Champions League

Champions League Review: Leicester Join Europe’s Elite In Final Eight

LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 14: Leicester City's goal scorer and captain defender Wes Morgan (R) celebrates with team mate Leicester City's defender Christian Fuchs after the final whistle and their 2-0 win over Sevilla in their Champions League Round of 16, Game 2 match between Leicester City FC and Sevilla at the King Power stadium in Leicester, United Kingdom on March 14 2017. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Champions League Review: Leicester Join Europe’s Elite In Final Eight

Another week of fascinating Champions League went by and the competition’s quarter-finals will feature clubs from five different nations.

Leicester City and Juventus qualified on Tuesday night before Monaco and Atletico Madrid secured their places in the final eight on Wednesday.

The Foxes are still a long way from a Champions League final in Cardiff, and likely have much greater opponents in the way than a disappointingly tepid Sevilla, but they have already gone a lot further than anyone expected in reaching the quarter-finals.

 

There was definitely something special about this 2-0 win over Sevilla, fired by goals from Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton, if also something fortuitous.

 

The Foxes got the breaks in the way Jamie Vardy cynically used Samir Nasri‘s foolish dip of the head to get the playmaker sent off, and how Steven N’Zonzi took such a poor penalty on 80 minutes – the second spot-kick Sevilla had missed over 180 minutes. It was another crucial save, however, that Kasper Schmeichel had made to put his club in dreamland once again.

Juventus coasted into the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they saw off 10-man Porto 1-0 in Turin.

 

Massimiliano Allegri’s men were already 2-0 ahead in the tie having come through the first leg in Portugal unscathed, and the Serie A leaders never looked in danger of letting that advantage slip at Juventus Stadium.

Any hope of a comeback from the visitors ended just before half-time when defender Maxi Pereira was sent off for handball on the line and Paulo Dybala slotted in the resulting penalty.

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Tiemoue Bakayoko‘s superb header fired Monaco into the Champions League quarter-finals as Wednesday’s 3-1 victory condemned Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to a painful exit on away goals.

 

Trailing 5-3 from the first leg in England, teenage starlet Kylian Mbappe put Monaco ahead on the night after just eight minutes at the Stade Louis II and Brazilian midfielder Fabinho converted the home side’s second just before the half hour.

Leroy Sane’s 71st-minute goal handed City a 6-5 advantage on aggregate, but Bakayoko turned home Thomas Lemar‘s free-kick 13 minutes from time as Monaco claimed a famous win.

Atletico Madrid sealed their place in the last eight of the Champions League courtesy of a professional second-leg display against Bayer Leverkusen.

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Leading 4-2 from the first leg, the Spanish side were largely unflustered as they held the German side at bay.

However, home keeper Jan Oblak did make two superb saves in quick succession to deny Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland.

 

At the other end Bayer keeper Bernd Leno produced two excellent stops of his own to tip away Angel Correa and Koke shots.

Last season’s runners-up Atletico are the third Spanish side through to Friday’s quarter-final draw, along with Barcelona and holders Real Madrid.

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Champions League
@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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