After almost a five-month delay the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 stages is now complete, following the second-legs of the remaining classes.
With the fixtures now complete from March the quart-final stage can now commence, in Portugal and all ties as one-off clashes, not the two legs usually seen in the Champions League latter stages.
UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Overview
On Friday night Manchester City got through their tie with La Liga champions Real Madrid after a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium. With a 2-1 advantage from the first-leg in the Spanish capital, Pep Guardiola’s side were favourites to come through the tie. Two errors from central defender Raphael Varane made sure of City’s progression.
City will now face French side Lyon next Saturday in their quarter-final. Lyon who were shock quarter-finalists, following their elimination of Serie A champions Juventus. Despite losing 2-1 on the night in Italy, the French Ligue 1 club progressed after a 1-0 win in the home leg and their away goal on Friday night. Subsequently Juve boss Maurizio Sarri has been dismissed and replaced by club legend Andrea Pirlo.
On Saturday Barcelona came through their nervy tie with Napoli, an aggregate 4-2 victory over their Italian visitors with Lionel Messi on fine form. The clash was evenly poised from the first-leg at 1-1, however, the Catalan side showed their recently lesser-seen dominance as they booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Messi’s Barca will face many people’s favourites for the Champions League in German giants Bayern Munich. The Bavarian club swept aside Chelsea once again in the Allianz Arena. With a 3-0 lead from the away leg in March, there was little doubt Bayern would prevail, although their 4-1 home victory truly showed their credentials. With Robert Lewandowski and co. in fine form, the Bundesliga champions might just be the team to fear as the ‘mini’ tournament gets underway in Lisbon this week.
The quarter-finals in Lisbon
The quarter-finals will take place on four consecutive nights starting this Wednesday night with Italian entertainers Atalanta taking on French money men PSG. This match is followed by the conquerors of last seasons Champions League, Atletico Madrid, who take on German underdogs, Leipzig will be without Timo Werner who has opted not to play after joining Chelsea.
Friday night sees perhaps the lash of the round between Barcelona and Bayern Munich before the quarter-finals culminate in the only English hopefuls Man City facing lesser-fancied Lyon.