UCL Round Up: Here are your quarter-finalists

The quarter finalists of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season are here! Over the past couple days, eight teams battled it out in the concluding leg of the competition’s Round of 16 match ups. The results in England, Spain and Germany were pretty straightforward but the shock of the round came in Italy where Olympique Lyon knocked out nine-time Italian Serie A champions, Juventus to progress to the next round.

Juventus had gone into the tie as favourites but a first leg set back (1-0) in France meant that they went into the second leg in Turin needing to better Lyon’s first leg result. Things did not go according to plan for Maurizio Sarri’s men as they went behind to a Memphis Depay penalty under fifteen minutes. Lyon’s goal meant that Juventus then needed to score three without conceding another in the less than eighty minutes that followed. Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back from the penalty spot just before halftime and added another with half an hour to go. Juventus pressed for the third goal to secure qualification but Rudi Garcia’s men held firm to secure a 2-2 aggregate result, one which meant that Juventus were knocked out on away goals and ultimately cost Maurizio Sarri his job..

At the Ettihad Stadium, Real Madrid without their influential captain, Sergio Ramos needed to win by two goals to overturn a 2-1 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu just before the lockdown. Two amateur errors from Raphael Varane in both halves of the match proved to be Real Madrid’s undoing with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus being the beneficiaries. Karim Benzema’s effort in-between both City goals proved to be useless as Pep Guardiola’s boys secured a 4-2 aggregate win over the 13-time champions.

ARTICLE: You can read our thoughts on Man City’s chances to become UCL elites here

Gennaro Gattuso and his Napoli team travelled to Spain knowing that their qualifications depended on getting any result better than the 1-1 outcome of the first leg. Barcelona had looked shaky since football resumed from the temporary break and Napoli must have fancied their chances at the Nou Camp. An early Clement Lenglet goal was all it too to unsettle the club from Naples as Barcelona stormed to a three-goal lead in the first half and also had a goal ruled out by VAR for handball before Lorenzo Insigne pulled one back for Napoli from the penalty spot just before the teams went for the halftime break. The Italian club pushed for a second, and hopefully a third goal in the second half but a satisfied Barca stood their ground to secure the win.

Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals after the first leg result were almost non-existent. The 3-0 first leg loss would have been bad if the game was played at the Allianz Arena but the fact that Frank Lampard’s men lost heavily at home gave little to be hopeful about. But as it is often said, “hope dies last”, Chelsea went into the game hoping to catch an evidently superior Bayern Munich side on their bad day and try to capitalize but it was not to be. Bayern Munich raced to a two-goal lead within thirty minutes through goals from Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic before Tammy Abraham pulled one back before halftime to reduce the deficit. Bayern were not done, two goals from Corentin Tolisso and Robert Lewandowski in the final fifteen minutes of the game rounded off a fantastic 7-1 aggregate win for the Bavarians.

So, there you have it! The quarter-finalists for the 2019-20 Champions league season are: Atalanta (Italy), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Bayern Munich (Germany), RB Leipzig (Germany), Manchester City (England), Olympique Lyonnais (France), and PSG (France). Atalanta has been matched up against PSG while RB Leipzig will try Atletico Madrid on for size, Manchester City will take on Olympique Lyon while the biggest game of the round will be between Barcelona and Manchester City. The games will take place from 12-15 August in single leg ties as UEFA tries to wrap up what has been an unusual season.

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