Today was the draw for the quarterfinal round of the UEFA Champions League and it brought some very intriguing matchups. Last year’s champions Bayern Munich were drawn against the reeling English powers Manchester United. Fellow Germans and the team Bayern defeated in last years final Brossia Dortmund were drawn against the team they defeated in the semifinal round in 2013 Real Madrid. The draw brought an all-Spanish matchup with the current second and third teams in La Liga Barcelona and Atletico Madrid facing off. The lone French outfit left in the competition Paris Saint-Germain were drawn against current English Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain
The EPL leaders Chelsea come into the Champions League quarterfinals on very good form beating Galatasaray by a score of 3-1 on aggregate. Their strength this season has been their defense as they have allowed the least amount of goals of any team in the competition with only four goals allowed up to this point. Chelsea’s weakness has been their inability to get consistent goal scoring out of their striking tandem of Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o. Paris Saint-Germain come into the tie 11 points ahead in France and coming off a dominating performance in the round of 16 beating Bayern Leverkusen of an aggregate score of 6-1. With players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura PSG have the talent to compete with Chelsea but have not yet shown they belong among Europe’s elite since recruiting some of Europe’s top players.
Brossia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid
During last seasons competition these two teams met in the semifinals and it produced an incredible individual performance by striker Robert Lewandowski who poured in four goals in one match. While Lewandowski is still on the roster Dortmund have had considerably less success this season as compared to last, they are currently in second place in Germany but the title is out of reach at this point. Dortmund struggled to get through the last 16 winning their tie with Zenit by an aggregate score of 5-4. Real Madrid are currently playing like the best team in the world and are scoring goals at will. Cristiano Ronaldo has been scoring goals hand over fist and it showed in the last 16 matchup against Shalke as he poured in 4 goals over the two legs and Real won the tie 9-2 on aggregate.
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich
Bayern come into the quarterfinals as the favorites to win the Champions League s they won the competition last year and have shown no signs of slowing down in the current campaign. In the last 16 they defeated Arsenal by an aggregate score of 3-1 and looked like they could have scored a lot more in the second leg but kept it close. Bayern already had one of the best rosters in the world but this summers acquisition of manager Pep Guardiola, who has won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, made them into the overwhelming favorites. Manchester United come into the tie in an unfamiliar position, as they are only seventh in the EPL and had to have a virtuoso performance from striker Robin Van Persie in the last 16 to make it to this point. United went down 2-0 to Olympiacos in Greece but were able to win 3-0 on the return leg to go through to the quarters. The problem for United is they will be without Van Persie for the tie and are already overmatched by Bayern.
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid
Barcelona might have had the toughest matchup in the last 16 when they faced Manchester City and beat them 4-1 on aggregate. A lot of people have been counting out Barcelona this year and they showed that was premature thinking with their drubbing of City. These two are very familiar with each other as they are also fighting with each other and Real Madrid for the La Liga title. Atletico saw off Milan in the last 16 by an aggregate score of 5-1 with some fantastic play from striker Diego Costa. In most years Atletico would be counted out in this tie but they have shown their ability to hang with Barcelona this season as they have tied all three previous matchups this season.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius