MATCHDAY: Madrid, Villarreal defend Champions League leads
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Tuesday:
BAYERN MUNICH vs. VILLARREAL (0-1)
Villarreal is a draw away from upsetting six-time champion Bayern Munich thanks to its impressive win in the first leg at home last week, when Bayern was happy to leave only a goal down heading into the return match at home. The German club is trying to return to the semifinals after being eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain at this stage last season while defending the title. Villarreal, the Europa League champion, is relishing its first quarterfinals since 2009. The modest club is based in a city of 50,000 people in southeastern Spain. Excluding his time at PSG from 2016-18, Villarreal coach Unai Emery has won 21 consecutive two-leg knockout ties in Europe since 2015 — with Sevilla, Arsenal and Villarreal.
REAL MADRID vs. CHELSEA (3-1)
Chelsea’s title defense is hanging by a thread. Manager Thomas Tuchel isn’t showing much confidence in his team’s ability to turn things around against Real Madrid. A few things are in Madrid’s favor. There’s the form of striker Karim Benzema, who is coming off back-to-back hat tricks in Champions League games, against Paris Saint-Germain and the first leg against Chelsea. The fact that the record 13-time champions were able to rest key players suh as midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos for their La Liga game over the weekend while Chelsea still had to go quite hard for its English Premier League match at Southampton on Saturday, even if it was a 6-0 win. And the fact that Madrid is at home, where the team hadn’t lost in 14 consecutive matches before falling to Barcelona in La Liga in March. Chelsea welcomes back captain Cesar Azpilicueta after recovering from the coronavirus. Éder Militão is suspended for Madrid, which could see Ferland Mendy return from a muscle problem.
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