Manchester City VS Atletico Madrid – LIVE Reddit Soccer 13/4/2022
Premier League champions Manchester City will travel to Spain to face Atletico Madrid in a crucial UEFA Champions League encounter. A spot in the semi-finals awaits, with just a goal separating the two sides, which sets up for an enthralling encounter. Atletico Madrid come into the all-important second leg on the back of a 1-0 defeat against relegation-battlers Mallorca. They surrendered the opportunity to climb up to second in the table as Mallorca completed a double over Los Rojiblancos.
Manchester City, on the other hand, had a huge encounter this weekend as they faced Liverpool in a potential Premier League title decider. At the end of it all, the Cityzens preserved their one-point lead at the top of the table with the match finishing 2-2. With seven matches now left in the Premier League season, Guardiola’s men have a great opportunity to successfully defend their title. While City are pursuing a possible treble, Atletico’s only chance to win the silverware comes through the Champions League. Simeone has led the club to two Champions League finals previously, and that experience could come in handy against City.
Diego Simeone employed an ultra-defensive approach against Manchester City in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium. While he was heavily criticised, the tactics nearly worked wonders. Pep Guardiola’s men were kept at bay for 70 minutes before Kevin De Bruyne broke the deadlock. Atletico, surprisingly, took no shots on goal in the match and enjoyed just 29% possession. They could employ a similar tactic in the second leg as well, but they won’t be able to persist with it for long as they need at least one goal to stay alive in the tie. With no away-goal rule in the Champions League anymore, if the Rojiblancos win the second leg by one goal, the match will go into extra time.
Simeone will have the services of Yannick Carrasco, who has now served his one-match suspension. The Argentine tactician will, however, continue to be without Hector Herrera and Jose Gimenez.
Stefan Savic, Felipe and Reinildo Mandava are expected to form the three-man backline while Marcos Llorente and Carrasco operate as the wing-backs. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Koke will hold the fort in the middle of the park for the hosts while Rodrigo De Paul will look to drive the team forward. Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix will combine up top for the Spanish champions.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City continue to be the juggernaut that they are. They are expected to dominate proceedings at the Wanda Metropolitano, enjoying the major share of possession as Atletico will look to hit them on the counter.
The Cityzens were a far better side in the first half against Liverpool in their recent Premier League match, which showed how they can dominate even the best of teams in Europe. Even with just a one-goal lead and an away match in Madrid awaiting, City will go into the encounter as the favourites.
Guardiola will welcome back Kyle Walker from suspension for the encounter. But Ruben Dias continues to be a long-term absentee along with Cole Palmer. In the Portuguese’s absence, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have been handling the central defensive duties. Joao Cancelo and Walker will continue as the full-backs.
There could be one change in midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan replacing Bernardo Silva while Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne hold their places. Riyad Mahrez should get a look-in as well, with Gabriel Jesus making way. Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden will complete the frontline for City.
Irking City players and fans alike with their apparent 5-5-0 formation, the game plan from Diego Simeone was simple – prevent Man City running away with the tie in the first leg before attempting to come up with the goods in front of their own fans.
Such an approach very nearly paid dividends on the night, but the introduction of Phil Foden sparked new life into Man City, with the young England international threading a pass through for De Bruyne to slot home past Jan Oblak on the 70-minute mark.
A 1-0 deficit means that the tie is far from done and dusted, but the reigning La Liga champions have experienced another blow to their momentum since the Etihad defeat – going down 1-0 to Mallorca in Saturday’s La Liga clash after previously winning six on the bounce in all competitions.
In order to turn the tie around at the Wanda Metropolitano and seek a place in the semi-finals for the first time since 2016-17, Atletico must firstly attempt a shot on goal – which they did not do across the entire 90 minutes at the Etihad – although they have made it through on two of the past three occasions that they have lost the first leg.
Returning to home comforts at the Wanda Metropolitano also spells optimism for Atletico, who have won each of their last three in the league there, but not since October 2020 have Simeone’s side won a Champions League match at home – drawing four and losing three since.
The less said about Atletico’s futile attempts to defend their La Liga crown the better, but the Premier League title is now firmly in Man City’s hands for the remainder of the season after a 2-2 draw with Liverpool which certainly lived up to the pre-game hype.
A non-stop first half saw De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus strike for the champions either side of Diogo Jota’s response, but after failing to take advantage of Liverpool’s high line before the break, Jurgen Klopp’s side immediately responded in the second period through Sadio Mane.
Despite failing to kill the game off in the opening periods, the 2020-21 English top-flight title will be theirs as long as they do not drop any more points between now and the finale, but there is also the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final with the Reds and potential Champions League final with the Merseyside counterparts to contend with.
Klopp and Guardiola will likely be sick of the sight of one another by the summer, but for now, City must focus on the task at hand against Atletico for what will be their 100th game in the Champions League, and they are now unbeaten in nine across all tournaments.
A wholly impressive away streak has also seen Guardiola’s side string together a 12-game unbeaten run on rival turf – winning 10 of them – while they have also conceded just one goal in their last 630 minutes of domestic and continental action on the road.