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  • Writer's pictureThe Season Ticket

Champions League | Wins for Real Madrid and Manchester City

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool Real Madrid have beaten Liverpool 3-1 at the Alfedo Di Stefano in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Goals in either half from Vinicius Junior and a Marco Asensio strike see Los Blancos take a two-goal advantage to Anfield next week, with Mohamed Salah finding the net for the Reds, leaving Zinedine Zidane's side full value for their win over the 2019 Champions League winners in Madrid. Vinicius Junior gave the hosts the lead in the 27th minute. Toni Kroos floated a beautiful long ball over the top for the Brazilian, who exploited the gap between Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nat Phillips to race through on goal. Vinicius controlled the ball perfectly on his chest before firing a low right-footed strike past Alisson from just inside the area. Marco Asensio doubled the hosts lead nine minutes before the half time interval after capitalising on a poor mistake from Alexander-Arnold. The English defender made a mess of his header back to Alisson, with the ball falling straight to Asensio, who cleverly lifted the ball over the Liverpool goalkeeper before finishing from close range. Jurgen Klopp responded by hooking Naby Keita after just 42 minutes; the German manager turning to Thiago to bolster the Reds' midfield. The 13-time European champions were deserved of their 2-0 lead at the break as Liverpool failed to register a single shot on target in the first half. The current Premier League champions came out with a spring in their step in the second half, and halved the deficit in the 51st minute through Mohamed Salah. Diogo Jota worked his way through the Madrid defence, cutting into the box and seeing his shot deflect into the path of Salah. The Egyptian reacted quickly, sorting out his feet and blasting the ball past Thibaut Courtois from six yards. VAR had a quick check of a possible offside but the reply showed that Salah was level with Madrid defender Lucas Vazquez, allowing the goal to stand. The La Liga champions restored their two-goal advantage fourteen minutes later with Vinicius Junior getting his second of the game. Karim Benzema worked an offload to Luka Modric on the right edge of the box, with the Croatian then squaring for Vinicius. The Madrid forward shot first time through Phillips' legs, and Alisson - who should have done better - was unable to keep the Brazilian's effort out. So, it is advantage Madrid ahead of Wednesday’s week second leg clash. It is still all to play for and Liverpool will be hoping it will be another famous Anfield comeback next Wednesday. You can watch the highlights here.

Manchester City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund Phill Foden's last-minute winner sealed a crucial 2-1 win for Manchester City over Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad. The Citizens, who took the lead through Kevin De Bruyne before Dortmund captain Marco Reus drew the visitors level, will now take a slender lead into their second leg tie next Wednesday. Pep Guardiola's hosts took the lead in the 19th minute, launching a quick counter after Emre Can gave the ball away cheaply in midfield. De Bruyne played the ball out wide to Foden, who found Riyad Mahrez at the back post. The Algerian winner then pulled the ball back to the onrushing De Bruyne, who side-footed into the net from eight yards. There was VAR drama as City were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark after a free-kick was whipped into the box and Can and Rodri both challenged for the ball. Rodri put his head down low in an attempt to head it while Can flicked a leg out to try and block, but seems to catch the midfielder’s leg. The referee instantly pointed to the spot, but reversed his decision after a lengthy VAR check. Yet, there was more VAR drama to come as eight minutes before the break. England midfielder Jude Bellingham nicked the ball off the toes of Ederson - who took too long to clear - and slid the ball into the empty net. However, referee Ovidiu Hategan blew for a free kick after perceiving that Bellingham had caught Ederson, meaning a VAR check was impossible. Replays suggest the Man City goalkeeper was extremely unfortunate to get away with his blunder.

????? — Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) April 6, 2021 The all-important away goal that Dortmund was searching for came six minutes from time with Reus scoring for the Bundesliga team. The away side opened up City at the back after a couple of quick passes in midfield, with Bellingham skipping past Ikay Gundogan and then flicking it into the feet to Erling Haaland. Haaland played it around the corner to Reus, and the German international sprinted through in goal before slotting past Ederson into the far bottom corner. There was time for late drama, with Foden popping up with a last-gasp winner. De Bruyne floated an inviting cross to Gundogan at the back post, with the German laying the ball off for Foden to sweep home from eight yards. Advantage City going into the second leg and it is still all to play for. You can watch the highlights here.
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