Sports

Madrid hoping for an additional magical Champions League evening


MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid is hoping to supply one final magical Champions League evening on the Santiago Bernabéu this season.

After coming from behind at dwelling to get by Paris Saint-Germain within the final 16 and defending champion Chelsea within the quarterfinals, Madrid must rally previous Manchester City to return to the ultimate for the primary time because it received its report thirteenth European Cup title in 2018.

Madrid misplaced 4-3 within the first leg in England, when it trailed by two targets three completely different instances.

The match in opposition to Man City comes solely 4 days after Madrid celebrated profitable the Spanish league title on the famed stadium. The membership hadn’t clinched a title on the Bernabéu in 15 years. The 2020 league trophy was secured at an empty Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium on the group’s coaching middle due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The most important celebrations on the Bernabéu this season got here throughout the group’s run to the Champions League semifinals.

The first was in opposition to PSG, when Madrid seemed crushed after shedding the primary leg 1-0 and conceding early within the return sport within the Spanish capital. The hosts rallied, nevertheless, with a second-half hat trick by Karim Benzema.

With one other hat trick by Benzema, Madrid received the primary leg in opposition to Chelsea 3-1 in England, however went down 3-0 on the Bernabéu earlier than a surprising comeback in additional time allowed it to make the Champions League semifinals for the tenth time in 12 seasons.

Madrid superior 5-4 on combination regardless of that 3-2 loss, which was solely its third on the Bernabéu in 22 dwelling matches in all competitions this season. The others have been a 2-1 setback in opposition to Moldovan membership Sheriff within the group stage of the Champions League, and a demoralizing 4-0 loss to Barcelona within the Spanish league in March.

Madrid this season has 15 wins, 4 attracts and three losses on the stadium, which stays beneath renovation however welcomed the return of followers after the group performed final season on the smaller Di Stéfano.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will not be prone to depend on defender David Alaba on Wednesday due to a muscle harm sustained within the first half of the match in Manchester. Nacho Fernández is anticipated to interchange him and play alongside facet Éder Militão. Nacho and Militão didn’t play within the league match on Saturday due to suspensions.

Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale additionally are usually not anticipated to make it to Wednesday’s match, however Ancelotti in any other case may have a full-strength squad out there. The solely doubt remaining is whether or not he’ll play with Rodrygo or Federico Valverde.

Rodrygo, who scored twice within the title-winning sport on Saturday, would make the group extra harmful offensively, whereas Valverde would assist extra within the midfield.

Man City is making an attempt to make it to its second consecutive Champions League remaining after shedding the title decider to Chelsea final season.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni




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