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
Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid
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.
Lodi header sends Atletico through
Atletico Madrid knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League and moved into the quarter-finals after a 41st minute header from Brazilian Renan Lodi gave them a 1-0 (2-1 aggregate) win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
After a trademark Atletico counter-attack, a clever flick from Joao Felix found Antoine Griezmann whose cross was nodded in at the back post by Lodi.
The goal had come against the run of play with United creating the better chances, although Felix had seen an earlier effort disallowed for offside for the visitors.
United poured forward after the break in search of an equaliser but there was little design or craft to their attacks and the disciplined Spanish defence held firm for the victory that sends them into the last eight.
Benfica advance with shock away triumph over Ajax
Striker Darwin Nunez headed home a 77th-minute winner as Benfica grabbed a shock 1-0 victory away at Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday to secure a surprise Champions League quarter-final place.
The Uruguayan striker rose above the Ajax defence to score from a free kick in a rare attack for the Portuguese club, who put up a stout defensive performance at the Johan Cruyff Arena to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
Benfica's veteran centre back pair of Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi were a defensive wall that Ajax were unable to break down, despite dominating possession and constantly attacking the visitors' goal.
The Dutch club had won all their group games and, after a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the last-16 tie in Lisbon last month, were expected to ease through to the last eight with home advantage in the second leg.
Villarreal triumph in Turin
Unai Emery's Villarreal scored an historic win against two-time winners Juventus, beating the Italian giants 0-3 in Turin in the return leg. With the tie locked at 1-1 from the first leg, Villarreal were content to sit back and sack up the early pressure from Juve and wait for frustration to start creeping in. Gerard Moreno kept his nerve to break the deadlock by converting a penalty with just over 20 minutes left to play. Pau Torres added a second just seven minutes later to leave the Italians with a mountain to climb to get back into contention. It was all over when Villarreal were awarded a second spot-kick in stoppage-time - Nigerian Arnaut Danjuma put the seal on a night that will be remembered for many years to come in Vila-real as the Yellow Submarine qualify for the Champions League quarter finals for the third time in their history.
Chelsea bounce back
Chelsea gave themselves a much-needed tonic by booking their place in the next round, defeating French champions Lille over two legs. Tomas Tüchel's team went into the second leg firmly in the driving seat with a two-goal advantage from the first leg at Stamford Bridge. Burak Yilmaz gave Lille a glimmer of hope by converting a penalty just before half-time in the return leg. But any chances of a comeback were shattered after the interval when Christian Pulisic and César Azpilicueta put the tie to bed. Chelsea are one of three English clubs who remain in the competition, and now could be pitted against one of their Premier League rivals, Liverpool or Manchester City in the next round.
Champions League quarter-final teams
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