Midweek continual cup football – We are into the semifinals.


Atalanta, Marseille, Roma, and Bayer Leverkusen advance to the semifinal of the Europa League.
Fiorentina, Aston Villa, Olympiacos, and Club Brugge advance to the semifinal of the Conference League.

Manchester City, Arsenal are out of the Champions League, Liverpool and West Ham are out of the Europa League, leaving Aston Villa in the Europa League as the only English club left in continental cup football.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
🇪🇸 Rafa Benitez turns 64, 🇦🇷 Germán Burgos turns 55, 🇸🇪 Freddie Ljungberg turns 47, 🇸🇪 Andreas Granqvist turns 39, 🇯🇵 Shinji Okazaki turns 38, 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Aaron Lennon turns 37, 🇨🇴 Luis Muriel turns 33.


⚽ 🇩🇪 Borussia Dortmund (4) – (2) 🇪🇸 Atletico Madrid /champions league

Both sides were optimistic about their chances of advancing to the semifinals, and it was Atletico Madrid that was coming into the second leg with a ‘2-1’ lead.

Both teams missed clear chances in the opening five minutes. Borussia Dortmund leveled the tie in the 34th minute with the opening goal of the match, and Ian Maatsen put them in the lead with the second goal to make it 2-0 on the day and 3-2 on aggregate.

Atletico Madrid then began the second half strongly, scoring two goals to level the score on the day and regain the lead on aggregate at 4-3: a Mats Hummels own-goal in the 49th minute and a goal from Angel Correa in the 64th.

Borussia Dortmund turned the game around once again, finding two goals in quick succession in the 71st and 74th minutes to regain the lead on the day and secure a 4-2 aggregate win.

⚽ 🇪🇸 Barcelona (1) – (4) 🇫🇷 Paris Saint-Germain /champions league

Paris Saint-Germain recovered from their first-leg home defeat with a win in Barcelona, advancing to the semifinals at FC Barcelona’s expense.

FC Barcelona got off to a great start in Paris with a 3-2 win and brought the tie home to complete it. Things seemed to be going smoothly for FC Barcelona when they took the lead in the 12th minute with Raphinha’s goal, moving to a 4-2 aggregate lead. However, things took a downturn when Ronald Araujo received a red card in the 29th minute, leaving FC Barcelona with a numerical disadvantage.
Ousmane Dembele leveled the score for Paris Saint-Germain in the 40th minute, making it 1-1 in the match, but still trailing 4-3 in the tie. Vitinha scored 9 minutes into the second half to level the tie for Paris St. Germain, before a tackle on Ousmane Dembele in the penalty box resulted in a penalty that Kylian Mbappe converted, giving Paris St. Germain a 3-1 lead in the game and a 5-4 lead on aggregate.
Barcelona, chasing the goal to equalize the game in the dying minutes, opened up a counterattack for Paris Saint-Germain to score another goal, with Kylian Mbappe finding the net again in the 89th minute.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

🇵🇪 Rubén Toribio Díaz turns 72, 🇨🇱 Charles Aránguiz turns 35, 🇩🇪 Shkodran Mustafi turns 32, 🇨🇦 Cyle Larin turns 29, 🇬🇭 Mohammed Salisu turns 25.

⚽ 🇩🇪 Bayern Munich (1) – (0) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Arsenal /champions league

History favored Bayern Munich, but current form favored Arsenal.
The last three Champions League matches between Arsenal and Bayern Munich ended in a ‘5-1’ victory for Bayern Munich. Thus, a 2-2 draw in the first leg represents improvement for Arsenal, considering their absence from the competition since the 2016/17 season.
After losing the German supercup final to RB Leipzig at the start of the season, getting knocked out of the DFB Pokal in the second round by Saarbrücken, and then losing the league title to Bayer Leverkusen, this competition is Bayern Munich’s last opportunity to find success in the 2023/24 season.
Bayern Munich secured their spot in the semifinals of the Champions League with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Arsenal, thanks to Joshua Kimmich’s lone goal in the 63rd minute.

⚽ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Manchester City (1) – (1) 🇪🇸 Real Madrid /champions league

Success smiled upon the most accomplished club in the competition’s history as Real Madrid triumphed against the reigning champions, advancing to the semifinals through a penalty shootout victory over Manchester City.

In a closely contested first leg where both clubs scored three goals each, Real Madrid seized the lead in both the game and the tie when Rodrygo found the net in the 12th minute. It took Manchester City until the 72nd minute, with Kevin De Bruyne’s goal, to level the score. Despite Manchester City’s relentless attacking prowess and the support of their home fans, they struggled to break down Real Madrid’s defense throughout most of the match. Real Madrid’s seasoned experience in the tournament allowed them to weather the pressure until the end of regulation time and even through extra time.

The penalty shootout began unfavorably for Real Madrid as Julian Alvarez successfully converted his kick, giving Manchester City the initial lead, while Luka Modric missed his shot for Real Madrid. Manchester City’s subsequent two shooters, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic, failed to convert, shifting the momentum in favor of Real Madrid, who displayed clinical precision for the remainder of the shootout.

For the third consecutive year, Manchester City and Real Madrid faced each other in the knockout stage of the Champions League: In the 2021/22 Champions League season, Real Madrid defied expectations by eliminating Manchester City (6-5 on aggregate) in the semifinals and ultimately went on to win the title.
In the 2022/23 Champions League season, Manchester City comfortably defeated Real Madrid (5-1 on aggregate) in the semifinals and subsequently clinched the title.
And in the 2023/24 season, it is Real Madrid that is moving on with a 4-3 pko win, after a 4-4 aggregate score.


Thursday, April 18, 2024
🇵🇱 Łukasz Fabiański turns 39, 🇺🇸 Maurice Edu turns 38, 🇵🇱 Wojciech Szczęsny turns 34, 🇧🇪 Divock Origi turns 29, 🇳🇱 Denzel Dumfries turns 28.


⚽ 🇮🇹 Atalanta (0) – (1) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Liverpool \ europa league (3-1 agg.)
⚽ 🇮🇹 Roma (2) – (1) 🇮🇹 AC Milan \ europa league (3-1 agg.)

The two European heavyweights were tasked with overturning the tie away from home but failed to do so. AC Milan and Liverpool began their Europa League quarterfinals with a first-leg home defeat, and neither side managed to recover in the second leg. Liverpool secured a second-leg victory against Atalanta, but their 1-0 win wasn’t sufficient to win the tie, while AC Milan followed their ‘1-0’ defeat against Roma with a 2-1 loss in Rome.

⚽ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 West Ham United (1) – (1) 🇩🇪 Bayer Leverkusen \ europa league (1-3)

After clinching their first-ever German Bundesliga title on Sunday, Bayer Leverkusen traveled to London to defend a 2-0 first-leg lead against West Ham United. With the match entering the final 10 minutes of regulation time, Leverkusen found themselves in a precarious position. While they didn’t need a goal to secure victory in the second leg, Leverkusen trailed by a goal and risked ending their unbeaten season.
In the 89th minute, Jeremie Frimpong scored for Bayer Leverkusen, leveling the game and ultimately winning the tie 3-1 on aggregate. This late goal ensured Leverkusen’s unbeaten run in the season remained intact.

⚽ 🇫🇷 Marseille (1) – (0) 🇵🇹 Benfica \ europa league (6-4 pko)

Benfica entered the match with a 1-0 lead, holding out until the 79th minute. However, Faris Moumbanga scored the only goal of the match in the 79th minute for Marseille, leveling the score in the tie with Benfica at 1-1. This result sent the game into extra time, eventually leading to a penalty shootout. Marseille successfully converted all their shots from the spot, while Benfica missed their first and fourth kicks. This victory marked Marseille’s first win in their last six competitive games, having lost the previous five matches.


⚽ 🇮🇹 Fiorentina (2) – (0) 🇨🇿 Viktoria Plzeň \ conference league

Fiorentina emerged as the sole unbeaten away side in the first leg, playing out a goalless draw against Viktoria Plzen. The deadlock persisted between the two teams through regulation time in the second leg. However, Fiorentina broke the deadlock with a game-winning goal in the second minute of extra time, followed by an insurance goal in the third minute of the second half of extra time.

⚽ 🇹🇷 Fenerbahçe (1) – (0) 🇬🇷 Olympiacos \ conference league

Fenerbahce staged an impressive comeback from a 3-0 deficit to suffer a narrow 3-2 defeat in Greece against Olympiacos. With the advantage of playing at home, they aimed to overturn the tie in their favor. The match got off to a promising start for Fenerbahce as they leveled the tie in the 11th minute with a goal from Irfan Kahveci. Despite their efforts, the winning goal eluded them, leading the game to be decided in a penalty shootout. Olympiacos emerged victorious in the shootout, prevailing 3-2, largely due to the goalkeeping heroics of Konstantinos Tzolakis.

⚽ 🇫🇷 Lille (2) – (1) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Aston Villa \ conference league

Lille faced a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the first leg. However, with the support of their home fans in the second leg, they managed to overturn the 1-goal deficit and shift the tie in their favor, leading 2-0. They were close to securing a victory until Matty Cash scored in the 87th minute, leveling the tie for Aston Villa and sending the game into extra time, where no goals were scored. The deadlock persisted, leading to a penalty shootout to determine the winner. Emiliano Martinez delivered a strong performance in yet another shootout, aiding Aston Villa to win the tie with a 4-3 victory in the shootout.

⚽ 🇬🇷 PAOK (0) – (2) 🇧🇪 Club Brugge \ conference league

Club Brugge missed the opportunity to extend their lead through a penalty kick in the 78th minute, but they secured a narrow 1-0 home victory over PAOK in the first leg. They built on this success in the second leg with a 2-0 win, thanks to Ferran Jutgla’s first-half brace. This secured Club Brugge a 3-0 aggregate win against PAOK. This was the only game in the Conference League second leg that did not require extra time.

The semifinals

Champions League:

🇩🇪 Borussia Dortmund vs. 🇫🇷 Paris Saint-German
🇪🇸 Real Madrid vs. 🇩🇪 Bayern Munich

Europa League:

🇫🇷 Marseille vs. 🇮🇹 Atalanta
🇮🇹 Roma vs. 🇩🇪 Bayer Leverkusen

Conference League:

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Aston Villa vs. 🇬🇷 Olympiacos
🇮🇹 Fiorentina vs. 🇧🇪 Club Brugge

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