The round of 16 showcased a few good games with some unexpected results. Premier League which is considered the "Best League in the world" has no representatives left in the competition. None of the English teams managed to survive the round of 16. Starting off with Manchster City, despite of being the best team in the English League they could not survive their clash against the European giant, Barcalona. But the most shocking English defeat of them all was that of Chelsea. PSG seemed too determined to make it to the quarters and they did end up beating Chelsea by the help of an extra away goal. Arsenal conceded 3 goals at Home and even their valiant effort at Stade Louis II could not help them write it off and they lost to Monaco because of away goals.
The Spanish teams seem to be dominating the Champions League with 3 teams making it to the bottom 8. But unfortunately two of the three teams play each other and only two will survive. For the first time in the history of the Champions League two French teams have made it to the Champions League Quarters. The remaining positions are taken by the Italian, German and Portuguese teams. The top 3 teams in this Championship are undoubtedly Real Madrid, Barcalona & Bayern Munich and are most certainly the favorites for entering the Semi Finals.
The defending champions Real Madrid face their rivals Atletico Madrid in the Quarter Finals which will definitely be a contest worth watching. The Madrid derby may go either side with Real Madrid not being at the top of their game at the moment. Some are blaming Christiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale's tiff to be responsible for the dip in the teams performance. Their chemistry holds the key for Madrid's future success in the league.
Well, based on Atletico's current form the odds seem to be against them. But, their 4-0 loss to Madrid in the Champions League final cannot be forgotten; the wounds from that battle might just give them that extra strength and courage which would be needed to eliminate Madrid from the league contention.PSG vs Barcelona has always been a mouth watering prospect in the Champions League. They have already played each other this year in the group stages where PSG won 3-2 at home but lost 3-1 at Camp Nou. Barcalona seem to be the favorites with their star performer Lionel Messi at the top of his game. Last week they beat Real Madrid and have a 4 point lead in with the Title Runner-ups in the La Liga. PSG will be facing Barcelona without Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the first leg after he was sent off in the match against Chelsea. Having said that, PSG have been performing consistently and have played some good football this season which has culminated in them being at the top of the French League.
FC Porto vs Bayern Munich might be a David & Goliath moment. Bayern Munich have been playing some beautiful football and are performing extremely well in the Bundesliga. Their performance has been excellent even without their top players who will definitely have recovered from their injury by mid April. Porto has also been playing some decent football and have managed to survive the round of 16, but most of their fixtures have been easy. It will be interesting to see Porto when they lock horns with the top 8 later this season. There exists an opening for Porto to make a couple of strong runs in their attack since Bayern's defence has been a bit weak this season ratified by the match against Wolfsburg.
Both Monaco and Juventus have not made it this far deep into the Champions League since years. Monaco have worked hard in securing their position by beating Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium and then managing to survive against them at Home. But, in order to beat Juvetus they need to bring their best to the fore. Strong defence will be the key to their success, especially, since Carlos Tevez will be running in hard from the other end. Juventus have not seen gold for close to 19 years now which should serve as a strong motivation for them to punch above their weight and put on a good show come game time. It will be interesting to see both teams throw themselves out in the park to swing things their way.
Here are the Champions League Quarter-Final draw with their schedule:
Tuesday, April 14th 2015
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid (Leg One) 2:45PM EST
Juventus vs. Monaco (Leg One) 2:45PM EST
Wednesday, April 15th 2015
PSG vs. Barcelona (Leg One) 2:45PM EST
FC Porto vs. Bayern Munich (Leg One) 2:45 PM EST
Tuesday, April 21st 2015
Barcelona vs. PSG (Leg Two) 2:45PM EST
Bayern Munich vs. FC Porto (Leg Two) 2:45PM EST
Wednesday, April 22nd 2015
Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid (Leg Two) 2:45PM EST
AS Monaco vs. Juventus (Leg Two) 2:45PM EST