After a gruelling first knockout phase we have our UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists for this season. These teams are from top European leagues who have fought hard in the round of 16 stage to book a place in the final eight of the competition. Let’s look at each of these clubs individually.
Holders Chelsea were able to put their off-field troubles aside and eased past the French champions Lille to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The scoreline flatters Chelsea a little as Lille did create some issues for the world champions but Thomas Tuchel’s men have the know-how of winning key knockout games in the competition.
Retaining the Champions League is Chelsea’s main objective of the season and surely would prove to be tricky customers in the quarter-finals for any side.
BAYERN MUNICH (Germany)
German champions Bayern Munich decimated the Austrian champions RB Salzburg in the second leg at home to clinch the tie 8-2 on aggregate. The draw in the first leg was concerning for Munich but they put the talks of an upset to rest pretty early in the second leg.
They have one of the best strikers in the world in Robert Lewandowski who is fresh of a hat-trick in the Champions League. They are the only remaining German side in the competition and would be hoping to go all the way this time around.
REAL MADRID (Spain)
Talking about world-class strikers who are in red hot form, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema ensured that the Spanish club lived to stay for another night in the Champions League as his hat-trick against pre-tournament favourites PSG in the second leg was enough for Madrid to progress to the next round.
Real were trailing for the large majority of the tie against the French side but within seventeen minutes of breath-taking football, Karim Benzema changed the complexion of the tie. Madrid may have an ageing side but the experience in the XI shouldn’t be taken for granted as this side is never beaten.
Despite losing at Anfield in the second leg against Inter Milan, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline. They had a tricky tie against Inter who did cause the Reds some major issues but the quality about this side is that even without playing their best football they can churn out results very consistently.
They would be one of the toughest teams to face in the quarter-finals and we could be in for yet another special European night at Anfield soon.
Villarreal making it to the quarter-finals after beating Juventus was the shock of the competition so far. Unai Emery is a master of winning tight European ties but even he wouldn’t have expected his side to win 1-4 on aggregate against Juventus.
They would be tricky customers for any club in the next stage and you should take the Yellow Submarines lightly on your peril.
MANCHESTER CITY (England)
English champions, Manchester City had finished the round of 16 tie against Sporting in the first leg itself and the second leg was just a mere formality. Pep Guardiola’s side are the favourites to win the competition this time around and it is a trophy that this club has been desperate for for some years now.
Benfica had a tough task of facing the in-form Ajax side in the round of 16 but the Portuguese side passed that test with flying colours. They are the underdogs going into the next stage but have experienced players in the ranks who have done it at the biggest stage previously in their careers.
ATLETICO MADRID (Spain)
It required a typical Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid performance in the round of 16 second leg at Old Trafford for the Spanish team to book a spot in the final eight of the competition. They frustrated the Manchester United players and took their chance when it came their way. There wasn’t much between the two sides but Atletico had a manager who knows what it takes to win key knockout matches.
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