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Real Madrid and Bayern Munich Knock Premier League Powerhouses Out of Champions League

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Champions League: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich send Premier League powerhouses packing

The Premier League is out of the Champions League. Arsenal and 2023 titlist Manchester City, the last two English teams standing in this season’s edition of soccer’s most prestigious club competition, were both eliminated Wednesday in the second leg of the quarterfinals by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, respectively. Bayern and Real join Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in the semis, ensuring no Prem representative in the June 1 final at Wembley Stadium in London.

In Munich, Arsenal paid the price for failing to win last week’s first leg at home. Joshua Kimmich scored for Bayern just past the hour mark, the only goal the hosts would need to beat the Gunners on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne erased his team’s 1-0 home deficit Wednesday after Rodrygo had given Real a first-half lead. But De Bruyne missed City’s best opportunity to win the match later in the second half, and the trophy holders eventually fell on penalties to the record 14-time European champs.

Tied on aggregate and with the decisive second match of the series in Manchester, the Sky Blues had to like their chances of advancing — even against the most decorated club in competition history. But Pep Guardiola’s side sure wasn’t planning to go down a goal after just 11 minutes. Rodrygo’s strike, his second on the same sequence after the Brazilian winger’s initial effort had been stopped by national team colleague Ederson, changed everything.

Real Madrid is looking to add a 15th crown, which would be more than twice as many as the next most successful club. Bayern and its embattled coach Thomas Tuchel view the Champions League as a chance at redemption after seeing Bundesliga rival Bayer Leverkusen snap their 11-year stranglehold on the German top flight with a month of the domestic campaign left. PSG will have to get past Dortmund first, and fans at Wembley will get to cheer on one of England’s best two players whatever the title matchup turns out to be.

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