Champions League: which teams have qualified for the quarter finals?
UEFA's showpiece final in Paris is where every team in the round of 16 dreams of being at the end of May, but who has already made it to the last eight?
Becoming European champions is one of the dreams for any professional footballer. Many greats of the Beautiful Game have finished their career without this accolade, even some teams deemed to be the best in a given season fail to make it past the opposition en route to Ol’ Big Ears. But every year the objective remains the same.
The venue of the 2022 Champions League final had to be changed at late notice, and now the focus is on the French capital of Paris, where the successor to Chelsea (if indeed they don’t retain it) will be crowned.
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Which teams have qualified for UCL quarter finals?
Having made it through the group phase the following ties were drawn (at the second time of asking) for the round of 16:
Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
Sporting CP vs Manchester City
Benfica vs Ajax
Chelsea vs Lille
Atlético Madrid vs Manchester United
Villarreal vs Juventus
Inter Milan vs Liverpool
From those ties, the following have made it through:
Bayern Munich find their own wings against Salzburg
The German powerhouse was seen, once again, as one of the favourites for this year’s continental title, but a 1-1 first leg scoreline against RB Salzburg, along with some surprising results of late in the Bundesliga, suggested it may not be such a stroll to the quarter finals. It didn’t take long into the home leg for them to put that right.
An 11-minute hat-trick from star man Robert Lewandowski (OK, so it was two penalties and a tap-in but they all count!) had the Bavarians 3-0 up inside 23 minutes. The rout that followed so them through to the next round in ominous fashion, winning the game 7-1, and 8-2 on aggregate. Other teams will be hoping to avoid them in Friday’s draw.
Liverpool do enough against Inter
Jürgen Klopp’s side are another in the conversation to take the crown this year, as they continue their quest for multiple trophies, the domestic league cup already in the bag. A 2-0 away win in Milan - even if the rules on those goals have changed - set them up for what may saw as a comfortable Anfield night, especially given that they hadn’t lost at home for around a year. Inter had other ideas.
From the first minute the Italians were on top and it stayed that way for most of the 90. But despite their efforts, and a fabulous goal from Lautaro Martínez, the chances created were few and far between and it was The Reds who should have scored more, which would have ended a nervy night for their fans earlier. They survived though, and will expect to play better against their next rival as they go in search of a seventh title.
Real Madrid flip PSG in 17 minutes
An incredible second half at the Santiago Bernabéu saw Karim Benzema score a 17-minute hat-trick to turn around PSG's two-goal aggregate advantage. Kylian Mbappé - the Madrid Galáctico in waiting had looked very dangerous in the first half and had the ball in the net twice, both ruled out for offside, both opening the scoring before the break.
But Ancelotti's men fought back well and, with the help of some poor defending from their French opponents, took their place in the quarter final draw.
Manchester City do enough
Coming into the game in Manchester's Etihad stadium, the hard work had already been done in Portugal. A 5-0 lead was never going to be overturned against Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions and the only disappointment for the home crowd was that they had no goals to celebrate, well, none that stood anyway.
They'll happily get over that though, as they look forward to seeing who they will face in the next round. This is the Citizen's holy grail.
Champions League quarter-final teams
Benfica OR Ajax
Chelsea OR Lille
Atlético Madrid OR Manchester United
Villarreal OR Juventus