We were all pretty excited to see that there’s a possibility the Premier League could replicate what they did back in 2019, by having the Champions League final and Europa League final feature all English clubs.
As we sit here after the first leg results, it’s become clear that this is very much still on the cards – but there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned about them heading into the second legs.
Three were away from home out of the four for the first leg which should hand them the advantage, especially seeing as all three scored away goals, but European football is a complex thing.
We may all think we know the outcome before the full time whistle has blown, but we’ve come to realise things are a little bit more complicated than that.
Real Madrid 1-1 Chelsea
For long spells of the game in Spain, Chelsea were the ones dictating the pace over Real Madrid and it can’t be overstated just how much of a role N’Golo Kante played in that.
The Blues midfielder was at the heart of every big move and it put the visitors in a great position, even if Real did manage to come away with a draw.
The away goal could, and should, prove to be crucial for Thomas Tuchel’s men, but you can never count out a side as experienced and exciting as Real Madrid.
PSG 1-2 Manchester City
Paris Saint-Germain were completely in control of their own destiny against Manchester City in that first half. You could even make the argument that they should’ve been 2-0 or 3-0 up by the time the half time whistle blew.
But in the end, all of that seemed to come crashing down after a dynamic and fluid second half showing from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Few managers in this game are better at the tactical side of the sport than Pep, and City dug deeper than they have done in a long time to pick up the win and put one foot in the final.
Manchester United 6-2 Roma
Manchester United started well, then capitulated and went 2-1 down, and then decided to start playing again.
This was the definition of a back and forth affair and we’d actually argue it was quite unlike United, all things considered. Roma wanted to put up a fight and they did but in the end, they just got overwhelmed.
A 4-0 win would be enough to take the Italian side through in the second leg but that’s the kind of miracle we just can’t picture, especially with how free-scoring the Red Devils were in this game.
Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal
Villarreal didn’t waste any time in racing out to a 2-1 lead and if it wasn’t for two men – Nicolas Pepe and Bernd Leno – this tie would’ve been done and dusted by now.
The Gunners still have a chance thanks to their away goal but the whole performance was so below par, and a lot of the heat needs to fall back on Mikel Arteta for that.
Unai Emery got the better of his side in the first leg, but will the same happen in the second?