The Round of 16 had many ups-and-downs throughout. The top three teams advance with (almost) no issues. Bayern Munich dominated RB Salzburg in the second leg to take it 8-2 on aggregate. Manchester City’s first leg drubbing of Sporting CP was more then enough to advance.
Liverpool had a bit of a nail biter situation in their second leg match. They were going into the match with a two nil score on aggregate when Inter Milan scored the first goal in the 61st minute. They had a lot of time to find the second goal but a unadvised second yellow for Alexis Sánchez dashed Inter’s hopes.
Solid victories by both Chelsea and Atlético Madrid advanced them both the quarters. Upsets by Benfica and Villarreal allow their Cinderella stories to continue for another round.
The story of the round was Real Madrid putting the comeback of the Champions League on PSG. PSG looked poised to walk into the quarter-finals after Kylian Mbappé scored his goal in the first half, but a choke job of epic proportions by PSG and a stunning performance by Karim Benzema sealed a late victory of the match and on aggregate to advance Real Madrid to the next round.
The draw took place on Friday to determine not only quarter-finals and the bracket to the finals. As there are no seedings and country protection in this draw. All eight teams could be drawn against any of the other seven teams.
There was no controversy in this draw and the match ups go as followed:
- Chelsea vs. Real Madrid
- Manchester City vs. Atlético Madrid
- Villarreal vs. Bayern Munich
- Benfica vs. Liverpool
The marquee match up of the quarter-finals will be Chelsea and Real Madrid. Two heavy weights looking to book their tickets to the next round. Chelsea are the defending champions and moved past LOSC Lille with ease and Real Madrid are up against another “big” team for the second round in a row.
On the same side of the bracket, Manchester City will take on Atlético Madrid. Atléti will travel to the north-western city of Manchester in back-to-back rounds but will be looking at a more formidable opponent then the struggling United team. After an easy dismantling of Sporting CP in the previous round, City will take on a team that they hope they can handle as easily.
This bracket could create a two enticing match ups in the semi-finals. It could be a rematch of last year’s final between Chelsea and Manchester United or it could be an El Derbi Madrileño (or Madrid Derby).
On the other side of the bracket, it seems like both high profile teams were lucky to get a tilted draw. Both Bayern Munich and Liverpool drew Villarreal and Benfica respectively. It’ll be two David vs. Goliath match ups. If everything goes as planned, it will be a highly anticipated match up between two teams that are at the top of their domestic leagues and also top teams in Europe. But, we can also have Cinderella stories if either Villarreal and Benfica were to advance to the semi-finals.
Chelsea vs. Real Madrid
- April 6 @ Stamford Bridge (UK)
- April 12 @ Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Spain)
Manchester City vs. Atlético Madrid
- April 5 @ Etihad Stadium (UK)
- April 13 @ Estadio Metropolitano (Spain)
Villarreal vs. Bayern Munich
- April 6 @ Estadio de la Cerámica (Spain)
- April 12 @ Allianz Arena (Germany)
Benfica vs. Liverpool
- April 5 @ Estádio da Luz (Portugal)
- April 13 @ Anfield (UK)