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Happy Wednesday! The Champions League quarterfinals cannot stop delivering drama and with one more day of games left to go, here's hoping the round comes to an equally thrilling finish. I'm Pardeep Cattry with a recap of Tuesday's entertainment and a preview of what's in store.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Wednesday, April 17
🇪🇺 UCL: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, 3 p.m. ➡️ CBS, Paramount+
🇪🇺 UCL: Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

Thursday, April 18
🇪🇺 Europa League: Roma vs. AC Milan, 3 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Network, Paramount+
🇪🇺 Europa League: Atalanta vs. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇪🇺 Europa League: West Ham vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

⚽ The Forward Line

✅ Comebacks complete in the Champions League

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Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund progressed to the semifinals on Tuesday, overcoming one goal deficits in dramatic fashion to do so.

In PSG's case, it came in the form of a 4-1 win over Barcelona that led them to a 6-4 aggregate win. A red card to Barcelona's Ronald Araujo in the 29th changed the complexion of the game, with the team shifting to a more defensive outlook to preserve their 1-0 lead on the day. It did not work out at all for them since PSG responded with four unanswered goals, two of them from Kylian Mbappe. The star showed up in a big moment but Mbappe's farewell tour has also allowed manager Luis Enrique to demonstrate that the foundation is in place for life without the World Cup winner. As Jonathan Johnson writes, the quarterfinals were no exception.

  • Johnson: "Luis Enrique's second leg gameplan was executed to perfection, with PSG inflicting the defending La Liga titleholders' two lowest percentage possession games in living memory. Les Parisiens also made history by becoming the first team in 25 attempts to overturn a first leg home loss in a quarterfinal. Much of this was not solely down to Mbappe, and it is hard to make a strong case that he was even a key part of it. Half time statistics showed him to be the PSG outfielder with the fewest touches and while his full-time expected goal total managed to be his best output in a UCL game this campaign, the vast majority of it came from the penalty he took, and the final goal, which fell into his lap. With only fewer touches recorded in each of the two legs against Real Sociedad, it's the lack of involvement that tells the truer tale of this tie for Mbappe than the xG numbers."

As for Barcelona, a Champions League campaign that once attempted to provide a silver lining to a less-than-ideal season ended in calamitous fashion. Araujo's red card demolished Barcelona's grasp on the tie, and as if conceding three goals was not enough in the second half, several members of the team's staff -- including Xavi himself -- picked up a red card before the final whistle.

Barcelona were not the only team to throw away a lead on Tuesday, though. Atletico Madrid lost 4-2 at Dortmund after taking a 2-1 advantage in the first leg, going home in spectacular fashion. Dortmund took a 2-0 lead before halftime only for Atleti to make it 2-2 in the 64th minute, but Diego Simeone's side then conceded twice in the next 10 minutes to lose the tie. As Nico Cantor notes, a poor showing in defense cost Atleti in the end.

  • Cantor: "I don't think they can live up to that defensive prowess that Simeone instilled onto this team. Jose Maria Gimenez has been very bad and specifically yesterday, despite [Jan Oblak] being an extraordinary goalkeeper, there were a couple of [mistakes]. The first Julian Brandt goal and the [Marcel] Sabitzer goal, where he gets there. He should be saving those."

PSG and Dortmund will now face off against each other in the semifinals, which kick off at the end of the month.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

❓ Two more spots up for grabs

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The last two semifinal berths will be claimed on Wednesday, when Manchester City host Real Madrid and Bayern Munich welcome Arsenal in ties that remain deadlocked after the first leg.

City's high-profile matchup with Madrid comes after last week's 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, which was a thrilling showcase for both team's attacking prowess. While the second leg could offer a similar spotlight for each side's offensive talents, the first leg was in equal measure a reminder that this tie could be decided by which defense is ultimately up to the task of stopping a star-studded group. That's where Kyle Walker comes in, writes James Benge, even if Pep Guaridola cannot confirm that he has healed from a hamstring injury in time for this game.

  • Benge: "It only took 21 seconds for Madrid's tactics to become apparent in the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. The ball was cycled to Vinicius Junior and he was flying down the left, leaving Manuel Akanji in his rearview mirror.  Come the final whistle there were altogether too many of those long blue arrows below or, even worse, the ones where Vinicius manages to carry the ball into the penalty area. No matter how much steady control City exert, Madrid are going to manufacture opportunities to spring Vinicius. Pep Guardiola can't stop it at source but what he will hope he is able to do is deploy one of the very best weapons in the sport for slowing the best wingers and wide forwards. Kyle Walker has done it against Mbappe, he has done it against Sadio Mane and he has done it against Vinicius, whose best opening on his last trip to the Etihad was snuffed out by the England international."

Bayern's faceoff with Arsenal, meanwhile, will have no shortage of attacking talent. Harry Kane is obviously in focus as the lone bright spot in Bayern's season, which could end trophyless for the first time in more than a decade if they do not lift the Champions League. Arsenal are just in need of a goal after last week's 2-2 draw in London, which could result in Gabriel Jesus playing a big role in Munich.

  • Benge: "If Bayern's line is deep then someone is going to have to prise it apart. Enter Jesus, who has never seen a blind alley that he has not been tempted to dribble down. While that might drive Arsenal fans to distraction on occasion it could prove extremely effective against an opponent who are not blessed with top tier one-on-one defenders. That much was certainly the case in the first leg, where Jesus drew defenders to him with quick feet and laid the ball off for Trossard to score the equalizer.  The defensive deficiencies that convinced Tuchel that Joshua Kimmich is not a holding midfielder are hardly going to be masked at right back if Arsenal can get overloads on that flank. Nor does whoever comes in for the suspended Alphonso Davies profile as a more effective one on one defender."

The winners of each tie will take each other in the semifinals, which stand to be the headlining act of the final four regardless of which sides come out victorious.

🔗  Top Stories

🇪🇺 UCL rewind: Here's a look at Dortmund's turnaround to reach their first Champions League semifinal in 11 years, plus more on Barcelona's exit and their future considering Xavi's impending departure.

👎 NWSL's bottom dwellers: Here's a glance at some of the teams struggling at the start of the NWSL season, some of whom are already making moves that could change their seasons. The last place Portland Thorns shifted Mike Norris from his role as head coach to name him the technical director, while the Houston Dash's Maria Sanchez has reportedly put in a trade request.

🏆 Leverkusen treble watch: After winning the Bundesliga on Sunday, Bayer Leverkusen remain in the hunt for the treble -- and arguably have what it takes to go all the way.

🔴 Nagelsmann comeback?: Bayern are reportedly considering bringing back Julian Ngaelsmann next season, a year after surprisingly firing him during his first season in charge.

🦩 Gressel on Messi: Inter Miami's Julian Gressel talks about paying alongside Lionel Messi, who he describes as "a great teammate and a great player."

🍒 Aarons on Adams: Bournemouth's Max Aarons discusses working alongside USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams, calling him a natural leader who "puts confidence on all the other players."

🥇 Tessman talks Paris: With the 100 day countdown officially underway, Olympics hopeful Tanner Tessman talks about the U-23 USMNT's road to Paris and playing for Venezia.

🇺🇸 Tony Meola on Kickin' It: Ex-USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola joins Kickin' It this week to talk the special moment for his family at the 1990 World Cup, leaving the national team and why coaching his daughter in youth soccer were the best five years of his life.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • UEFA Europa League: Atalanta vs. Liverpool, Thursday, 3 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Liverpool to win 2-1 (+750)
    -- Liverpool will likely come firing out of the gates on Thursday after losing the first leg 3-0 a week ago, and stand a decent chance of actually winning the game. Even if Jurgen Klopp relies on his top goalscorers like Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, though, the first leg deficit might be too much to overcome, especially if Liverpool continue to concede at high rates. The Reds have not kept a clean sheet in their last nine games, conceding 15 times in that span.
  • UEFA Europa League: champion
  • 💰 THE PICK: Bayer Leverkusen to win the Europa League (+115) -- After spending much of the season as the second or third favorites to win, the newly crowned German champions are at long last the oddsmakers' choice to lift the Europa League. Liverpool's first leg deficit likely has a part to play in it since Atalanta are now the second favorites to win the Europa League at +470, but Leverkusen's ongoing unbeaten season gives the impression that there's no task they cannot handle.

📺 What's on CBS Sports Golazo Network

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👟 Kickin' It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network's unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can't-miss goals from the day's action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

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