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Man City have advantage over Real Madrid ahead of UCL semi-final: Arsene Wenger



Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

Following their 4-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich last night, Manchester City have booked their place in the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League.

The English champions are set to take on defending champions Real Madrid in the semifinals, with Pep Guardiola facing immense pressure to deliver his first UCL title in well over a decade. The same can be said for Carlo Ancelotti as well, though the pressure was relieved after wins against Chelsea and Barcelona.

Nevertheless, shortly after Man City’s victory over Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger has opined on the upcoming semifinal tie, suggesting that the English giants may have an advantage heading into the contest.

The former Arsenal manager hailed Man City for the defensive stability but admitted Real Madrid have what it takes to beat any team on the European stage.

“At this time City have a small advantage due to their defensive stability. Perhaps Real Madrid is a little more vulnerable, but Madrid is Madrid, they score against anyone at any time and that’s why this tie is very open,” said Wenger (h/t Manchester Evening News).

Man City have indeed appeared quite strong defensively in the Champions League this season. In the ten matches they have played so far, they have conceded only four goals, one of which came against Bayern Munich in the second leg of the quarterfinal.

Depleted by several injuries to key players including David Alaba, Real Madrid, in contrast, have conceded eight goals in ten matches. But in the knockout rounds so far, they have conceded only twice, none of which came against Chelsea in the quarterfinals.

However, with Alaba potentially facing another spell on the sidelines, coupled with Eder Militao’s suspension in the first leg, the odds do not favour the defending champions, as they take on Manchester City on May 9.

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Real Madrid News

Benzema inquired Ronaldo about Saudi and agreed on a transfer, but backed down



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia has triggered a wave of massive establishment within the country so much so that the league has approached players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos and even Karim Benzema. 

Benzema’s departure from Real Madrid is imminent and if a report from Diaro AS is to be believed, the Frenchman contacted his former Madrid teammate, Ronaldo, to ask him for information about the Saudi league, living conditions and other teams.

All this because it is said that the legendary Frenchman has received a lucrative offer from the newly crowned Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad. As reported before, the star striker will earn more than €100 million per year across his two-year contract with the Saudi team.

At the moment, the Saudi government has approved all of Benzema’s requests and while it is said that he can join the team of his choice, Al Ittihad’s recent flirting had made them absolute favourites.

That said, the transfer may have taken a u-turn recently, as Benzema spoke about staying at Real Madrid for the foreseeable future.

“Speak to the fans? Speak about what? Why should I speak of the future if I’m in Madrid?”, Benzema said

“It’s the internet speaking, and reality is not the internet.”

In a recent turn of events, Helder Costa openly spoke about Benzema’s arrival, saying that his team is ‘excited about the arrival of the Balon d’Or winner.’ As if that is not enough, a club fan also showed a Karim Benzema edit on the big screen during their title celebrations.

Meanwhile, since the transfer is not confirmed, Real Madrid continue to be uninformed of Benzema’s decision. And this remains a major problem for the team from the capital city as their summer transfer plan hinges on the continuity of the Frenchman.

At the moment, the team is said to be closing in on the signing of Joselu from Espanyol. However, it must be noted that the forward will only be arriving on a season-long loan as Madrid already have big plans for the summer of 2024, with Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe both lined up.

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