Real Madrid and AC Milan are through to the UCL final four
By Alex Al-Kazzaz
The current reigning and defending 14-time champions are through to the Champions League semifinals once again. Los Blancos are advancing after eliminating Chelsea in a rematch of last year's quarterfinals clash. For the first time since 2007, AC Milan find themselves in the final four courtesy of two hard-fought wins against Napoli. For Milan, the last time they made it this far, they went on to win it all.
Real Madrid survived a bit of a crusade from Chelsea. The Blues were hell-bent on pulling off a miracle to upset Los Blancos. Despite Chelsea's best efforts, their inability to cash in on their countless golden scoring opportunities is what led to their elimination. For Chelsea to register six shots-on-goal in the second-leg match and fail on all is a bad look for the Blues. Real Madrid wasted scoring opportunities as well, but were able to win both games with a final score of 2-0.
One of the overall talking points from the clash between Real Madrid and Chelsea are the many missed opportunities. For Chelsea, they seemed to have suffered a major amount of bad luck and Real Madrid took advantage.
AC Milan had their work cut out for them. Napoli is currently on top of Serie A with a 14-point lead over second-place Lazio. Clearly Napoli was favored to advance, but AC Milan was able to turn the tables. Interestingly enough, ten days before the first-leg, Milan beat Napoli 4-0 on the road in a Serie A encounter.
Like Chelsea, Napoli missed out on many scoring opportunities. In the second leg, a combined total of five big chances were missed from both teams. Three for Napoli and two for Milan. Milan had to heavily rely on a strong defensive strategy to maintain their lead as they had a total of 45 clearances with 13 interceptions.
After losing the first leg 1-0, Napoli couldn't waste time getting on the score board. In the 22nd minute, Milan's Olivier Giroud missed a penalty that kept the aggregate score a 1-0, which opened the door for Napoli. However, later in the game, Napoli was awarded a penalty, but failed to convert. This was after Giroud managed to redeem himself and score to give Milan a much-needed 2-0 aggregate lead. Napoli was able to score deep into stoppage time, but it was too late. For Napoli, had they converted the penalty, they would probably be the ones in the final four and Milan would be sent packing.
At this point, it looks as through Manchester City and Inter Milan will be the other two clubs advancing to the final four. That means that a rematch between Real Madrid vs Manchester City from last year's semifinals will take place. In addition, we'll have a Milan derby to decided to who goes to the final.
Inter Milan is looking to make the final for the first time since 2010 while Manchester City is looking to avenge their 2021 UCL final loss and finally win the tournament for the first time. Real Madrid wants to win the tournament for the 15th time while AC Milan is looking to win their 8th title.
Cover photo via of The Sun