Five Aside's UCL quarterfinal second-leg preview
The Champions League quarterfinals conclude Tuesday and Wednesday; here is a statistical look at this week’s games, complete with Soccer Power Index projections.
Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Tuesday)
PSG took command of the tie with a 3-1 win in Paris in the first leg. Chelsea maintains hope thanks to an away goal but still has a steep hill to climb; SPI gives PSG an 83.9 percent chance to advance. SPI doesn’t like the chances of Chelsea’s defense being able to keep a clean sheet, with PSG’s odds of scoring in the second leg at 70.2 percent.
Chelsea were able to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay, limiting him to a UCL season low two touches in the penalty area, but their own sloppiness on the ball cost them dearly. Chelsea finished with seven turnovers in the attacking third, more than they had in the defending and middle third combined (six). Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid (Tuesday)
Real Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win in the first leg and are almost assured of a spot in the semifinals despite traveling to Dortmund in the second leg. SPI gives Real Madrid a 98.7 percent chance to advance. The most direct path for Dortmund to advance to the semifinals would be a 4-0 win; SPI sees the odds of this happening at 0.4 percent.
Luka Modric was the tactical star for Real Madrid in the first leg, leading the team with 75 completed passes and four chances created. One of those chances created was his assist on Cristiano Ronaldo’s UCL record-tying 14th goal of the competition. Isco filled in on the wing for Angel di Maria, who was out because of illness. Isco completed 62 of 66 passes and scored from outside the penalty area for his first UCL goal since November.
Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona (Wednesday)
A spectacular opening goal from Diego Ribas was enough to assure Atlético of a 1-1 draw in the opening leg at the Nou Camp. SPI now has Atlético as the slight favorites, with a 53.4 percent chance to advance. SPI sees just a 12.3 percent chance of a repeat 1-1 score, which is the only scenario in which the tie would go to extra time, but that’s also the best SPI odds of any individual score combination.
Lionel Messi struggled with his passing against Atlético, completing 73.3 percent of his passes, his worst passing day in a UCL game (by percentage) since the second leg of the 2012 semifinals. He really struggled with forward passes, completing just 63.6 percent of these passes (his second-lowest percentage this campaign) with an average forward-pass distance of only 13.9 yards (his shortest this campaign).
Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United (Wednesday)
Manchester United held the Bundesliga and defending European champions to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford during the first leg. Despite this impressive result, SPI sees Bayern Munich in control of the tie, with an 86.3 percent chance to advance. Keeping Bayern off the board will be critical to United's maintaining their semifinal hopes, but SPI gives United just an 8 percent chance of keeping a clean sheet.
Bayern Munich’s wing combination of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery dominated the first leg, combining for 123 attacking-third touches; Manchester United’s entire team had 97. Munich finished with 320 attacking-third touches, 45 more than anyone has had against United in a UCL game in the past four seasons.