European football at its best, this year’s Quarter-finals of the Champions League were classic encounters and will stay fresh in the memories of all football fans for a long time. The excitement which knockout football brings is unparalleled. Any team can defy the odds and go through to the next round in this format as we’ve seen in this year’s Quarter-finals.
Here we’ll take a look at all that transpired in the 2020 Quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Match 1: ATALANTA 1-2 PSG
This is why European football is so exciting to watch. This match was an example of classic nights in the UEFA Champions League. Underdogs Atalanta started the game strong, outplayed PSG in the opening half and found the back of the net in the 27th minute. But there were many tired legs in that Atalanta team in the second half. Their remarkable season in the Serie A had recently concluded and PSG, on the other hand, came into this match after a long break under their belt. Thomas Tuchel’s PSG had been outworked and out-thought, but they put their missed chances behind them and showed remarkable character to score two late goals and clinch that semi-final spot for the first time in 25 years. Nevertheless, Atalanta’s debut season will be remembered as one of the most entertaining ones in the history of the competition.
Match 2: RB LEIPZIG 2-1 ATLETICO MADRID
RB Leipzig made their intent public right from the kick-off. They were aggressive, controlled the tempo of the game and had the majority of the possession in this game. Atletico were backing themself to score on the counter-attack and heavily targeted the right side of the Leipzig defence. Goalless at half time, Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig took the lead soon after the break. Joao Felix’s introduction from the bench gave some much-needed impetus to Atletico as he went on to force a penalty from the Leipzig defence. Level at the 71st minute, people backed Atleti to get the job done given the experience the team has in this stage of the competition, but Tyler Adams’ first goal for the club in the biggest game of their history made sure that Leipzig became the 32nd team to reach the semi-final of the Champions League.
Match 3: FC BARCELONA 2-8 BAYERN MUNICH
Yes, you read the scoreline correctly and we didn’t do a typo here. This is what the scoreline reflected at the final whistle of the third game at Lisbon. It is the highest-scoring knockout game in the UEFA Champions League era, though it fell just short of being the match with the most goals in the competition’s history. We’ve never seen anything like this in the tournament. The score seems like a two-legged affair, but unfortunately for Barcelona fans it wasn’t. It means the end of an era for Barcelona and surely the ageing team needs to energise the squad by the influx of new and younger players. Rumour has it that Quique Setien was sacked immediately after the game but no official statement has been released by the club. Questions about Lionel Messi’s future are apparent as well as the Argentine isn’t happy with the direction the club is heading to. The German champions have reached the semi-finals in grand style and if you weren’t backing them to win it, now you would.
Match 4: MANCHESTER CITY 1-3 OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS
Manchester City were the bookies’ favourites in England to win the Champions League but their end seems all too familiar now. Pep Guardiola was afraid of the fast-paced players in the Lyon team so adapted his system to a three at the back. City never felt comfortable in the first half and went behind at the 24th minute when Maxwel Cornet scored for Lyon. City failed to impose themselves on the game in their usual manner and looked toothless in the second half as well until Kevin De Bruyne scored an absolute beauty to get the Citizens level. Aguero’s absence was felt in this big match for City as Sterling missed a tap in and Lyon went on to score at the end on the counter. Moussa Dembele came off the bench for the French side and scored twice for this year’s surprise package in the Champions League. Guardiola’s City have never managed to win the Quarter-finals of the Champions League and it seems like they’ll have to wait for another year to overcome this hurdle.
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