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The Corner: Champions League round-up

the corner

The Corner: Champions League round-up


Welcome to this special Champions League edition of The Corner.

We begin this program with Atletico Madrid, who deservedly qualified for the last eight of the competition for the first time in 17 years.

The on-form Spaniards beat AC Milan 4-1 in the second leg at the Vicente Calderon stadium for a 5-1 aggregate victory.

It was yet another blow for the Italians this season who are not in contention for the Serie A title and were also eliminated from the Italian Cup.

They exit the Champions League at the last 16 stage for the 5th time in six seasons.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said: “We are expecting a very tough quarter-final, dangerous and very difficult. So what we need to do right now is rest, continue preparing ourselves, and remain confident that we are doing things well. This is the fruit of everyone’s hard work, from the directors to the groundsmen, on top of the players and an extraordinary stadium”

Simeone’s Milan counterpart Clarence Seedorf was rather philosophical about the defeat and said: “The atmosphere here is well-known, at least I know it very well. We know they have lively fans, but it is a football match. A Champions League match. Big players who play in big games enjoy playing in these types of atmospheres. I think it was a great night to play football, where the best team won.”

Defending champions Bayern Munich eliminated Arsenal for the second year in a row at this stage of the competition.

The Bavarians were less than impressive in their one all draw on the night at the Allianz Arena but Pep Guardiola’s men advanced 3-1 on aggregate as they look to become the first club to retain the Champions League title.

The Gunners meanwhile exit at the last 16 stage for the fourth consecutive season.

Manchester City’s hope of European glory will have to wait another season after losing to Barcelona.

In front of a 90 000 capacity crowd at the Camp Nou the Citizens lost 2-1 against the Catalans who were far from their best, but comfortably saw off a below-par City 4-1 on aggregate.

It’s the seventh consecutive year Barca have reached the quarter-finals and for Gerardo Martino and his men a treble-winning season is still very much alive.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas admitted his team have not been firing on all cylinders this term but was encouraged by Wednesday night’s performance, he said: “It’s a football match. That is what we like, to play football and we always try to do our best. We haven’t been doing so well lately, but today we played better. Now we need to go on and focus on Sunday (against Osasuna in the league).”

There were no surprises at the Parc de Princes in the French capital as Paris Saint Germain easily saw off the German’s of Bayer Leverkusen.

The big-spending French side won the second leg 2-1 to sail into the last eight as 6-1 aggregate winners.

For the second year running PSG advance to the quarter finals – a stage in the competition Leverkusen haven’t reached since finishing runners-up in 2002.

Eight teams remaining and four quarter-final spots up for grabs next week.

Winning the first leg 6-1 against Schalke, Real Madrid look set to take one of those places. Borussia Dortmund, 4-2 winners at Zenit St Petersburg, are also in a solid position.

Manchester United will need to improve against Olympiakos to progress while it’s all to play for for Chelsea and Galatasaray.

That’s it for this edition of “The Corner”. Join us again on Monday for a round up of European football.

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