After four excruciating quarter final match ups we have all our semi-finalists: RB Leipzig, Olympique Lyonnais, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain. It wouldn’t be too far a stretch to assume that this round of Quarter Finals was one of the best ones in recent history especially considering the fact that all these ties were single-legged. From a late comeback by PSG to a total evisceration by Bayern Munich and a huge upset by Ol Lyon to an intense and close game between Leipzig and Atletico Madrid there were many wonderful sights to see in this round. In the semi-finals, we have two german and two French teams making the whole world wonder about the farmer’s league titles on both the country’s top flight leagues. Ol Lyon will go up against the Bavarian titans while Leipzig will take on the Parisians.
Bayern vs Lyon
No one expected to see this matchup in the semi finals. Although Bayern were one of the favourites to win the Champions League from the starting of the season, their opponents from France have surprised every single one of us. Their journey has been magical this season, from almost going out of the Champions League in the group stages to inflicting biggest upsets. Facing Ronaldo’s Juventus in the Round of 16 no one had given them any chance but they found a way out and now they reach the semi finals by defeating the favourites Manchester City in the quarter finals. It won’t be wrong to say that they are on a fairytale run this year. On the other hand, their opponent Bayern Munich have been unstoppable after the appointment of Hansi Flick. They have come to the semi finals on the back of an extraordinary result against Barcelona. The Bavarian giants thrashed the spanish side 8-2, the most number of goals Barcelona have conceded in a CL knockout game. Bayern showed the world what they possess and surely “gave a footballing lesson to everyone around the world” as said by Lyon manager Rudi Garcia. This matchup will be a repeat of the 09/10 semifinals where Bayern won 4-0 on aggregate. But this time it’s a one-off game and anything can happen as we have seen already. Bayern looks to be the side to win this match with ease but what Lyon has done throughout the season and their work rate on the pitch is commendable.The midfield of Lyon is one to look out for, the young guns have put in a shift against the big teams and were able to grind out a win whereas for Bayern Munich they would want to play the way they have been, the high press against Barcelona worked wonders and it surely looks like it can come handy against Lyon. It would be interesting to see how the Bayern starts the game, they have to have a positive approach against the French side from the starting, if not, we all know what happened to Manchester City in the Quarter Finals.
Except Bayern the three teams are yet to reach the finals of the Champions League in their club’s history, so will we be seeing two new finalist after so long or will Bayern be able to go one step closer in becoming only the second team to do the ‘treble’ twice. The results would mean immensely for every club , semi finals are bound to be more exciting than the Quarters were. Two French teams, two German teams, but out of the four only two would get the ticket to the finals. It would be a tussle like we haven’t seen before in the semi finals, one game, higher the stakes, higher the pressure and that would demand huge performances from the players. Only a matter of time until we find out who crumbles and who shines in these situations.
RB Leipzig vs Paris Saint-Germain
The first semi-final of the 2020 UEFA Champions League packs a major punch. The underdogs RB Leipzig will take on Paris Saint Germain who despite dominating their local league for years have reached the semi-final for the first time in 25 years. Leipzig without their talisman Timo Werner were unlikely to make it here yet with the genius tactician Julian Nagelsmann at the helm, the German Club who were 10 years ago in the 5th division of German football, are in the semi-finals of Europe’s most prestigious club competition. While PSG have a history of failure in the competition, the German club have almost no history with this being their 11th season since it was founded and their second appearance in the Champions League.
PSG will be thankful for the return of Kylian Mbappe to full fitness as he played a crucial role in breathing life back into a trailing Paris against Atalanta. In the same match though, the French Champions lost their main man between the sticks: Keylor Navas to injury, he will not be able to play in the Champions League again this season. His replacement Sergio Rico has made only 9 appearances this season. This will be something Nagelsmann and his team will surely try to take advantage of. The Leipzig defence will have to put on a performance of a lifetime if they are to stop the explosive trio of Neymar Jr, Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe. By scoring 2 goals against Diego Simeone’s extremely defensive minded squad, Die Roten Bullen have shown that they do possess an attacking threat without Werner but PSG is a team on a mission looking to bulldoze anyone in their path.