Man City and Arsenal SLUMP to Champions League elimination

Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal both tumbled out of the Champions League on Wednesday night, with no Premier League teams now left in the draw. 

City were beaten by Real Madrid on penalties after only managing a 1-1 draw after extra time at the Etihad following a 3-3 draw last week in Santiago Bernabeu. 

Antonio Rudiger scored the winning spot-kick, with Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic missing from 12 yards for the hosts. 

Silva, in particular, was guilty of a shocking penalty, clipping the ball down the middle with Andriy Lunin simply standing his ground and easily plucking a tame effort out of the air. 

The City fans came in for criticism after the Portuguese’s attempt, holding onto the ball in the home end for up to 40 seconds, delaying Bernardo’s penalty routine and, perhaps, leading to doubt creeping in. 

Arsenal drew 2-2 last week at the Emirates and headed to Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena with a genuine shout of making it into the last four for the first time since 2009. 

Bayern have been in poor form this season and, like Liverpool, will be changing managers at the end of the campaign

But Thomas Tuchel looks determined to bow out on a high in Europe with Joshua Kimmich - reportedly a Liverpool transfer target - netting the only goal in Bavaria and sending FC Hollywood into the semi-finals. 

Instead of Manchester City v Arsenal, we’ve got Real Madrid v Bayern Munich with Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain squaring off on the other side of the draw. 

Can Liverpool capitalise on rivals' disappointment?

And Liverpool will be watching with interest as to whether these matches will crush any momentum for their rivals for the Premier League title in the coming days. 

There is no let up and City’s exertions will have taken plenty out of them ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley. 

Despite being accomplished penalty takers, both Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were WITHDRAWN by Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night, suggesting the superstar pair had little in the tank by the end of the game. 

"They asked me to go out," Guardiola said after. "They could not continue."

Pep Guardiola Mikel Arteta

Manchester City v Arsenal Premier League 26/04/2023. Manchester City Pep Guardiola greets Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England on 26 April 2023. Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com , Copyright: xIanxStephenx PSI-17328-0147

With huge games in the FA Cup and the title race on the horizon, Haaland, De Bruyne and, indeed, all their City colleagues will have to dust themselves off for the run in. 

Guardiola’s hopes for consecutive trebles are at an end and Liverpool fans will be hoping that their side can take advantage of this significant setback. 

The title race has been so close in recent months, and the margins so thin, that it could go all the way down to the wire, especially if City fail to rouse themselves from their disappointment. 

Meanwhile, the Gunners are fading at precisely the wrong time. 

Arsenal season fizzling out

Last Sunday’s home reverse to Aston Villa was bad enough but defeat in the Champions League compounds a miserable week for Mikel Arteta. 

Arsenal had been strong opponents for Liverpool and City in the title race - beating both this season - but are now in danger of seeing their season fizzle out. 

"What I need to do is stand right next to them and give them support and our love and we have to pick it up because on Saturday we have a big, big game," Arteta said after the game

"We are still playing for the Premier League. The Premier League is there and we really want it. We have to show now that we are capable of turning this around."

The Gunners play Wolves on Saturday while City’s next Premier League fixture comes against Brighton on April 25. 

Liverpool, meanwhile, are back in action in the league against Fulham on Sunday

City lead the race for the title on 73 points with six games to go with Arsenal and Liverpool two points further back. Arsenal, however, hold an eight-goal lead over the Reds.

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