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Steffen’s Manchester City and Pulisic’s Chelsea press on in the Champions League

Tuesday’s soccer news starts with the two remaining USMNT players in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League. Zack Steffen’s Manchester City opens its quarterfinal series at home to Atletico Madrid later today with the pressure increasing on City to finally lift the trophy. Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea is looking to defend their title in an unlikely season while looking for new ownership, playing two legs against that other team from Madrid.

City’s situation is getting tense in the Premier League. They lead Liverpool by a point after 30 games, the only team that can catch them. A true title race amplifies the situation, but this is a Manchester City team that has won the league while other English clubs lift the Champions League trophy.

“It’s a football game, we give everything we have and after we will see who is best to go to the semi-final,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. It’s not about it being enjoyable, it’s about this team, who they are, what we can do to beat them. It’s not about ‘this is better than others,’ it is what it is. The draw says we play Atletico Madrid.”

The draw says Chelsea plays Real Madrid, with that series beginning tomorrow at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is coming off of an unlikely 4-1 home loss to Brentford, trying to quickly shift focus to the Champions League. Pulisic missed that game after a rushed return from USMNT duty.

“You rely on your routines to refocus, the routines to be strong in training, the routines to focus on the meetings that we have, and to do that in the best way possible,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. “I don’t think that we will do crazy stuff now and give crazy speeches or whatever. We do what we need to do to prepare the next match as good as possible, it doesn’t matter if it’s [against] a big name or not such a big name, there are only tough matches out there for us in the last weeks of the season.”

On Monday, Mix Diskerud scored in Omonia’s 4-2 home win over PAEEK in the Cypriot First Division relegation round. Tim Matavz put Omonia up in the 26th with PAEEK equalizing in the 35th. Diskerud scored in the 53rd. Omonia went a man down in the 59th with a red card to Tomas Hubocan, but added a goal through Marko Scepovic in the 66th. PAEEK saw red in the 69th and Scepovic scored again in the 78th minute. PAEEK pulled a goal back in the 89th.

Concacaf held the draw for the 2022-23 Nations League, with the USMNT playing El Salvador and Grenada beginning in the June window. “El Salvador demonstrated in World Cup Qualifying that they are a formidable opponent, and Grenada proved they are an up-and-coming squad after winning their group in the last tournament and gaining promotion to League A,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter said in a press statement. “This format provides a valuable opportunity to gain experience in away games in our region, and we’re looking forward to the chance to defend our Concacaf Nations League title.”

FourFourTwo’s Conor Pope looks at Everton’s situation as they try to avoid the relegation zone. SI’s Marcus Krum with what’s happening at the top of Serie A. AP’s Rob Harris advises paying attention to UEFA’s partnership with CONMEBOL. Soccer America’s Ian Plenderleith reviews Michael Lewis’s book on the Rochester Lancers.

WEDNESDAY’S SOCCER TV

UEFA Champions League on Univision: Chelsea vs Real Madrid at 3pm. Galavision has Villarreal vs Bayern Munich at 3pm. Copa Libertadores on beIN Sport: RB Bragantino vs Nacional at 6pm, Deportivo Tachira vs Palmeiras at 8pm, and Independiente Petrolero vs Emelec at 10pm. beIN en Espanol has America Mineiro vs Independiente del Valle at 6pm and Alianza Lima vs River Plate at 8pm. Liga MX on TUDN: Toluca vs Monterrey at 8pm. Fox Deportes has Tijuana vs San Luis at 10pm. Concacaf Champions League on FS1: Seattle Sounders vs NYCFC at 10pm ET.


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Photo by David Klein – CSM via ZUMA Wire – ISIPhotos.com

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