|The game at the Etihad is the one everyone is eyeing but can there be drama at the other one between Inter Milan and AC Milan? (Photo credit: Sporting News)|
The Milan derby between AC Milan and Inter Milan went the other way against all expectations, and unlike the delicately poised one at the Etihad next Wednesday, Inter Milan is as good as on their way to Turkey.
There are concerns about the venue of the final due to the political situation around the office of Erdogan, the embattled president of Turkey, but UEFA will be reluctant to shift grounds again after moving final venues from Turkey twice in the past three years.
The game at the Etihad is the one most are looking forward to. Manchester City did well to contain their hosts in Madrid and level before it got too hectic, but you can’t rule Real Madrid out in games like this; they’re made for it.
How did it go wrong for AC Milan? Stefano Pioli got his tactics wrong, and he has to accept it. No one throws in the towel after a 2-0 first-leg loss; the best of teams have turned around such deficits, but on face value and the balance of play, can the Rossoneri turn this around?
You wonder how the duo of Inter Milan and AC Milan got into the semifinal in the first place, but you can’t fault their resilience. The red side of Milan beat Napoli, the Italian champions, to book a semifinal berth, while Inter bested Benfica over two legs to get here.
AC Milan will have to go all out at the blast of the whistle. The only way they can earn a result is if they take the fight to their hosts and get their traveling fans at the other end to make the right level of noise to fire them up.
A little thought for the big one at the Etihad; it’s a game for the Neutrals. The whole of England would also be divided. The red side of Manchester and some enemies would rather Real Madrid win this, but Arsenal and the rest of the well-wishers would pray for City.
What’s in it for the Gunners? There’s a chance that the Premier League champions could be tired after a win over Real Madrid, and the party could lead to a hangover that spills into their league game. But if Manchester City drops points, will Arsenal mop them up across all their remaining games?