Well, I hope you had a read through last week’s article on the Champions League semifinal 1st leg ties, as the tips I provided you with gave us some very appealing winning bets!

  • Manchester City to win and both teams to score – 21/10 – Winner!
  • Kevin De Bruyne to score at any time – 8/5 – Winner!
  • Liverpool to win 2-0 – 11/2 – Winner!

That little lot would have seen you land a £92 profit on three bets of £10, which is not a bad return if I say so myself!

We went into the details of the stats of the teams competing in the Champions League semi finals in last week’s preview article, so I am not going to repeat that, so instead I’ll give you a review of both semi-final games last week and then preview the matches and give you my tips for the games this week too.

As always, any odds provided are courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing but may have changed in the run up to each of the second leg ties.

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Let’s now review how each of the first leg ties played out last week, starting with Tuesday’s incredible game at the Etihad.

Champions League Semi-Finals 1st Leg Reviews

  • Manchester City (2) 4 – De Bruyne 2, Jesus 11, Foden 53, Silva.B 74
  • Real Madrid  (1) 3 – Benzema 33,82 (pen), Vinicius Jr. 55

What an incredible game at the Etihad last week. Manchester City take a one-goal lead into the second leg in a game which saw them dominate Real Madrid, but the Spanish Champions dug in to score three goals in reply and keep themselves in with a real chance in the away leg.

Kevin De Bruyne got things started very early on, netting the quickest ever Champions League semifinal goal after just 94 seconds of the game and City were in heaven when Gabriel Jesus extended that lead to 2-0 after just 11 minutes.

City then missed a couple of good chances before Real pulled a goal back through Benzema’s fantastic first-time finish on 33 and before half time, City squandered another couple of great opportunities to increase their lead once again.

In the second half, the breathless nature of the match continued. Phil Foden put City 3-1 up but two minutes later Vinicius Jr’s brilliant dummy, run and finish brought Real Madrid back within striking distance of City.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued with both sides pressing when they had the ball and City restored their two-goal advantage thanks to Bernardo Silva in the 74th minute, but after 82 minutes, City gave away a penalty which Benzema coolly chipped down the middle Panenka-style to bring Real Madrid back to within one goal again.

A pulsating game ended up 4-3 to the home side and fans breathless at the spectacle that they had just witnessed. If Wednesday’s game in the Bernebeu is anywhere near as good as this, then we are in for a treat.

  • Liverpool (0) 2 –  Estupinan 53 (o.g), Mane 55
  • Villarreal (0) 0

If the first semi-final proved to be end to end, this semi-final was very different as Villarreal tried to dig in to frustrate Liverpool as Unai Emery tried to get one over on the Reds once again, as he had managed with Sevilla back in the 2016 Europa League Final.

In a cagey first half, neither team found the net, but it was Liverpool that dominated possession, without really putting the Villarreal defence under massive duress and at half time, the Spanish side would have been very content at the 0-0 scoreline.

In the second half, Liverpool had a goal ruled out early on when Virgil van Dijk was offside before he headed down for Fabinho to net, but it was only a minimal reprieve for the Spanish as in the 53rd minute, with Liverpool pressing hard, Jordan Henderson tried to cross the ball from the right, his cross deflecting off Pervis Estupinan and over Rulli in the Villarreal goal and into the net.

The goal may have been a stroke of luck but it was the minimum Liverpool deserved as they dominated the game with the match being played essentially in Villarreal’s half.

Two minutes later, the home side added a crucial second. Another good move saw Salah played into space and his perfectly timed ball slid in Sadio Mane who prodded it home past the keeper.

VAR took a look at the goal but Mane had judged his run perfectly and the goal stood.

Later on in the game, Villarreal pushed forward a little more, but Liverpool had more chances to extend their lead and after just one shot in the game, none on target, Villarreal now have the unenviable task of trying to beat Liverpool by three goals in the home leg to go through.

Champions League Semi-Finals 2nd Leg Previews

Tuesday 4th May

  • Villarreal (0) v (2) Liverpool

Villarreal know they need a 3-0 win to oust Liverpool here and that is a huge task for the Spanish side against an in form Liverpool team that have lost just three times in all competitions this season.

In truth, I actually felt Villarreal had a better chance to get a result at Anfield as they could play to their strengths, which is to sit back and hit on the counter. At home, they are going to have to try and push for the win and I think that will leave their defense exposed.

The Spanish side will go for it I am sure, but Liverpool have so many good attacking options and are so dangerous on the counter as they have shown away from home at the likes of FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Milan, Inter and Atalanta in recent times, that the Reds will be confident they can score at least once.

I’m pretty confident that despite having home advantage, this may actually be a tougher game for Villarreal than the one at Anfield, and as such, I am backing Liverpool to land the win here.  

The Reds to win are 7/10 with bet365, Liverpool to win and both teams to score is 9/4, while a 3-1 win for the Reds is a 12/1 shot.

Wednesday 3rd May

  • Real Madrid (3) v (4) Manchester City

After that incredible first leg, Real Madrid know any two goal victory sees them through, while a one goal win would force extra time. City on the other hand know if they avoid defeat here then they will go through.

Now, ordinarily, this may change how a team approaches this game, but Pep Guardiola’s teams do not sway from how they play and as such, I expect Manchester City to play this game as if it was 0-0, certainly for the first 75 minutes or so.

Real though will have to push up. They did well to hit City on the counter in Manchester but I don’t think they can allow City as much of the ball as they did in that game so I expect them to be more on the front foot at home.

Strange as it may sound, that may well play into City’s hands with City then able to hit Real on the counter themselves and I think that is the key to this game.

I am sure we will get goals at both ends of the field in this game but I think City are still the team to beat here and I am backing them to land the win.

Take City to win (even money) or City to win and both teams to score (10/3) here, while a 2-1 win for Manchester City is an 8/1 shot, all with bet365.

Tune in to BT Sport in the UK to watch the action unfold.