're always active. That's what all managers want.” 19:44 , Dylan Terry Atletico Madrid are in good form. They may have been eliminated from the LaLiga title race but have won every one of their last six games in all competitions. Simeone has not experienced a defeat since mid-February. 19:38 , Dylan Terry Pep Guardiola has won two of his three previous matches against Diego Simeone. Or can the Argentine equalize? It's a little over 20 minutes until kick-off. 19:36, Dylan Terry A reminder that away goals do not apply in this year's Champions League. So less fear for Man City fans this evening, but also a little less drama for us neutrals. I'm not a fan of them scrapping the rule. 19:30 , Dylan Terry Miguel seems to be suggesting it could well be Ake at left-back and Cancelo at right-back. Delaney knows best, hence my theory of a Stones-Ake-Laporte-Cancelo (R-L) defense. 19:26 , Dylan Terry England internationals Phil Foden and Jack Grealish have to settle for places on the bench as this big Champions League clash begins. Very few clubs could do that and very few people would notice. 7:24pm, Dylan Terry Pep Guardiola refused to engage in any mind games when asked if Diego Simeone was playing an ugly football. The Spaniard replied: "I will not speak for a second about this stupid debate." Everyone is trying to win the game. It's for the players, the difference will be there.” 19:19 , Dylan Terry Atletico Madrid have not progressed past the quarter-finals since reaching the last four of the 2016/17 season. On this occasion, they were beaten by Real Madrid, who secured their second place three Champions Leagues in a row. 19:15 , Dylan Terry A reminder that Man City have the trifle to welcome Liverpool to the Etihad on Sunday in what could well turn out to be a Premier League decision. Of course, Pep doesn't think about it. He said : "If people think I'm going to play the same game against Atletico and Liverpool, I don't think so because Liverpool's movements are completely different than Atletico - mostly because the players are all different." That's why I love it to rethink and create stupid tactics and if we don't win I'll be punished. I will be inspired and use incredible tactics [on Tuesday]. We're playing 12!” 19:10 , Dylan Terry Here's some good stats from today's meeting. 19:08 , Dylan Terry So now the team news is out, has anyone changed their prediction for tonight? Here's our personal verdict on Harry Latham-Coyle ahead of tonight's clash. "Atletico Madrid will be tough for Manchester City, particularly away from home, but Pep Guardiola's side should be able to take a narrow advantage from the first leg in Spain for the second leg. Manchester City 2-1 Atlético Madrid.” 19:03 , Dylan Terry Former Liverpool player Luis Suarez has to settle for a place on the bench. However, there is a feeling that he will have something to say in this duel - whether positive or negative. 19:01 , Dylan Terry What do we think of Guardiola's starting XI then? But instead of Cancelo at right-back and Zinchenko at left-back, Guardiola has gone with Stones on the right and Cancelo on the left. He also picked Raheem Sterling over Phil Foden. 18:56 , Dylan Terry And the team they will face. 18:54 , Dylan Terry Here is Pep's all-important starting line-up. 18:49 , Dylan Terry A reminder that this is the English champions against the Spanish champions. It doesn't quite feel that way though considering Atletico are poorly defending their LaLiga title. Simeone's men are 12 points behind local rivals Real Madrid with just eight games remaining. 18:47 , Dylan Terry There is another Champions League game tonight. Liverpool have traveled to Portugal for the first leg of the round of 16 against Benfica. Jurgen Klopp's men are looking to book a place in the semis against either Villarreal or Bayern Munich. You can track this by clicking the link below. 18:42 , Dylan Terry Guardiola vs. Simeone is one of those Champions League duels that are typical of the opposing styles of football, especially modern football. I'm not saying which is better, I'll let you answer that. 18:38 , Dylan Terry "Why Pep Guardiola's story with Diego Simeone will shape Man City's showdown with Atletico Madrid". This is the latest article from The Independent's Miguel Delaney. He believes Simeone could unleash another unpredictable 'episode' of Guardiola in the Champions League. Why Pep Guardiola's story with Diego Simeone will shape City vs Atletico 18:34 Atletico Madrid boss Dylan Terry Diego Simeone has admitted ahead of tonight's clash that Manchester City have better players than them. The Argentina coach said: "There is no doubt that Manchester City have exceptional players. I'm sure they have better players than us.” Manchester City and Bayern Munich are favorites because of the qualities of their players. But Chelsea won last season and not many people expected that.” 18:30 , Dylan Terry About 30 minutes until we know the starting line-up for tonight. That's what Pep Guardiola had to say yesterday when asked if he was "reconsidering" his tactics ahead of big clashes in the Champions League. He said: "In the Champions League I always overthink. I love thinking and coming up with stupid tactics. We play at 12.” 18:25 , Dylan Terry Pep Guardiola knows what it's like to be knocked out of the Champions League by Diego Simeone. In the semifinals of 2016, Simeone mastered an away win against Guardiola's Bayern Munich. If he can win this duel, it could be even more impressive. 18:21 , Dylan Terry Jose Gimenez has not traveled with the Atletico Madrid squad after being substituted in the weekend's win over Alaves, leaving Diego Simeone without his key centre-back , and it has been reported that the midfielder will play in this round of 16 could miss both games. 18:18 , Dylan Terry Manchester City will be without two defenders with Kyle Walker suspended and Ruben Dias still on his way back after a hamstring problem. John Stones did not start the win over Burnley but Pep Guardiola has suggested that the defender be placed on the bench as a precaution and allowed to start. 18:15 , Dylan Terry After three straight quarter-final eliminations, Guardiola finally led Man City past the last eight as they progressed to the final 12 months ago. But Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea side prevailed in Porto, so the wait continues for Manchester City's blue side to become European champions. Many consider them the best club side on the continent, but can they finally prove it? 18:13 , Dylan Terry Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Manchester City v Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Pep Guardiola is still awaiting his third Champions League trophy as manager and his first since winning Barcelona in 2011. But tonight and next week, long-time favorite Diego Simeone and his cunning Atletico Madrid side stand in his way. It promises to be a fascinating encounter.

Read

Champions League quarter-finals, first leg - live!

Minute-by-minute report: Join Barry Glendenning for the latest updates as Chelsea look to repeat last season's success against the 13-time European Cup winners (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeagueThis website uses cookies for analytics, personalized content and ads. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use. You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Minute-by-minute report: Join Barry Glendenning for the latest updates as Chelsea look to repeat last season's success against the 13-time European Cup winners. 4th Min: N'Golo Kante fights for the ball halfway in his own half and plays it forward to Kai Havertz for pursuit. 3 min: Real enjoys a period of possession and plays the ball back towards Thibaut Courtois. The ex-Chelsea goalkeeper is being jeered by the home fans just as ruthlessly as he was when his name was read out by the announcer before kick-off. 1 minute: Chelsea get the ball rolling and it blows to the right touchline. Mason Mount whips up a superb cross into the Real Madrid box, where Dani Carvajal does just enough to stop Christian Pulisic from sweeping home. Not long ago, it was pouring rain at Stamford Bridge, where the players of both teams were standing on the pitch completing the last formalities before the game. They line up on either side of French referee Clement Turpin and his team of match officials in front of the Champions League anthem, which is drowned out by the noise from the stands. Elf 'n' Safety has gone insane. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA Clement Turpin shows the way forward in Italy's recent World Cup defeat by North Macedonia. Photo: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images Thibaut Courtois: As Carlo Ancelotti has yet to fly to London after posting a negative Covid test, he was unavailable for his media duties yesterday. Old Chelsea boy Thibaut Courtois was on hand to discuss Real Madrid's chances. "Last season's draw was different," he said of Real's departure a year ago. “There were no fans and it was in the semifinals. It's a new season, it's the quarter-finals first leg and we all feel really good and know what's at stake. If we create the right intensity, we're able to win.” Thibaut Courtois made 126 appearances for Chelsea between 2011 and 2018. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters Thomas Tuchel: "The Champions League is terribly tough all the time," said Chelsea's manager during his pre-game press conference. But at the same time is what we love. We can handle it, but it's what we choose and love. It's nice to have experiences like that.” “We should be aware that teams with that kind of quality, flair and experience can create a special occasion. It's also a special occasion for us, so we're pretty excited. The occasion is special and the opponent is special. Thomas Tuchel takes off his cap in front of the ladies and gentlemen of the fourth estate. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP A stone in Real's boot: That's how Chelsea were described in today's edition of Spanish sports daily Marca, given the difficulties Real have faced them in previous encounters. Chelsea beat Real in the Champions League semi-finals last season and have never lost to the Spanish visitors in what might have been five meetings since 1971. Ben Chilwell remains long absent for CHelsea and is unlikely to feature again this season, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is unlikely to play tonight as he has a number of different back and achilles injuries. Christian Pulisic is back in contention for a place in the starting XI after being rested following his late return from the weekend's international game with USA. The return of Reece James could prompt Thomas Tuchel to switch to a back three, with James and Marcos Alonso at full-back. Ruben Loftus-Cheek could make way for Mateo Kovacic or Jorginho from the side that lost to Brentford. Eden Hazard is out for Real Madrid after potentially season-ending surgery and will not be reunited with his former Chelsea team-mates. Eden Hazard's disastrous spell at Real Madrid has been punctuated by a string of injuries with no end in sight. He won't play against Chelsea in this quarter-final and probably won't play for Real again this season. Photo: Ricardo Larreina/AP Chelsea host Real Madrid in the first leg of a delicious quarter-final game that's almost impossible to name. The reigning champions booked their place in the last eight with a fairly straight win over Lille, while Real Madrid advanced thanks to a commendable comeback against serial Champions League winners Paris Saint-Germain. After missing out on Real's La Liga win over Celta Vigo at the weekend, Carlo Ancelotti is returning to his old rout, coming the day after his team finally tested negative for Covid after several days of trying. Kick-off at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea were absolutely battered by Brentford on Saturday, is at 8pm (BST). In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on the team and build.

Read

Tonight's Champions League news, squad rosters and more

Chelsea vs Real Madrid LIVE: Champions League team news, line-ups and more tonight - Follow all the action from the first leg of the Quarter-Finals at Stamford Bridge (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeagueWatch live as Chelsea continue their Champions League title defense tonight as the Blues welcome Real Madrid to a quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge. Watch live as Chelsea continue their Champions League title defense tonight as the Blues welcome Real Madrid to a quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge. In a repeat of one of last season's semi-finals, which saw the Premier League side emerge 3-1 aggregate winners, Chelsea and Real will vie for a last four tie with either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid. In a repeat of one of last season's semi-finals, which saw the Premier League side emerge 3-1 aggregate winners, Chelsea and Real will vie for a last four tie with either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid. The game comes just four days after the Blues' stunning 4-1 defeat by Brentford in the Premier League, although their form before that shock result showed promise. The game comes just four days after the Blues' stunning 4-1 defeat by Brentford in the Premier League, although their form before that shock result showed promise. The Spaniards, now managed by ex-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, have won this competition more times than any other club (13) and showed their skills in the final round when Karim Benzema secured a hat-trick in the second leg in an unlikely comeback- Victory over Paris Saint Germain. The Spaniards, now managed by ex-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, have won this competition more times than any other club (13) and showed their skills in the final round when Karim Benzema secured a hat-trick in the second leg in an unlikely comeback- Victory over Paris Saint Germain. 18:39 , Michael Jones Chelsea's 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W12 D2) ended on Saturday when they lost 4-1 at home to London rivals Brentford at Stamford Bridge, their first defeat against the Bees since 1939. The four goals conceded that weekend was as many as Chelsea's seven previous home games in all competitions combined, a run that has included four clean sheets. 18:36 , Michael Jones Goals from Timo Werner (28) and Mason Mount (85) secured a 2-0 second leg win at Stamford Bridge last season as Chelsea beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The teams had met just three times before last season - in two finals both won by Chelsea and unbeaten against Madrid. Their last meeting before 2021 came at the 1998 Uefa Super Cup in Monaco, when a goal by Gustavo Poyet seven minutes from time at the Stade Louis II gave holders Chelsea a 1-0 win over Madrid, who went through had qualified for a Champions League win. The English club also won the final of the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup against Madrid in Piraeus. The first game ended 1-1, Peter Osgood's 56th-minute goal at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadion being leveled by Ignacio Zoco in the final minute. Two days later at the same stadium, first-half goals from John Dempsey (31) and again Osgood (39) saw Chelsea lift their first European Cup, although Sebastián Fleitas recovered one for Madrid with 15 minutes to go. 18:31 , Michael Jones This is the second time in as many seasons that Real Madrid and Chelsea have met in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Last year, the Blues beat Real 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and lifted the trophy by beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final. Can they beat Real again this time? Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois doesn't think so: "Last season's duel was different. There were no fans and it was in the semifinals. 6.28pm, Michael Jones Speaking ahead of tonight's quarter-final game, Thomas Tuchel said he was looking forward to a special occasion at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea manager said: "We should be very aware that teams with that kind of quality, flair and experience can create a special occasion. 18:24 , Michael Jones While we await the reveal of Chelsea's starting XI, here are some team news that could come into play. Jorginho, Reece James and Mateo Kovacic could all be on the bench for the Blues' 4-1 home defeat to Brentford in the Premier League at the weekend. Christian Pulisic could also be used after a stint with the United States national team. One person who will not be at Stamford Bridge is former Blues forward Eden Hazard. He has not traveled with the Real team after undergoing surgery to remove a metal plate in his right leg. 6:20pm, Michael Jones Thibaut Courtois returns to Stamford Bridge tonight at a difficult time for the Blues who are awaiting new owners after current owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale. Courtois has played more than 150 games for "one of the best clubs in the world" and says the potential bidders will buy. "I think it's been a tough month for the club and the fans but I think you can see that. All the people who love Chelsea really put all their energy together," Courtois said. "The new owners need to know which club you buy. And hopefully they can keep that spirit that has always been there. "All in all I was a part of Chelsea for seven years and that was a big part of my career." I hope the new owners will understand what they are buying and that Chelsea can remain as one of the best clubs in the world." Thibaut Courtois hopes that Chelsea fans won't boo him on his return to Stamford Bridge 18:15 Michael Jones Thibaut Courtois has said he hopes for a 'happy return' to Stamford Bridge with Real Madrid but admits that Chelsea fans Courtois left Chelsea for the Spanish capital in 2018 after making clear his desire to leave the club and not showing up for training due to Belgian's desire to be close to his family, having previously played for Atletico in Madrid , while on loan from the London club With Chelsea set to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, Courtois is expected to return to west London W first leg on Wed wednesday The two sides met behind closed doors last year but this is the first time the Belgium goalkeeper has played in front of Chelsea supporters since his chaotic departure from the club - and Courtois is aware of the reception he could receive. Thibaut Courtois hopes Chelsea fans won't boo him on his return to Stamford Bridge. 18:00 , Real Madrid boss Michael Jones Carlo Ancelotti is expected to be present for tonight's Champions League quarter-finals game against Chelsea after missing the La Liga game against Celta Vigo due to a positive Covid-19 test. Ancelotti, 62, did not travel to London with his players and staff for the first leg against his former side on Tuesday but tested negative on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he hoped Ancelotti would make it to the game, saying: "It's always a lot better and nicer to be there and have direct influence." He's a big, big manager, a great personality, it would be nice to have him on the sidelines in games like this. "That's what we love most as coaches, being in the middle of the group, constantly communicating not only with words but also with a smile, a hug."

Read

When Man City met Atletico, Guardiola and Simeone did what they did best

Don't be mad at Diego Simeone's defensive tactics or Pep Guardiola's overthinking. Tuesday night's game featured two managers based on stereotypes. (Author: Gardener)

Man CityPep Guardiola twice balked at long-held stereotypes on Monday during Manchester City's press conference ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Atletico Madrid. At first he turned sarcastic when the well-known accusation of "overthinking in big games" came his way: "In the Champions League I always think too much... we're going to play 12 men." Then he turned dismissive when asked about another tired topic: the stylistic contrast between him and Diego Simeone, the Atletico boss whose teams are typified as defensive, ruthless and on the sport's ethical edge," he said. "It's more offensive than people think... Everyone tries to win the game. If we win, we're right." Guardiola is of course right on both counts. The accusation of "overthinking" is not out of nowhere - his critics will drop Yaya Toure vs Monaco in 2016-17, Aymeric Laporte in 2017-18 vs Liverpool as Using left-back and leaving out Kevin De Bruyne Spurs in 2018-19, switching to a back three with two defensive midfielders against Lyon in 2019-20 and even forgoing a defensive midfielder in last year's final against Chelsea - but you also have to put it in context doesn't do it because he's on a tactical ego trip; he does this to give himself an advantage, often against weaker opponents who have spent the game's build studying every facet of City and how to counter them .If it works – like turning Oleksandr Zinchenko from a No.10 into a left-back, Bernardo Silva from a winger into a midfielder (and sometimes al even a striker) or show the world he can win the Premier League without the recognition of a 'traditional' centre-forward - we don't blame him for overthinking, do we? Likewise, the portrayal of Atletico as purely defensive, tenacious, ugly to win by any means is also a little tired. Anyone who has watched LaLiga in the last year or so will have seen how Simeone tried to shift Atleti from their 'Cholista' roots to play more proactive, attacking football. He tinkered and experimented to find the right balance; It didn't always work, and sometimes they've gone back to type, but StatsBomb data has them in the top 5 for shots and xG with no penalties, and their disciplinary record is mid-table. Long gone are the days when this team was defined by a Diego Godin snarl, a Diego Costa elbow and a Raul Garcia header, as you would expect from a team that has Joao Felix up front. Yet here's the thing about clichés: they often contain more than a kernel of truth. Tuesday night's match at the Etihad saw two managers live up to their stereotype as if they were professional wrestlers determined to stick to an accessible, easy-to-understand kayfabe. - ESPN+ viewers guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more It's not so much that Joao Cancelo, who was forced to play at right flank due to Kyle Walker's suspension, chose Nathan Ake - throughout his Career more of a centre-back - as a left-back in place of Zinchenko, City's number one pick in recent seasons. That may be because Zinchenko, who was on the bench, has not started a game in almost a month and is understandably depressed by the horrors back in his native Ukraine. Rather, it was the decision to leave Phil Foden on the bench, bringing Bernardo Silva up front and keeping Ilkay Gundogan locked in midfield. Nothing you would expect at home from a team that sits low and lets you have the ball like Atletico. But where the blueprint was religiously followed and the clichés convincingly confirmed was in how the game evolved and each manager lived up to the stereotype. Simeone's side sat deep in a 5-3-2 formation with five defenders, three holding midfielders and two counterattackers who spent much of the game as additional full-backs. Guardiola's men had 71% possession and although they ended up getting 15 shots, most were speculative hit-and-hoppers and only two were on target, meaning Jan Oblak only had to make one save. It wasn't a particularly dirty match, but in the end Atleti appeared to want to live up to its 'comicbook villain' image: Rodrigo De Paul and Matheus Cunha collided with Ederson, while Sime Vrsaljko smacked a ball from a lying jack to Grealish and later stroked his headband. All a bit ironic, but basically not unexpected. Teams play to their strengths. Atleticos - as much as they'd like to get a little more diverse - are ultimately strong defense and organization. Both were really effective at what they do, and what we got was an immovable defeating with unstoppable power for most of the game. Or offense vs. Ultimately, it was the latter that turned the game, thanks to Phil Foden coming on as a substitute and giving De Bruyne that assist. It's knockout football. They expect teams to play to their strengths and that's exactly what Simeone and Guardiola did. And when they have diametrically opposed game plans and are (mostly) flawless, here's what you get: an instant stalemate. Sometimes it's okay to be exactly what other people think you are.

Read

Carragher, Richards and Schmeichel give their tips for the Champions League

The two English clubs are expected to battle for the remaining three trophies this season but Schmeichel predicted neither would reach next month's Champions League final in Paris. (Author: Gardener)

SchmeichelJamie Carragher was left stunned on Tuesday night as Peter Schmeichel bravely predicted that neither Liverpool nor Manchester City will reach the Champions League final this season. The two English clubs are likely to be in contention for the remaining three trophies this season, with a delicious Premier League title showdown on Sunday, an FA Cup semi-final next weekend and the possibility of a Champions League final. Both made big strides to secure their place in the last four of European competition on Tuesday as City beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 at home while Liverpool edged Benfica 3-1 in Lisbon. But before the games began, CBS pundits were asked to make their predictions for how the Champions League knockout stages would unfold. Carragher and Micah Richards were both in the studio, while Schmeichel stood on the sidelines at the Etihad as he prepared to watch Pep Guardiola's City side take on their Spanish opponents. When asked for his tips from the quarter-finals onwards, Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, predicted that Chelsea would beat Real Madrid, beat City Atlético, Bayern Munich beat Villarreal and Liverpool would pass Benfica. He then predicted Man City will beat Chelsea in the last four while his former club will beat Bayern, paving the way for a Liverpool-Man City final in Paris which, unsurprisingly, saw the Reds take the nose have in front. Richards was happy with Carragher's selection until the final when, again unsurprisingly, he claimed Guardiola's side would finally end their Champions League haul and beat Liverpool in the French capital. Carragher claimed his fellow pundits were "obsessed with pep" as Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague and Lianne Sanderson both predicted Man City would beat Liverpool in the final. However, the Sky Sports pundit's despair mounted even further when former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel announced his verdict. The Dane agreed with everyone else - save for Real Madrid's quarter-final win over Chelsea - and predicted a Final Four with Real, Man City, Liverpool and Bayern. But then he stunned his peers by claiming neither Liverpool nor City would make it to the final and left Real and Bayern fighting at the Stade de France. What are you talking about?' was Carragher's reaction when Schmeichel backed up Bayern against Liverpool. "There's too much going on between Manchester City and Liverpool," said Schmeichel. Real Madrid and Bayern are so far ahead in their leagues that they can rest players and prepare for it. Manchester City and Liverpool can't do that. We know we played there, we were there. We know how tough this time is. Bayern win the Champions League this year.” Bayern Munich could have a possible semi-final against Liverpool if they can beat Villarreal. With the first legs of the first two quarter-finals over, Carragher was effusive in his praise for both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kevin De Bruyne. The Liverpool full-back played an exquisite long pass to Luis Diaz, who headed the ball down Sadio Mane's path to score Liverpool's second goal of the night. It led to Carragher dubbing him "the passing master". Carragher then claimed that De Bruyne would go down in history as "Manchester City's greatest player of all time" after his performance against Atletico Madrid, in which the Belgian scored the winning goal. He added: "He's [Kevin De Bruyne] the best midfielder in the world. I think it's an absolute pleasure to manage him. "I think he will go down as Manchester City's greatest player of all time."

Read

The showdown with Man City is not a title decider, emphasizes Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp

An 11th straight league win would put the Reds two points clear of their rivals. (Author: Gardener)

Man CityLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists a win over Manchester City will not guarantee them success in the Premier League, despite Sunday's meeting being billed as a title decider. His side will arrive at Etihad Stadium knowing that an 11th straight league win would put them two points clear of their rivals, a small but significant advantage at this stage of the season. But with no room for maneuver or the slightest mistake, Klopp knows the race is far from over, especially as his side have the tougher-looking run-in with games against Everton and Manchester United due before the end of the month. Predict how the top 6️⃣ will finish 👇 pic.twitter.com/ZJKxSBYnOk— Premier League (@premierleague) April 5, 2022 The morale-boosting 3-1 win in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Benfica made it possible for them , one to put foot in the semi-finals of the Champions League. That means they take the short journey up the M62 with confidence as they attempt to claim their first league win at the Etihad since 2015, despite winning once in a European tie there since. "If we win against City, which is difficult enough, because of the quality of the opponent, I don't think anyone would think, 'that's it, decided'," said Klopp. “Everyone knows the importance of the next game but after that game there will be another game in a different competition but also in the Premier League. Liverpool's bid for an unprecedented - but still unlikely - quadruple win remains on course as, having clinched the Carabao Cup back in February, they edged closer to a round of 16 in Europe with either Bayern Munich or Villarreal. After a 2-0 lead by Ibrahima Konate and Sadio Mane, a few missed chances and Darwin Nunez's goal just after half-time, it was a reminder that even with a good run, the mood can change quickly. Former Porto winger Luis Diaz's 87th-minute goal restored the two-goal cushion, but Klopp isn't taking anything for granted in this tie or in future games. "We're in the quarter-finals, semi-finals (of the FA Cup) and the further you get in the competitions the harder it gets," he added. “The Chelsea (League Cup) final was incredibly intense and that’s how all games will be from now on. "Since the end of December it was clear that if we wanted to achieve something, we had better win all our games. We probably don't really know that, so we're taking it game by game. One minor concern, although Klopp is unlikely to admit it publicly, is Mohamed Salah's form. He has not looked the same player since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations as runners-up and he has not scored from open play since 19 February, with the last of his three consecutive goals coming from the penalty spot on 12 March became. Speculation over his contract impasse continues as he searches for a lucrative new deal to replace the contract that expires next summer and Klopp, who has been asking questions weekly about the situation, admits it's not helping. The Egypt international was substituted midway through the second half after missing a number of chances but his manager insists he is not yet at the stage where he needs to offer moral support to the 28-goal striker. I didn't do anything differently than usual," Klopp said of the way he treated Salah when he was substituted. Liverpool's Mohamed Salah was substituted in Lisbon (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire) "In this situation, everyone wants to score. With all the stories surrounding him, it's clear at the moment that Mo also wants to score. "It's a tough time for Mo and Sadio. It was an important game (in Lisbon) for Mo and Sadio. You could score, you couldn't. Click here to find the stories you want to read and more in your inbox.

Read

Brilliant Phil Foden helps Man City take the lead against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals first leg

Manchester City 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal of the game after Foden's magical assist in the 70th minute at the Etihad (Author: Gardener)

Phil FodenThis Champions League quarter-final first leg went against the grain as the dominating Phil Foden did something no one could stop. Just when it looked like Atletico Madrid were about to annihilate Diego Simeone's best 0-0 draw at Manchester City, the playmaker did something ingenious to give Kevin De Bruyne a goal and Pep Guardiola a 1-0 win. It will only add to the excitement for Foden's future that a 21-year-old England player is doing things like this in games like this, but he already has a back catalog and that also means City are looking very good for the present. That 1-0 win completely upsets Atletico Madrid's plans and means they now need to come out and attack in next Wednesday's second leg at the Metropolitano. It seemed to be going pretty well - although Simeone's animation on the sidelines didn't suggest it. Atletico were relatively comfortable - at least until the introduction of Foden. Phil Foden inspires Man City after coming on (AP) For a manager so often accused of doing otherwise, Guardiola started here with a tactic he had previously used. A problem, however, was that its success could best be described as limited. In the 2015/16 semifinals, Guardiola instructed his Bayern Munich team to keep crossing the ball at Atletico. That might seem aimless considering how good the air of Simeone's defenders are, but the logic is that they are so intensely focused on specific tasks that second balls are a potential source of weakness. City obviously tried the same thing early on here, but with one key difference. While Bayern had Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller to force second balls in that game and ultimately score twice, City had … nobody there. It was like every attacker on the edge of the box was waiting for those second balls, but no one actually letting them pass. For the first 20 minutes, that meant Atletico were under siege but not really under pressure. City didn't even have a shot on target in the first half. Atletico had no attack whatsoever for the first 25 minutes but gradually came out after surviving that early attack. If that's a classic move for this type of game, it didn't quite become classic attack versus defense. The game was played more on a tactical tightrope walk. City were of course ready to push forward, but Atletico were no longer willing to sit back that much. They countered sharply, three times in the first minutes of the second half they seemed to run into the completely open half of City. However, there were two problems with this. The first was that Atletico broke sharply but not quickly. They just didn't have the pace. Antoine Griezmann certainly didn't have the pace he used to. In the second of those breaks, in what initially looked like a copy of the crucial goal of 2016, the French star was suddenly gone. It was similar a moment later for Marcos Llorente, an initially thunderous break that ended in a tame shot that was easily intercepted by Ederson. The second problem was that it allowed for a bit more space and some psychological relief. City had more space to play. Foden had been substituted on at the time and duly took the game to Atletico. For that great moment of inspiration in the 70th minute, Foden used just his feet to devastating effect, dribbled at a speed that the Atletico defenders just couldn't handle. The playmaker fed the ball to De Bruyne for the smartest finish. Kevin De Bruyne finished cleverly when the chance presented itself (Manchester City FC via Getty Ima) While De Bruyne usually gets the most attention, especially when he's scored, it was all about Foden here. There was a feeling that Atletico's approach to this game had faltered. Guardiola meanwhile had to drag away his angry substitute. Things got hot towards the end of the first leg (PA) Atletico have a lot more to do in the second leg than tease the City players. Now they must attack. That leaves them open and vulnerable to a team that loves that type of space in these games. It was all because of Foden. He didn't need to think. He just did what is natural and changed the attitude towards this quarter-final.

Read

Lewandowski could spark a three-signing carousel if Man City are affected

Robert Lewandowski's future at Bayern Munich is very uncertain and the Polish hitman could spark a transfer carousel that would take a toll on Manchester City in the summer (Author: Gardener)

LewandowskiBayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski's future is very uncertain and the Polish hitman could start a transfer carousel that would involve Manchester City in the summer MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 19: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski celebrates as he scores the goal 4-0 During the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and 1. FC Barcelona, ​​Barcelona are following the development of Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski with rapt eyes – Manchester City and Real Madrid will do the same. The future of predatory Poland at the Bundesliga giants is uncertain as he has been linked with a move from Julian Nagelsmann's side. Lewandowski appears to be high on Xavi's wish list as the potential financial implications of a move for Borussia Dortmund ace Erling Haaland threaten to make any future rapprochement all but impossible for the Catalans. However, a Blaugrana move for Lewandowski could hasten Pep Guardiola's interest in Haaland as well as Carlo Ancelotti's protracted pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe. If Lewandowski decides to seek new pastures at the Nou Camp, a stunning transfer carousel between the world's best forwards could begin. It also understands that while Haaland was originally seen as a 'priority' for Barcelona's transfer endeavours, the Norwegian hitman's demands, as well as those of his agent Mino Raiola, mean Barcelona are not in full control of a deal. And it seems the prospect of leading a new Barcelona side of young, rising talent led by Xavi has piqued the Dortmund ace's interest. However, Barcelona's potential offer for him is expected to be significantly less than the terms Manchester City would offer. Who do you think Manchester City will sign in the summer transfer window? Barcelona have seemingly emerged from a crippling financial situation that prevented them from signing Lionel Messi on a new contract at the Nou Camp. After sacking a number of high earners at the Nou Camp, the drastic improvement in their financial picture allowed them to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore in the January transfer window. And her interest in Lewandowski could very well be pursued if a move for Haaland is deemed financially unfeasible. They reportedly expect Haaland to make a decision about his future this month and will plan their next moves accordingly. If Haaland cannot be an option for the LaLiga giants, expect them to turn their attention to Lewandowski. It would also likely prompt Manchester City to treat the Norwegian hitman they have been courting for many months. And if Guardiola's side manage to force Haaland to the Etihad Stadium, Real Madrid may have a clear path to their most prized target, Mbappe. Mbappe is expected to swap the Parc des Princes for the Bernabeau when his contract with the Ligue 1 giants expires at the end of the season. However, the future of the former Monaco ace seems far from being decided.

Read