Liverpool and Manchester City, both English clubs, are at the top of their game. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain still have a lot to do.
This week’s Champions League quarterfinals are open for bids. Most of the competition’s title favourites are in action.
Here’s a look at the second-leg matches during the round of 16.
BAYERN MUNICH Vs. SALZBURG (1-1)
Thomas Muller’s first goal in Bayern Munich has been his own goal. This upset what should have been a relatively simple preparation for Tuesday’s visit to Austrian champion Salzburg. Muller scored the wrong goal for Bayer Leverkusen, drawing 1-1 in his 407th Bundesliga appearance. It was clear that communication between the German league leaders is a problem. Sven Ulreich, the Bayern goalkeeper, is replacing Manuel Neuer. He said that he told Muller that Kerem Demirbay had covered Kerem’s harmless-looking cross, but Muller was already on his route to return it. Dayot Upamecano’s defense also showed errors. Salzburg’s German forward Karim Aeyemi will likely punish them for any mistakes they make Tuesday, which is a target for Borussia Dortmund next year. After holding Bayern to a 1-1 draw in the first game, Salzburg warmed up with a comfortable win at SCR Altach. Bayern struggled to keep up with the Austrian pace in the first leg, before Kingsley Coman saved a draw for them in the final minute.
LIVERPOOL Vs. INTER MILAN (2-0).
Talk is growing about Liverpool winning a quadruple title. The Reds have already won the League Cup and are in the quarterfinals for the FA Cup. They have also been able to catch Manchester City in the Premier League title race. After late goals from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Salah at San Siro, Liverpool has a significant advantage that it can bring back to Anfield. This is where Liverpool is known for being difficult to beat on big European nights. Liverpool is unbeaten in all competitions 2022. Jurgen Klopp has the best squad, with plenty of options for attack. Klopp will have to make a big decision about who to play alongside Salah and Diogo Jota. After Inter’s loss to Liverpool, the Nerazzurri have now gone four matches without scoring a goal. After going more than 400 minutes without scoring, they ended their goal drought with a stunning 5-0 victory over last-place Salernitana. Lautaro Martinez scored a match-winning hat trick, but he hasn’t scored in the Champions League since 2020.
MANCHESTER CITY VS. SPORTING (5-0).
City holds a large lead at the start of the second leg. City is able to rotate its players during a busy season of fixtures in three competitions that ends the season. Pep Guardiola is limited in defense, as right back Kyle Walker serves the second match of his three game suspension, RubenDias will be out for up to six months with a hamstring injury, and center back Nathan Ake has also been injured. Guardiola could make some changes at the front, as the match is three days after United’s Manchester derby in Premier League. City won that game 4-1. Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus are also looking for game time after their injuries. If Sporting does not produce something extraordinary, City will be in the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season. Sporting is more likely to enter the match in damage-limitation mode following its defeat in Portugal three weeks ago. Sporting lost at home to Porto in the Portuguese Cup semifinals.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS. REAL MADRID (0-1)
Real Madrid takes on PSG in the second leg. Coach Carlo Ancelotti must figure out how to position his midfield. Casemiro has been suspended, while Toni Kroos (and Federico Valverde) are both listed as doubtful due to health issues. Valverde will be more likely to be available following Saturday’s Spanish league match against Real Sociedad due to flu symptoms. However, Kroos is expected out with a muscle injury. Madrid’s victory over Sociedad 4-1 was led by Casemiro, who played alongside Eduardo Camavinga (a young Frenchman) and Luka Modric (a young Frenchman). Ferland Mendy, left back, is also out of action due to suspension. PSG lost to Nice for the third time this season in the 27 French league matches. Coach Mauricio Pucettino hopes to bring back Achraf Hakimi (thigh), Argentina’s midfielder Leandro Peredes (groin), and Ander Herrera (eye infections) to face Madrid. A makeshift backline looked vulnerable against Nice. Pochettino evidently had Europe in mind when he rested Nuno Mendes and Presnel Kimpembe. Kylian Mbappe was not able to play because of suspension. He will therefore be fresh to bring his explosive pace back to Madrid and join up with Lionel Messi. PSG’s goal in May is to reach the final, just as in 2020, and win the Champions League for Qatari ownership for the first-time.