So the Round of 16 has come to an end, with no real surprises apart from scares at Bayern’s Allianz Arena at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderón Stadium, it was the favourites in each tie that proceeded to the quarter-finals.
Bayern Munich left it till the 90th minute to score the equaliser that made it 2-2 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate to take the game into extra time. Buoyed by the lifeline Bayern overcame a stubborn Juve side that had defended well despite Bayern have almost total possession.
The one thing that may aggravate Juve is that the player who inflicted the killer blow was one of their own. Kingsley Coman is a talented teenager on long-term loan from the Italians to Bayern, scored the final goal ending their dream of a second successive final.
Phillip Cocu Dutch champions PSV came close to causing an upset but were left licking their wounds after losing on penalties. The two sides could not be separated over 210 minutes, in what was the first-ever Champions League knockout tie to end 0-0 in both legs. Even in penalties the teams were matched, the first 14 were scored.
PSV’s Luciano Narsingh, on as a late sub then hit the bar with his well struck penalty, leaving it for Juanfran scored the winning penalty and send the 2014 runners-up through to the last eight for the third year on the trot.
Elsewhere ties were less competitive, with Barca too much for Arsene Wegner’s Gunners and PSG’s attacking finesse too strong Hiddink’s Chelsea, means that only Manchester City carry the flag for the Premier league into the quarter-finals.
Real Madrid eased past Italian’s Roma 4-0 on aggregate, Benfica left it late to beat Zenit in Russia. Wolfsburg maybe had the easiest game of the round, seeing off Belgian side Gent with a 4-2 aggregate win. It could be said this was the weakest team in the competition but the Belgian champions beat Valencia, Lyon and Zenit St Petersburg to qualify from the group stage and were an unknown quantity.
So the big question for City is who would they fancy next? For most it is obvious to miss the big boys of Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern and PSG, of course that goes without saying. But that only leaves 3 teams, Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg and Benfica.
Wolfsburg may have fallen to seventh in the German league, but they showed against United the can produce on a European cup night. Atletico under Simeone are very, very difficult to break down. They are currently second in la Liga and beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu 1-0 in a league match.
For me it has to be Benfica, they may have won the Portuguese league for the last two seasons and have a great European pedigree and history in this competition but they ply their trade in the weakest league considering the other sides. They do not seem to have the strength in depth to compete with City, but City are a different beast without Kompany. Fingers crossed for the draw on Friday at 11am, we want an English side in the semi-finals and the best way to ensure that is an easy draw.