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How the Champions League semi-finalists fared over the weekend

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It is semi-final week in the Champions League.

In the early rounds, class can get you through, a bit of luck can save your skin, but when it is down to the final four, though, you need more. A bit of form is vital here. Momentum builds confidence, and in European competition, confidence is everything.

So, let's look at how all the teams performed over the weekend.

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Manchester City

Manchester City comfortably beat Stoke City 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Goals from Fernando, Sergio Aguero and a brace from Kelechi Iheanacho sealed an easy win for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Domestically, the win meant that City took third place when Arsenal drew with Sunderland. That breathes confidence into a side that will need it ahead of Real Madrid's visit on Tuesday.

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Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany were rested and what's more, Kompany seems to have recovered fully from his injuries. Manuel Pellegrini will not, however, have a full-strength squad to select from.

Yaya Toure is unlikely to feature after suffering an injury to his thigh late-on against Stoke. 

City will hope to complete the set against Real Madrid, having lost and drawn against them in their two Champions League encounters.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid had a trickier weekend than their english opponents. The men-in-white fell two goals behind early in their away game to neighbours Rayo Vallecano, but overcame the deficit to win 3-2. Gareth Bale starred heavily scoring two goals, including the winner. Lucas Vazquez provided the other.

Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

The Vallecas were placed 16th in La Liga, but didn't have to contend with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested due to injury. The Portuguese superstar is expected to return against City, but striker Karim Benzema's participation is doubtful after limping off in the first-half at the weekend.

Ronaldo will also be eager to add to his tally of 16 goals in Europe so far this season. Already the Champions League's all-time top scorer, the striker is on course to eclipse his own record of 17 goals in a single campaign. That record was set two season's ago, when Real won La Decima.

Gareth Bale is in fine form for his return to England. The Welshman has had a few injury problems this season, but has still managed 18 goals. None have come in the Champions League though, and the winger will be eager to break his duck.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid managed a 1-0 victory over Malaga after substitute Angel Correra's deflected shot broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Malaga CF - La Liga

The win continues a fine run of results for Atleti but the win was marred by a controversial incident involving manager Diego Simeone.

The Argentine appeared to tell a ball boy to throw a ball onto the pitch during a particularly menacing Malaga counter-attack. Simeone was subsequently red-carded and spent the second-half gesturing from the stands. He faces a three-match ban, but this would not affect him in Europe. 

Atletico will once again rely on Antoine Griezmann to provide the goals. The Frenchman has 29 goals so far this season, six in the Champions League. Two of his half-dozen came in the previous game where Atletico knocked out tournament favourites: Barcelona.

Bayern Munich

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BERLIN-BAYERN-MUNICH

Bayern Munich meanwhile stand on the brink of history.

The 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin means Pep Guardiola's side need only one more win to secure a fourth consecutive league title. The goals came courtesy of Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa who, along with Guardiola and his team, are chasing a treble.

Bayern will likely be without Arjen Robben though for the clash with Atletico. The Dutchman has been suffering from an abductor injury and was not in the match-day squad against Hertha Berlin. Guardiola even admitted, as per Goal.com, that Robben "would need a miracle" to feature at the Vicente Calderon. 

Bayern could be boosted by the return of Jerome Boateng, who has recently returned to training following a three month lay-off due to serious hamstring injury. 

That is how the team's fared on Saturday, but how will they fare on Tuesday and Wednesday? 

Who do you think will advance to the Champions League final? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Topics:
Real Madrid
Football
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City
UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich

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