Champions League quarter-finals: Arsenal v Bayern Munich; Real Madrid v Man City; PSG v Barcelona; Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal were the first name out the hat and drew Bayern Munich – and a reunion with a familiar face in ex-Tottenham forward Harry Kane. Treble winners Man City take on Real Madrid, which is a replay of last season’s semi-final wherein the Citizens hammered the Madridistas 5-1 on aggregate. Kylian Mbappe’s PSG will battle it out with Xavi’s Barcelona whilst fellow Spanish heavyweights take on Borussia Dortmund.


Arsenal reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, ending a run of seven consecutive last 16 eliminations in the competition. David Raya the hero as the Gunners beat Porto 4-2 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out! The London outfit will square off with a familiar foe in Harry Kane, who has been in imperious form this season. The FC Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane comes into the tie with Arsenal on the back of 27 UEFA Champions League goals – with Wayne Rooney (30) the only Englishman to score more in the competition. Furthermore, Kane has more combined goals and assists in this season’s competitions than any other player in the tournament (9 direct involvements – 6 goals, 3 assists). The Bavarians cruised through to the quarter-finals of the European competition after their leading marksman bagged a brace on home soil to overturn their first leg deficit.


At 20 years and 251 days, Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham became the third-youngest player ever to either score or assist a goal in six consecutive UEFA Champions League appearances. Indeed, only Kylian Mbappe (18y 337d) and Erling Haaland (20y 231d) have done so at a younger age. The most successful side in UEFA Champions League history breathed a massive sigh of relief, after their most recent tournament appearance at the Santiago Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti’s side survived their tricky last 16 tie to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, keeping their bid for a 15th European crown alive. Standing in their wake is a Manchester City outfit who, by their lofty standards, are not quite the same force this season. That being said, Pep Guardiola’s side are still good enough to be facing a historic and second consecutive treble. The Citizens have won 28 of their last 30 home games in the UEFA Champions League (drawing the other two), including each of their last 12 in a row. They are only the second side to go 30+ consecutive home matches without defeat in the competition, after Barcelona (38 from September 2013 to November 2020).


Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe registered his 68th and 69th goal involvement in his 69th UEFA Champions League game (46 goals, 23 assists). The talisman has been in red hot form and has registered 41 goal involvements across all competitions this season (34 goals, 7 assists), the joint-most of any player in Europe’s big five leagues. The Parisian bagged a hat trick against Barca as he put the French giants firmly in control of their most recent UEFA Champions League knockout tie, back in 2021. Xavi’s men booked their spot in the Champions League quarter-final after a 3-1 second-leg win over Napoli, which took them through 4-2 on aggregate. The Blaugrana have won all four of their home games in this season’s UEFA Champions League, the first time they’ve won four home matches of a campaign in the competition since 2017/18 (first five).


Interestingly, four of the last five penalty shootouts in the UEFA Champions League have involved Atletico de Madrid. Indeed, the Spanish side are the first team to win three separate shootouts in the competition’s history. Diego Simeone’s men will look to take full advantage of the first-leg home tie at the Civitas Metropolitano (where Atleti have been a different beast). Similarly, the return leg in Germany will be hotly contested as Borussia Dortmund are currently unbeaten in each of their last nine home games in the UEFA Champions League (winning five and drawing four), which is their joint longest such streak in the competition. The German outfit have lost just one of their last five UEFA Champions League knockout matches at the Westfalenstadion – winning three and drawing one, losing to Manchester City in April 2021.

Written by Desh Parthab