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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Quarter-final second legs –

The blockbuster Champions League quarter-final ties have certainly delivered at the halfway mark, and we should get to enjoy another two nights of vintage continental action as the last eight reaches its conclusion.

First legs can often be cagey affairs with much of the drama arriving in the return fixtures, but the eight competing teams each laughed right in the face of that notion last week.

18 goals have already been scored and each of the ties hang in the balance. Two are all-square heading into the second leg, while Barcelona and Atletico Madrid each hold one-goal leads over their respective opponents.

Here’s how 90min envisages this week’s quarter-final second legs panning out.

Tuesday 16 April

Kylian Mbappe was tamed by Barcelona in Paris / Christian Liewig – Corbis/GettyImages

The familiarity between Luis Enrique and Xavi certainly failed to provide the projected caginess in round one, as PSG and Barcelona played out a barnstormer in the French capital. This was your archetypal Champions League encounter with fierce momentum swings facilitating distinct unpredictability.

Barca overcome a Parisien storm at the start of the second half to win 3-2 away from home, so they’ve got a slender lead to protect in Catalonia on Tuesday. It’s hard to envisage either side shutting the other out, and you’ve got to imagine that Kylian Mbappe still has a thing or two to say in this tie after being shut out last week.

Barcelona’s fellow Spaniards, Atleti, are protecting a 2-1 advantage in Germany as they visit Signal Iduna Park. Diego Simeone would’ve preferred a healthier buffer heading into the return leg, especially given the start his side made to the contest last Wednesday, but BVB once again proved that they’re made of stern stuff.

Having navigated through the ‘Group of Death’ and edged past PSV, Dortmund are aiming to progress into their first Champions League semi-final since 2013.

Kick-off Time (GMT) Fixture Prediction
20:00 Barcelona vs PSG 2-2
20:00 Borussia Dortmund vs Atletico Madrid 1-2

Wednesday 17 April

Harry Kane

Harry Kane enjoyed his outing at the Emirates last week / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

The two most enticing fixtures of an utterly intriguing set of quarter-final ties certainly didn’t disappoint last Tuesday.

Arsenal would’ve been confident of taking a lead into the second leg at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich, but they could only muster a draw against the seasoned but vulnerable German giants at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta’s side were handed a big blow in the title race on Sunday, and it’ll be a huge ask for them to secure the desired result in Munich on Wednesday.

Bayern officially relinquished their Bundesliga crown over the weekend as Bayer Leverkusen were crowned champions for the very first time.

Real Madrid and Manchester City played out yet another thriller in the Spanish capital, as a game of ludicrous finishing ended 3-3. City undoubtedly left the Bernabeu the happier of the two sides, but the Cityzens know all too well about Madrid’s capacity to produce the unthinkable in this competition.

The Champions League masters are still well in this tie, but they’ve been unsuccessful on their last three visits to the Etihad. Last season’s 4-0 beatdown in Manchester is still fresh in the memory.

Kick-off Time (GMT) Fixture Prediction
20:00 Man City vs Real Madrid 3-1
20:00 Bayern Munich vs Arsenal 2-1

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