Changes were made, new rules were formed, and a change in location, with the remaining round of 16 and quarterfinal matches played in the same country behind closed doors.
From the last-minute two-goal salvo from PSG to knock out dark horse Atalanta 2-1, another surprise scoreline from tournament new boys Leipzig stunning Spanish side Atletico Madrid 2-1. Bayern Munich thrashed Spanish giant Barcelona 8-2 in what can only be described as an easy run-in to the semifinal for the Bavarian. The most surprising result was from the ‘farmers’ league’ sorry!! French Ligue 1 when Lyon stunned Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 3-1 to book a place in the semifinal.
The competition is left with two German teams and two French teams, with each club from each country facing each other. RB Leipzig will face PSG, while Lyon takes on Bayern.
A sneak peek on how they all got to where they are now, shall we?
The German club is coached by a young Julian Nagelsmann who is dobbed the ‘mini Mourinho’, a very relatable fact to this team is their ability to take on teams above their weight class without any regard for class. Leipzig has been described as one of the most fearless teams in Europe at the moment.
Few would believe the club is just 11-year-old with the way they play their style of football like a team that has been around for decades. The team has built its mental capacity beyond its age.
Their group stage saw them play against Benfica, Lyon, and Zenit St. Petersburg with their only defeat in the group stage at home to French side Lyon as they came out top of the group with 11 points.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham was their first victim in the round of 16 with a 4-0 aggregate win before football went on break and lost their star striker who had opted for a move to Chelsea, but that didn’t stop the team from dealing a blow for Diego Simeone’s team as they won the quarterfinal fixture 2-1.
The team will face PSG in their semifinal fixture, a team that is led by Nagelsman’s former coach Tuchel.
Julian Nagelsmann in a press conference where he stated “Games against him are always very interesting because he has a good idea of football.
Only time will tell if the apprentice can outshine the master, but the odds once again are against them as some fans feel the absence of their star forward will be too much and PSG’s attack might just be too much for them to handle.
A lot of people expect plenty from this team despite winning all domestic titles in recent times and having some of the most expensive players in the world in their book.
PSG played in a group that has serial Champions League winner Real Madrid, Galatasary, and Club Brugge. With only one draw in the group matches the team finished top of the group and lost 2-1 to Borrusia Dortmund
in the first leg of the round of 16 before football was suspended, but came back strong to win 2-0 at Parc de France and 3-2 on aggregate. PSG avoided an embarrassment when they won Italian team Atalanta who held on to a 1-0 win until the closing stage of the match when the introduction of Kylian Mbappe turned the tide as they scored two quick goals within 3 minutes to qualify for the semifinal.
They play RB Leipzig, a team that has also been on a good run of form at knocking at giants and coached by Tunchel’s former player. PSG coach may have to win this if he wants to have any chance at keeping the media away from his job and will hope the return of fit-again Mbappe will do the team a lot of good.
The French club looks like the team that has benefitted the most from the coronavirus break, as they look fitter than ever as the Rudi Garcia led team seems to be ready to take on any team thrown at them.
Fans may have been shocked when they qualified out the group that had RB Leipzig, Benfica, and Zenit ahead of the regular names in the competition and even stunned RB Leipzig at home with a 2-0 win.
They didn’t stop there; they knocked out Italian champions Juventus after a 2-2 aggregate as they qualified on away goals, they presented another surprise package when they knock out Manchester City 3-1 in the quarterfinal to book a semifinal fixture with the German champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern will underrate the French club at their own peril because Lyon has proven time and time again they are capable of turning the heat on, and with Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay in form, anything can happen.
Bayern Munich has been on red-hot form since the beginning of the competition with a winning streak that dates back to September 2019, and with the form of polish striker Robert Lewandoski and co, there is very little indication of things changing in their semifinal tie against Lyon.
Bayern breezed through the group stage with Greek club Olympiacos the only team to pose some sort of threat but still won the match 2-3 away from home.
Tottenham and Crvena Zvezda could not do much to stop the German club as they were bullied, London club Chelsea also felt the wrath of the ruthless German machine as they lost 0-3 in the first leg at Stamford bridge before lockdown and lost once again 4-1 at the Allianz Arena. The German club made a mess of Spanish club Barcelona with the 8-2 demolition in the quarterfinal fixture.
Judging by the previous results, Bayern is expected to be in the final of this year’s final as the Estadio do Sport Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal, as most believe Lyon will be a work in the park for them, and hopefully get more goals from their goal machine Lewandoski.
Do you think there might be an upset?