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Real Madrid Made Champions League Favorites After Rousing Win Over Manchester City

If you take a shot at the king, you’d better not miss.

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their aim was straight and true in a penalty shootout victory over defending champions, Manchester City, in their Champions League quarter-final clash.

The Galacticos now move into a last-four collision with Bayern Munich, who themselves dumped English opposition out of the competition in the shape of Arsenal.

All Hail

By dethroning the reigning king, Real Madrid themselves have now asserted authority – those who place a bet on Champions League with Paddy Power have backed them into +150 favoritism.

The curiosity is that Bayern have now been installed as second favorites for the crown, which suggests that their semi-final clash with Real is very much the ‘kingmaker’ of this season’s edition of the competition.

But there will be plenty of Champions League tips columns that promote the chances of the other semi-final protagonists – PSG and Borussia Dortmund – who will both no doubt fancy their chances of progressing to the final at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 1.

The Galacticos lived by the sword and almost died by it in the second leg of their encounter with Man City. After scoring an early opener, Carlo Ancelotti commanded his troops to defend deep and in numbers, allowing City the freedom of Manchester to send a wave of attacks at the Spaniards’ goal.

They got their breakthrough in the 76th minute through Kevin de Bruyne, and it looked as if City would go on and claim victory against a Real side exhausted from defending so doggedly for so long.

But the English champions could not find a winning goal, and the tie went to extra time and then penalties. Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic both missed from the spot; Antonio Rudiger didn’t, booking Real’s place in the last four.

Having won the Champions League five times in the past decade alone, perhaps the Madrid outfit are the true kings of Europe’s premier competition…

Pretenders to the Throne

Since 2011, Paris St Germain have been owned by Qatari Sports Investment, a group that is financially backed by the government of Qatar.

Needless to say, they have plenty of money to spend on their passion projects, and PSG have since gone on to dominate soccer in France.

But in the Champions League? You’d have to question the Qatari return on investment, with the Parisian outfit making the final just once in more than a decade.

Back in 2020, they lost to Bayern, so they’ll be looking to get revenge against a German opponent in Borussia Dortmund in 2024.

They overturned a 2-3 deficit against Barcelona in the quarter-finals, even going a goal down in the second leg at the Spaniards’ temporary Olympic Stadium home.

But Ousmane Dembele pulled a goal back just before half-time before a second-half onslaught from PSG yielded three more goals – a brace from Kylian Mbappe confirming the French side’s progress to the semi-finals.

Dortmund have been something of a surprise package in this season’s Champions League, but you suspect the PSG tie will be one game too many – finally, the Qatari overseers may get a chance to see their investment win in the UCL final.

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