Illustration photo – Manchester City's footballer Erling Haaland (centre) heads a goal into Manchester United's net in an English league match on October 2, 2022.
Manchester/Porto – Two more quarter-finalists will be decided today in the soccer Champions League. After the opening 1:1 draw, the biggest favorite Manchester City will welcome Leipzig in the rematch and will want to confirm the excellent record at home, where they have not lost 23 matches in European competitions. In a match between two former Champions League winners, Porto will attempt to overturn a 0-1 away deficit against Inter Milan. Former teammates and now coaches Sérgio Conceicao and Simone Inzaghi will once again face off in a match between two former champions of the Champions League and runners-up in domestic competitions.
Manchester City did not hold the lead in the opening game in Leipzig, but still took a favorable result into the return game. The reigning English champions, who are second in the Premier League behind Arsenal, will rely on their impressive home record. The City footballers have lost only one of the last 29 competitive matches at their stadium, and in European cups there they are undefeated in 23 duels since September 2018.
The English giant is aiming for a sixth consecutive Champions League quarter-final, but is still waiting for the coveted overall triumph. City have lost just one of their 14 home games against German opposition, beating Dortmund 2-1 at their home stadium in the group stage. Away from home, Manchester drew 0-0 with Borussia and are yet to lose in the Champions League this season. City progressed from all seven cup double-headers, in which they initially drew away.
“I believe that we will go into the match in a good mood. We can still improve a lot compared to the first match. We have to adjust some things and find a way to progress. We have to assert ourselves with our game and win,” said City coach Pep Guardiola.
Leipzig is playing in the knockout phase of the Champions League for the third time in the last four seasons, having only made it past the round of 16 in 2019/20. After the opening home draw, however, they advanced from both previous cup matches. Currently third in the Bundesliga, they have won only one of their last five matches against English opponents.
“We need to stick to our game and try to control the ball as much as possible. We mustn't let ourselves be pushed too much. The promotion is high, but we will try to play our best and see,” said Leipzig coach Marco Rose.
Inter were eliminated in only four of the 45 double-header matches in which they won at home to begin with. The Milanese are aiming for their first promotion to the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2011. However, the second team of the Italian league won only one of the nine cup duels on Portuguese soil. In addition, the defeaters of Pilsen from the group did not have a good general game, they suffered a 1:2 defeat on the Spezia field on Friday.
“It hurts, but we have to keep looking. We have a great chance to advance to the quarter-finals. In the first match, we gave an excellent performance against a technically and physically equipped opponent and we have to repeat it,” said coach Inzaghi before Inter's jubilee 200th match in the Champions League.
With coach Porta Conceicao, they played for Lazio Rome in the past. The home coach will also challenge his former club, for which he played 65 competitive matches between 2001 and 2003. “Facing a former club is always special, but not as special as leading Porto. When the match starts, I will forget where I used to work,” said Conceicao.
Porto are unbeaten in their previous two home games against Inter and in the last it eliminated other Italian clubs AS Rome and Juventus Turin in the two round of 16 participations. In their stadium, the reigning Portuguese champions have won four consecutive games against Serie A opponents. However, after the opening away loss, Porto reversed only five of the 23 cup doubles.
“In the first match at San Siro, we gave a very good performance, corresponding to this stage of the competition. Until we were sent off, we were at least a balanced opponent. We are at half-time and we have the next 90 minutes or more to turn around,” Conceicao stated.
Both games have a 9:00 p.m. kick-off on Tuesday. The last two quarter-finalists will then be decided on Wednesday.
Interesting things before Tuesday's return matches of the Champions League round of 16:
FC Porto – Inter Milan
Kick-off: Tuesday 14. March, 21:00.
First match: 0:1.
Referees: Marciniak – Sokolnicki, Listkiewicz – Kwiatkowski (video, all Polish).
Balance: 5 1-1-3 4:7.
< p>– Inter have lost just one of their 5 head-to-head matches in UEFA competitions (4 of which were played in 2005)
– Porto are unbeaten in their 2 home matches against Inter
– Porto have lost at home only one of their last 13 matches against Italian opponents to win 4 in a row
– Inter have won 3 of their last 4 matches against Portuguese opponents in UEFA competitions (all at home)
– Inter in UEFA competitions won only one of 9 matches on Portuguese soil
– Porto have been successful in the last 2 Champions League round of 16 (eliminating an Italian club both times) and advanced to the quarter-finals in 2 of the last 4 seasons
– Inter can advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2011
– Inter defeated Plzeň twice in the group
– Porto advanced in only 5 of the 23 cup double-headers in which they lost the opening match away from home
– Inter were eliminated in only 4 of the 45 cup matches double matches, in which he initially won at home
– Porto beat Estoril 3:2 in the general game, on the other hand, Inter lost 1:2 at Spezia and lost 2 of the last 3 matches
– Porto lost only one of the last 12 home matches
– Inter have not won 3 times in a row away from home and have lost in the last 2 matches there
– Inter as the 15th club will play their 200th match in the Champions League (formerly PMEZ)
– both teams are in their domestic leagues in 2nd place
– coaches Conceicao and S. Inzaghi (Inter) were teammates at Lazio Rome
– Conceicao played for Inter between 2001 and 2003
– Darmian (Inter) can claim his 50th cup start
– coach Mourinho led both teams to triumph in the Champions League in the past
Manchester City – RB Leipzig
Kick-off: Tuesday, March 14, 21:00.
First match: 1:1.
Referee: Vinčič – Klančnik, Kovačič (all Slovenia) – Hernández (video, Spain).
Balance: 3 1-1-1 8:6.
– the teams have an even balance in UEFA competitions, last year City won first in the group at home 6:3, in the return match Leipzig won 2:1
– City have lost only one of the last 18 matches against German teams in UEFA competitions< /p>
– City played fellow German club Dortmund in the group, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 0-0 away
– City have lost just one of their 14 home games against German opponents in UEFA competitions< /p>
– Leipzig have won only one of their last 5 matches against English opponents
– Leipzig have lost 2 of their 3 cup matches on English soil
– City are aiming for a sixth consecutive Champions League quarter-final appearance
– Leipzig is playing in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the third time in the last 4 seasons, having only made it past the round of 16 in 2019/20
– City they haven't lost in 6 group games and are unbeaten in this Champions League season
– City advanced from all 7 cup double-headers, in which they initially drew away
– Leipzig advanced from both cup double-headers, in which they initially drew at home
– City won 1-0 at Crystal Palace at the weekend and have not lost in 8 competitive matches in a row
– Leipzig beat Mönchengladbach 3-0 in the general game and lost the only one of the last 5 matches
– City have lost only one of the last 29 home competitive duels
– City have not lost 23 times in a row at home in the cups since September 2018
– Leipzig have only lost the last of their last 10 away competitive matches
– City are second in the Premier League table, Leipzig are third in the Bundesliga
– Olmo and Werner (both Leipzig) they can claim their 50th cup start