After each achieved a good result in the first leg away from home, Manchester City and Chelsea aspire to snatch the Champions League final qualification card through the second leg in the semi-finals of the tournament during the next two days.
The “Citizens” will host Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in the second leg after Manchester won 2-1 in the first leg, and the “Blues” Real Madrid on Wednesday, after their 1-1 draw back last week in Madrid.
The two English teams cut more than half the way to reaching a pure English final for the championship, but neither of them refuses to consider the confrontation as settled before the return match, especially since Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have not yet surrendered and they can still respond and turn the overall result in their favor.
The tournament final in 2019 was the latest of only 7 Champions League final matches that saw a confrontation between two teams belonging to the same national federation.
The 2019 final brought together the English teams Liverpool and Tottenham, and the victory went to Liverpool.
Chelsea himself had this experience before but lost the 2008 final to Manchester United on penalties.
Man City is close to crowning the Premier League title for the third time in the last 4 seasons, but it does not have the same experience in the Champions League golden square.
The team is also facing a difficult confrontation tomorrow against Saint Germain, who lost the Champions League final last season to Bayern Munich. Advertising
Spain’s Josep Guardiola, coach of Man City, admitted that “the club does not have much experience at this stage of the competition.”
Guardiola previously won the Champions League twice in 2009 and 2011 when he was coach of Barcelona, but he has not reached the final of the tournament since then, whether during his tenure as Bayern Munich or Manchester City.
“We are good at playing in a certain way, and we cannot play in a different way,” Guardiola said.
Manchester City reached the semi-finals of the tournament once before, and it was in the 2015-2016 season led by coach Manuel Pellegrini.
During the first leg against Saint Germain in Paris last week, the owners of the land advanced with a goal scored by Marquinhos, and Manchester City responded with two goals, scored by Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.
But with a numerical shortage in their ranks after Idrissa Gaye was sent off, Saint-Germain may be happy not to lose by a bigger score in the first leg and have fewer chances of responding back-to-back.
“In football, you need confidence,” said Mauricio Pochettino, coach of Paris Saint-Germain.
Pochettino – who led Tottenham to the final of the same tournament two years ago – said the team would play hard and “we will try and score goals. Of course we suffer from some pressure, but you need to try in football.”
Pochettino hopes Kylian Mbappe will return to the team after recovering from injury, to lead the attack alongside Brazilian Neymar.
On the other hand, Guardiola is likely to continue the policy of rotation between players to ensure “best performance”, which confirms that it is necessary to reach the final.
The “heavenly team” was crowned with the English Professional League Cup title and the team is close to winning the domestic league title, so the Champions League competition is also a golden opportunity to complete the hat-trick this season.
But the team – if it crosses the St Germain hurdle tomorrow – may meet in the final the Chelsea team, which dashed Manchester City’s hopes of achieving a quartet this season after beating it in the England Cup semi-finals.
Chelsea have shined since the German coach Thomas Tuchel took charge of the team midway through this season.
Tuchel said, “We feel that we are ready for the big confrontation, and I am absolutely confident that we need to provide a strong performance, because Real Madrid will present a strong performance that will make our mission difficult.”
Chelsea had shocked Bayern Munich to claim the title in 2012.
With the Chelsea women’s team reaching the European Champions League final also against Barcelona, the team seeks to achieve a unique double and crown the title at the level of men and women.
Real Madrid is currently competing on two fronts, as it is in a four-way conflict with Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Seville for the Spanish League title and is still clinging to hope in the Champions League.
Frenchman Karim Benzema scored the equalizing goal for the team in the first leg after Chelsea scored Christian Pulisic’s goal.
“We will play the second leg, with the goal of winning,” said French coach Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane led Real Madrid to the Champions League title in 3 consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018 during his first term with the team.