PSG, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich qualified first. They were joined by Chelsea, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. The Last 8 line-up is a mouth-watering one. Who are the favourites to reach the semis?
Les Parisiens gave Bayer Leverkusen no chance in the Round of 16, thus underlining their ambition to seat at the table of giants on the European scene. One of PSG’s targets is to clinch the giant UEFA Champions League trophy. With on-fire Zlatan Ibrahimovic, few may underestimate the chances of the French team to progress into the Last 4.
The Catalans had one of the toughest tests but experience and confidence saw them humble Manchester City. The English billionaires went into the tie with a robust goalscoring record on the domestic front. However, they failed to embarrass goalkeeper Victor Valdes on their own turf before flopping at the Camp Nou.
Bayern Munich, like Barcelona, picked a 2-0 first leg advantage but Arsenal looked more dangerous than Manchester City. The Gunners bowed out but their draw at the Allianz Arena proved that the German giants can be handled.
The big surprise in the first batch of teams that reached the quarter-finals happened between Atletico Madrid and AC Milan. The 2010 and 2012 UEFA Europa League champions took full advantage of the Rossoneri’s current situation. New manager Clarence Seedorf, Mario Balotelli and company were left toothless. Kaka tried to save the situation but Diego Costa and his team mates were simply too good.
Between Real Madrid and Schalke 04, it was a case of Men vs Boys. The BBC trio toyed with the Germans. The only thing that stained the joy of Madridistas was Jese Rodriguez’s terrible injury which takes him out of action until September. The 2013/14 season is over for the promising youngster. His World Cup 2014 dream with Spain is also gone.
Another interesting angle in the Last 16 was the clash between two of Africa’s most gifted footballers, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba. The latter’s return to Stamford Bride was warmly welcomed by the home fans but at the end of the day, emotion was separated from the competitive spirit of the tie as Chelsea ousted Galatasaray with the help of Eto’o.
Borussia Dortmund also overcame Zenit St Petersburg; the game was overshadowed by Manchester United’s crucial matchup against Olympiakos on the same night. The Red Devils were 2-0 down from the first leg but a Robin van Persie hat-trick saw them stage a miracle at the Theatre of Dreams.
So watch out for an epic Champions League draw on Friday. How would you like the eight teams to be paired?
Stars that are expected to light up the 2013/14 UCL Last 8
Watch the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals Draw live:
In Canada at 7:00 ET:
Internationally at 11:00 GMT:
|International||Eurosport International, UEFA|
In UK at 11:00 GMT:
|United Kingdom||British EuroSport 1|
In USA at 7:00 ET:
|United States||Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Deportes|