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UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League 2023/24: Semi-Final 1st Leg Recap



Bayern Munich Striker Harry Kane

It’s safe to say that the 1st Leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final clashes lived up to expectations. While Bayern held 15-time winners Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw at home, Dortmund sprung a surprise and came away as 1-0 winners over PSG at home. In this write-up, we’ll look at both these games in detail with player ratings and 2nd leg predictions.

Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid

In a clash marking their record eighth encounter at this stage, Bayern surged early, with Leroy Sané and Harry Kane posing threats. 

Thomas Tuchel’s side started brightly in this Champions League semi-final first leg. However, they were left stunned when their opponents scored with their first shot of the game after 24 minutes. Kim’s lapse in concentration allowed Vinicius Jr to break free and slot the ball past a motionless Manuel Neuer.

Kroos nearly doubled the lead in the 51st minute, only to be denied by Neuer’s acrobatics. However, Bayern responded swiftly, with Sané’s solo effort restoring parity, before Kane’s penalty, awarded after Jamal Musiala was fouled, put the hosts in front, giving Bayern a 2-1 advantage with his 43rd goal of the season. Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t hold on to the lead, as Kim’s clumsy challenge on Vinicius led to a late penalty, which the Brazilian converted to level the score with seven minutes remaining.

Two glaring mistakes by Kim Min-jae cost Bayern Munich a well-deserved win against Real Madrid on Tuesday. The defender’s errors led to both goals conceded by the Bavarians in the 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Standout Players

Bayern Munich

  • Erick Dier – 7/10
    Demonstrated his usual command in organizing Bayern’s defense, effectively limiting Real’s offensive opportunities. Contributed to the team’s solid build-up play with minimal errors. However, missed a significant chance to extend the lead with a header straight into Lunin’s hands.
  • Konrad Laimer – 9/10
    A relentless force in midfield, Laimer showcased exceptional stamina and dominance in battles for possession, frequently emerging victorious. His relentless work rate was instrumental in Bayern’s control of the midfield.
  • Harry Kane – 8/10
    Made significant contributions to Bayern’s build-up play with his diligent efforts and came through when needed, converting a crucial penalty. Displayed versatility and reliability throughout the match.
  • Jamal Musiala – 8/10
    Emerged as one of Bayern’s primary threats, Musiala earned the penalty that led to the team’s second goal. Showed promise with his dribbling skills but could have been more clinical in front of goal.

Real Madrid

  • Vinicius Junior – 8/10
    Demonstrated composure with both his goals, showcasing resilience in navigating through tight defensive battles to create scoring opportunities. Showed patience and reaped the rewards of his persistence.
  • Toni Kroos – 7/10
    Executed a sublime pass to unlock Bayern’s defense for the opening goal. Faced difficulties coping with the increased tempo of the second half but still exhibited moments of quality on the ball.
  • Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10
    Adapted well to the game’s dynamics following Bayern’s early dominance, maintaining vigilance against Kane’s deep playmaking role.
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Borussia Dortmund vs PSG

In a tightly contested first-leg encounter, Paris Saint-Germain suffered a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final, with Kylian Mbappe subdued while facing an inspired performance from the opposition’s wide forward.

Jadon Sancho, showcasing his finest form since returning to Dortmund on loan in January, dazzled on the wing, overshadowing Mbappe and leaving the Parisians to lament missed opportunities. PSG now faces the daunting task of overturning the aggregate deficit if they aim to maintain their aspirations of clinching a maiden European Cup before their leading goal scorer departs this summer.

The breakthrough came for Dortmund after 35 minutes when Niklas Fullkrug breached the Parisian defense, collecting a lofted pass and slotting the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

PSG rallied after the interval, launching a barrage of attacks on Gregor Kobel’s goal early in the second half. Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi both struck the inside of the post, while Fabian Ruiz missed a glaring opportunity by nodding wide. Ousmane Dembele also squandered chances from close range.

Dortmund had their share of opportunities, with Julian Brandt and Fullkrug failing to capitalize on scoring chances. Throughout the match, Sancho’s stellar performance served as Dortmund’s catalyst. However, neither side managed to add to the scoreline, setting the stage for an enticing second leg with PSG facing an uphill battle.

Standout Players

Borussia Dortmund

  • Jadon Sancho: 9/10
    Displayed a level of confidence and flair unseen by Manchester United fans, orchestrating numerous chances with effortless precision.
  • Niclas Fullkrug: 9/10 
    Clinical in converting his first-half opportunity but marred by a glaring miss later on. Nonetheless, remained a constant menace to PSG’s defense throughout the match.
  • Nico Schlotterbeck: 8/10 
    Instrumental in Dortmund’s lead with an exceptional long pass, showcasing defensive solidity alongside his offensive contributions.
  • Ian Maatsen: 8/10 
    Asserted himself effectively in the attacking third, disrupting Hakimi’s forward surges and containing his threat for the majority of the game.


  • Warren Zaire-Emery – 7/10
    Showed great energy in midfield, covering a lot of ground while facilitating play for the team.
  • Kylian Mbappe – 6/10
    Came close to scoring with a shot that struck the post and provided a promising opportunity for Kolo Muani. However, his overall impact on the game was subdued.
  • Vitinha – 6/10
    Directed play effectively, showcasing both short and long passing abilities. However, struggled with defensive tracking at times.

Read More: Arsenal maintain EPL 2023/24 Title Hopes

A lifelong sports enthusiast with a recent interest in technology, Web3, and cryptocurrency. Every weekend you can find me watching football(soccer) and keeping up to date with stocks and crypto. Writing about the things I love and hopefully painting a picture for the reader.

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Euro 2024: Who’s Taking the Trophy Home? Let’s Bet



Detailed analysis of teams most likely to perform well in the tournament

Excitement? Check. 

Top teams ready? Absolutely. 

UEFA Euro 2024 is just around the corner. And it’s not just the fans getting ready. Bettors are all in, hunting for that golden insight.

From the BBC to UEFA’s own vault, we’ve got the scoop. Who’s shining this year in Germany? Let’s dive in. 

This is gonna be good.

France: The Champs

Meet France. History? They’ve got it. Talent? Overflowing. Kylian Mbappé’s a beast, scoring left and right. France is on fire, unbeaten in qualifiers. Youth plus experience? They’ve nailed the formula.

Germany: The Hosts

Pressure’s on Germany, but they’re cool. History? Rich. Talent? Deep. They’re mixing the old with the new, aiming high. Hosting gives them that tiny edge. It’s game time.

England: Hunt Mode

England is rewriting their story. No more “almosts.” They’re here, and they’re hungry. Talent? It’s everywhere. Jude Bellingham’s dreaming of double glory. Their eyes are on the prize.

Portugal: The Dark Horses

Portugal smashed Sweden 5–2. Bruno Fernandes? Killer in front of goal. Ronaldo’s out, but the new kids are alright. They’re sneaky, unpredictable. Watch out.

Betting 101

Eye on the prize. Watch the teams, catch the friendlies. Who’s fit, who’s not? Deep squads win games. Don’t sleep on the young guns. They’re game-changers.

It’s all about knowing the game. France, Germany, England, Portugal. They’re the ones to watch. But remember, football’s full of surprises.

Football’s the ultimate thrill. Betting on Euro 2024? It’s a rollercoaster. Bet smart. Have fun. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Looking to spice things up? Bet on FuturePlay. Let’s make this tournament unforgettable.

Thanks for reading! 

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UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League 2023/24: Semi-Final 2nd Leg Recap



Toni Kroos Playing for Real Madrid

And then there were two! The final of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League is set and it will be for the first Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid. In this write-up, we’ll look at how the 2nd leg of the semi-final fixtures unfolded and preview what promises to be an exciting final.

PSG vs Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund clinched their spot in the Champions League final with a solid 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, sealing a 2-0 aggregate win. Mats Hummels’ second-half header secured the win for Dortmund, marking their return to the final for the first time since 2013.

The match saw PSG dominating early on, with Mbappé leading their attacking charge. However, Dortmund remained composed and created chances on the counter. A brilliant save from Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi, keeping the score level at halftime.

After the break, Dortmund capitalized on a corner as Hummels’ header extended their lead. PSG intensified their efforts, hitting the woodwork twice through Mbappé and Vitinha. Despite late pressure from PSG, Dortmund’s defensive solidity saw them through, deserving their spot in the final.

Also despite PSG hitting the woodwork four times, including Kylian Mbappé’s close attempts, they were unable to score the crucial goal.

Dortmund’s coach, Edin Terzic, praised his team’s performance, highlighting their defensive resilience. Meanwhile, PSG captain Marquinhos acknowledged their lack of efficiency but found positives in their overall Champions League journey under a new coach and project.

Standout Players


  • Vitinha – 7.5/10
    PSG’s standout performer, constantly driving his team forward. Unlucky not to score with a late strike that hit the woodwork. Deserved better than to end up on the losing side.
  • Ousmane Dembele – 7/10
    Posed a threat with his runs at the Dortmund defense, although luck wasn’t on his side. Escaped an early booking but was eventually cautioned in the second half.
  • Nuno Mendes – 7/10
    Showed his defensive prowess by winning his duels, notably against Sancho. A solid presence in PSG’s backline, while also contributing to attacks effectively.

Borussia Dortmund

  • Mats Hummels – 8.5/10
    The stalwart in Dortmund’s lineup, Hummels showcased his experience with a stellar performance, contributing a crucial goal. Consistently displays class and was tactically astute, as seen in his smart foul on Dembele just outside the area.
  • Julian Ryerson – 7/10
    Showed promise with an early shot, although it went into the side netting. Handled Mbappe’s threat effectively and made important clearances throughout the match.
  • Ian Maatsen – 7.5/10 
    Demonstrated versatility by advancing from full-back with both elegance and threat. Alongside his attacking prowess, Maatsen also proved solid defensively, completing his journey from Chelsea reserve to the Champions League final.

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

Real Madrid dominated for much of the match and had a golden opportunity in the first half, with Manuel Neuer making a crucial save to deny Rodrygo after Vinicius Junior’s shot hit the post. Neuer continued to shine in the second half, thwarting Vinicius Jr. on another occasion.

However, Bayern Munich capitalized on the counterattack, with Davies seizing the moment to score his first Champions League goal in the 68th minute. Bayern seemed in control after Davies’ 68th-minute put them ahead.

Despite appearing to be on the brink of defeat, Real Madrid, known for their resilience in this tournament, found a lifeline. Substitute Joselu capitalized on a mistake from Neuer to equalize in the 88th minute before securing victory with a close-range finish in stoppage time, leaving German fans heartbroken.

Joselu emerged as the hero in a thrilling comeback, netting another goal in the dying moments to secure a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich. This turnaround propelled Real to a 4-3 aggregate win, booking their spot in the Champions League final for the sixth time in a decade.

Standout Players

Real Madrid

  • Vinicius Jr 9/10
    Started strong and posed a constant threat. Could have secured a hat-trick if not for Neuer’s exceptional saves. Gave Kimmich a tough time throughout the match.
  • Toni Kroos 8/10
    Controlled the midfield with precision passing. Continues to shine this season with his exceptional performance.
  • Ferland Mendy 8/10
    Kept Sane in check and provided consistent support to Vinicius throughout the game. Demonstrated exemplary full-back skills.

Bayern Munich

  • Aleksandar Pavlovic – 8/10
    Impressively composed for his age, Pavlovic showcased excellent distribution and defensive skills. Despite his solid performance, he found himself on the losing side.
  • Manuel Neuer – 7.5/10
    Made a remarkable save against Rodrygo, demonstrating his exceptional goalkeeping abilities. However, his rare mistake marred an otherwise outstanding performance for Bayern.
  • Harry Kane – 7/10
    Although not at his best as a center-forward, Kane contributed with an assist for Davies’ goal. Despite his efforts, he concludes his first season at Bayern without securing a trophy.

Read More: UCL 2023/24: Semi-Final 1st Leg Recap

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UEFA Champions League

PSG in the Champions League: Farewell Mbappe, but can they still win?



Kylian Mbappe for PSG 2024

Kylian Mbappe was in fine form on March 5 when PSG took on Real Sociedad in its round of 16 Champions League clash. The 25-year-old striker scored two brilliant goals to lead PSG to victory. The Parisian club has now advanced to the quarterfinals.

In the 15th minute, Mbappe made a lightning-quick run down the right side of the field and received the ball in the box near the goal lines. He looked up and saw no teammates in the box, so he decided to put his dribbling skills to use, which he learned playing in the cages dotted around Bondy, the tough Parisian commune he grew up in. 

After masterfully cutting the ball back on the inside, Mbappe then feinted, which even tricked the cameraman. This gave him more than enough space to unleash a hellacious strike with his right foot that sailed right past the keeper, landing in the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

In the 55th minute, PSG showed its counter-attacking abilities. Vitinha received the ball on half way, after a nice touch with his chest, the Portuguese player looked up and saw Mbappe open. He didn’t hesitate and immediately played a perfectly waiting-through ball to the rampaging French Striker.

Mbappe made the perfect run and ended up receiving the ball just outside the box with no one in front of him. The 25-year-old took two perfect touches to leave him one-on-one with the keeper. He placed the ball on his right foot and opened his hips. Everyone, including the keeper, thought the French striker would fire the ball to the right. However, at the last minute, he hooked the ball. The keeper was caught flat-footed and was forced to watch the ball beat him on the near post.

Mbappe was in a league of his own out there, cementing himself as the number-one footballer in the world. With a performance like that, Real Madrid won’t be feeling any buyer’s remorse. Real Madrid recently announced that the French forward will be moving to Spain at the end of the season.

Mbappe’s Last Shot to Win the Champions League for PSG

This is the last time PSG fans will see Mbappe representing their club at the Champions League. The French striker is officially going to Real Madrid and is reportedly going to receive a $120+ million signing fee and be at the Spanish club until 2029. 

Despite Mbappe being in fine form and guiding PSG to the quaterfinals, the Parisian club is still a long shot to lift the title. Sportsbooks have PSG as a 12/1 underdog, while defending champions Man City are the clear favorites, paying 13/8. Other top contenders include Real Madrid at 9/2 and Arsenal and Bayern Munich, both paying 6/1.

Without Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and Neymar Júnior, PSG isn’t the same team that made it to the final of the Champions League back in 2020. However, with the world’s best striker who seemingly can produce goals out of nothing, it’s way too early to discount PSG.

Can PSG overcome the odds?

PSG were shaky during the group stages, losing two games and drawing two games. It only qualified for the knockout stages based on goal difference. PSG has appeared to peak at the right time. In its first game against Real Sociedad, PSG comfortably won 2-0, with Mbappe scoring the first goal of the match. 

Thanks to another two goals from Mbappe in the second match, PSG ended up with a 4-1 aggregate. PSG will have to lift its game to another level if it plans to topple the likes of Man City, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid.

Mbappe isn’t the only goal-scorer in fine form. Erling Haaland is having another strong season for Man City, who are the clear favorites. We wouldn’t be surprised if Man City meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final, with Haaland scoring the game-winner.

For PSG fans’ sake, it’d be great to see Mbappe lead his hometown club to a Champions League final and ultimately lift the trophy. PSG has never won the Champions League final, but that could all change if Mbappe gets enough touches. We’ll have to see if his talent alone is enough to carry the team to victory!

Read More: How Paris is Becoming One of the Great Cities for Football Talent

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