Champions League preview: City and Liverpool turn sights to Europe amid domestic duel

Liverpool, UK - After a stunning Premier League draw, it's back to business in the Champions League for Manchester City and Liverpool before they face off once more in London.

Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp (l.) and City's Pep Guardiola get close during their sides' 2-2 draw in the English Premier League on Sunday.
Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp (l.) and City's Pep Guardiola get close during their sides' 2-2 draw in the English Premier League on Sunday.  © REUTERS

The English Premier League's top two produced a high-quality 2-2 draw in Manchester on Sunday, with Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane canceling out Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus' goals.

They now shift focus to European business before resuming their domestic duel at Wembley in the FA Cup.

Liverpool has the easier task on Wednesday, as Benfica visit Anfield 3-1 down after last week's first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

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City also won their first leg 1-0 against Atlético Madrid but faces a trickier trip to Spain in a bid to reach the final four.

Last season's runners-up City will likely face Real Madrid in the semi-finals unless the record champions give up a 3-1 lead at home to holders Chelsea on Tuesday.

Bayern Munich is looking for a turnaround after a 1-0 defeat to Villarreal on the road, with the winner probably taking on Liverpool for a place in the final.

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Chelsea players celebrate during their 6-0 win at Southampton.
Chelsea players celebrate during their 6-0 win at Southampton.  © REUTERS

Man City coach Pep Guardiola was hoping his side would take momentum with them to Madrid from a positive performance against Liverpool, which keeps them one point clear at the top of the Premier League.

"We have to do it," he said. "When we arrive in these stages of all competitions, we do not have time to rest."

"We have to play Madrid and then Liverpool again."

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That cup semi-final promises the latest twist in a season which has City chasing a treble and Liverpool going for an unprecedented quadruple, having won the League Cup already.

"We have now two massive games for us: we have Benfica on Wednesday and City again Saturday and then after that it really starts, we have to be ready for our derbies [against Everton and Manchester United]," Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp said.

"But it’s actually cool, it’s good, we are where we want to be, we are close to an incredible side."

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel all but wrote off his side's chances of salvaging the tie against Real but a 6-0 weekend thrashing of Southampton lifted his mood.

"Of course we don’t have the biggest chance given the result from the first leg," the German said. "It is unlikely [turning around the tie] but it is worth trying and trying means that we will play to our fullest and to our full limit."

The Blues will be without striker Romelu Lukaku, ruled out through injury.

Bayern meanwhile is hoping to bounce back from a poor display in Villarreal to sink Unai Emery's Yellow Submarine in Munich.

Captain Manuel Neuer described the matchup as "a game that's tailor-made for us. We want to use that to turn it around and progress to the semi-finals."

Cover photo: REUTERS

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