Thursday, April 18, 2013

Champions League Semi-Finals

Who will make it to the finals in Wembley?

After beating Galatasaray 5-3 on aggregate, José Mourinho reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the seventh time, equalling Ferguson as the coach who has reached the penultimate round of the contest the most times. While the British coach has always made it with Manchester United, the man from Setúbal has reached the semi-finals with four different teams: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. These two coaches have reached the most semi-finals in the entire history of the European Cup. Miguel Muñoz, who managed Real Madrid in six, is behind them.

Along with Ferguson, he is the coach who has reached this stage of the competition most often in the history of the European Cup

The Madrid coach’s first experience in the Champions League semi-finals came in the 2003/04 season, when his Porto team knocked out Deportivo de la Coruña. His full record is 12 matches, four wins, three draws and five defeats. As for goals, his balance is nine for and ten against.

José Mourinho is breaking records in his career as a coach. Having turned 50 at the end of January, the Portuguese coach has now reached the semi-finals of the Champions League seven times. He has achieved this more quickly than Ferguson who reached his first at the age of 55 after a lengthy career in Scottish football and with Manchester United, and his most recent one at the age of 69.

Dortmund has yet to lose a game in Europe’s top competition and has won all five home games disputed. One of those matches was against Real Madrid, who has already faced off twice against Dortmund this Champions League season in group play (2-1 in the Signal Iduna Park and 2-2 in the Bernabeu). Dortmund outperformed Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 16 (2-2 in Ucrania and 2-0 in Germany) and after an agonizing clash secured their spot in the semi-finals in the injury time of Tuesday’s match against Malaga. The team strengthened their ranks during the winter transfer window with Real player Nuri Sahin, and with six goals Lewandovski is Dortmund’s top scorer. Grosskreutz is a maybe for the upcoming semi-finals.

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