All Group Winners Progress
For the first time in Champions League history, the eight top seeds, and group stage winners, all sealed their places in the quarter-finals, which may not come as a huge surprise given the calibre of each progressed team, however the unpredictable nature of the competition usually results in an unexpected presence in the last-eight, but not this time. There are still the well-fancied favourites, the rank outsiders and those teams bursting to make a breakthrough, meaning we can now eagerly look forward to what promises to be a mouth-watering draw in Nyon on Friday.
Bayern remain favourites to retain title
Bayern remain the favourites to become the first side in Champions League history to retain the trophy. The all-conquering Bavarian outfit have reached the Final in three of the last four seasons, and will certainly fancy their chances of being in the final two for the third successive season, as they bid to win their sixth European Cup. However, nothing is ever that straight forward, with the Bundesliga frontrunners facing stiff competition from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona who are both gunning to finish top of the pile once again.
Don’t rule out PSG and Atletico Madrid
Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid may be considered the three main contenders, however Atletico Madrid and PSG will no doubt have something to say about that. Both teams have enjoyed stunning domestic and European campaigns to date, which has subsequently won them numerous plaudits. Especially Atletico, who swatted away the challenge of AC Milan with surprising ease, while French powerhouse PSG romped through to the last-eight for the second year in a row after outclassing Bayer Leverkusen. Each side will fancy their chances of causing a huge stir as the competition starts to reach fever pitch.
Two in, two out
England have two representatives in the quarter-final draw following Chelsea and Man Utd’s respective successes. Last season not a single Premier League team managed to make it through to the last-eight for the first time in 17 years, however Chelsea and Man Utd have now restored a small dose of pride. Both teams may be the underdogs this time around, but in the past, as the Blues well now, English sides have conjured up some stunning moments of magic when their backs are against the wall. Meanwhile Man City and Arsenal, who were handed the most difficult of ties against Barcelona and Bayern, will now have to focus on winning the league, which is an achievement in itself.
Temporary Reprieval for Moyes as United Turn Around Two goal Defict
In a time of desperation Manchester United turned back time and produced a European display of old as they stormed back from their two-goal first-leg deficit to beat Olympiakos 3-0 in front of a rocking Old Trafford. No one will be more ecstatic, or more relieved, than the beleaguered boss David Moyes who is hoping to salvage something what has otherwise been an atrocious debut season in charge of the Red Devils. United are the 20/1 underdogs with Bet Victor to win their fourth European crown, which would arguably be their greatest achievement, given both the circumstances and the immense competition around them.
Can Jose Mourinho create history?
The Special One has two Champions League trophies under his belt (Porto 2004 & Inter Milan 2010), and despite what he says, the Portuguese coach is simply desperate to create history by taking a third team all the way in Europe. He failed to do so with Los Blancos, losing three consecutive semi-finals, but will be gunning to lead his beloved Chelsea to glory for the second time in three years. Similarly to United the odds are stacked against the Blues, as they were in 2012…and we all know what happened then…
Cristiano Ronaldo eyes goal scoring record
After bagging four goals in Real’s 9-2 demolition of Schalke Cristiano Ronaldo is now just one strike of 14 goals in a Champions League campaign, which is the joint-record held by Lionel Messi and Jose Altafin. The Portugal captain is in sensational form and he now needs to find the back of the net just two more times in order to surge to the summit of the standings. Ronaldo Portugal captain has at least two games to achieve this feat, while he has potentially five matches remaining (if Real reach the Final) to take his tally to new, unimaginable heights.