Champions League

How April's Champions League quarter-finals would have definitely played out

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Ronaldo, Messi, Aguero

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ByMichael Hincks
07/04/2020 at 13:07 | Updated 07/04/2020 at 14:48

It’s Tuesday, April 7, which means the Champions League quarter-finals should have been getting under way tonight…

We hardly need to explain why they aren’t, and while they could yet be played – behind closed doors or during one week in summer – here’s how the last eight probably, no, definitely, would have gone this month…


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First things first: Deciding the quarter-final line up

Atletico Madrid, Atalanta, Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain are officially in the hat for the quarters, having completed their last-16 ties, but the identity of the remaining four sides is still yet to be decided.

So for this, we’re just going to whizz through and assume Juventus turned around their 1-0 deficit to Lyon, ManchesterCity knocked out Real Madrid (having led 2-1 after their win at the Bernabeu), BayernMunich did not throw away their 3-0 lead over Chelsea, and Barcelona beat Napoli at home after a 1-1 first-leg draw.

Not happy with that? Tough, this our made-up reality (if that even makes sense).

The quarter-final draw

Simple: Names in a hat. No need for quality graphics, no need for ex-pros and a big conference room. Just pen and paper. And we promise, promise, this was the first outcome…

The names out the bag last eight...

Image credit: Eurosport

That means home ties first for Atletico, Leipzig, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Have your say how you predict these ties would go in the polls below, then read on to see how we think it would happen...

The first legs

April 7: Atletico 1-0 Man City


Image credit: Eurosport

Atletico have not lost a home tie in the Champions League knockout stages under Diego Simeone. They frustrated Liverpool at the Wanda when beating Jurgen Klopp’s side 1-0 in February, and we predict it would be a similarly difficult task for Manchester City to break down the red-and-white wall, who sneak a 1-0 win thanks to Saul.

Leipzig 4-2 Atalanta

RB Leipzig fans

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The two surprise packages of this year’s Champions League come together for a tie that is difficult to predict, but Leipzig’s impressive 4-0 aggregate win over Tottenham in the last 16 means we’re backing them to make home advantage count and take a lead to Italy for the second leg. We've gone for a high-scoring affair (why not) given Atalanta qualified thanks to a 4-3 win at Valencia, but they have some work to do against Leipzig to claw this one back...

April 8: Barcelona 1-1 PSG


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Ah, a repeat of La Remontada. Three years on from Barca’s miraculous comeback against PSG, the two sides meet again in the knockouts. With this first leg at the Nou Camp, we’re predicting a far cagier affair where they ultimately play out a score draw. Does Neymar score? Yeah, why not - cancelling out an opener from, I don't know, let's say Ansu Fati.

Bayern Munich 2-0 Juventus

Serge Gnabry, Joshua Zirkzee

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The German champions host the Italian champions in a tie that would be dubbed the ‘heavyweight clash’ of the round. Juventus lost their last-16 opener to Lyon 1-0, and we fancy Bayern to put two past them without reply. You know, just to ensure Cristiano & Co have a tasty deficit to overcome in the second leg.

The second legs

April 14: PSG 1-1 Barcelona (2-2 on aggregate, PSG through 5-4 on pens)


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Perennial bottles no longer. This time PSG finally reach the Champions League semi-finals thanks to a nervy shootout win over Barca. Lionel Messi has his head in his hands, or hands on the back of his head, after Antoine Griezmann’s missed penalty sends Barca crashing out, and Neymar is torn between whether he should celebrate exuberantly or lament the exit of the club he is looking to return to. Regardless, PSG make the semis for the first time since 1995.

Juventus 3-1 Bayern Munich (3-3 on aggregate, Bayern through on away goals)

Cristiano Ronaldo

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That man Ronaldo… is unable to do it this time. Despite a SENSATIONAL hat-trick, a last-gasp goal from substitute Thomas Muller means it is Bayern who sneak into the last four. Few saw it coming after a dominant home display, with Ronaldo’s three overhead kicks truly a hat-trick to savour, but his hard work was ultimately undone when Muller rose above Matthijs de Ligt at the death.

April 15: Man City 3-1 Atletico (Man City through 3-2 on aggregate)

Sergio Aguero

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City don’t half do things the hard way, but at least they are able to do what Liverpool couldn’t. It started off terribly for City, too, when Diego Costa put Atletico 2-0 up on aggregate, but after Raheem Sterling got one back before half-time, Sergio Aguero – who else – scored a second-half double to put City into the semi-finals for the first time since 2016.

Atalanta 2-3 Leipzig (Leipzig through 7-4 on aggregate)

Timo Werner - RB Leipzig

Image credit: Imago

The highest scoring tie of the round, and it is Leipzig who power through thanks to an entertaining win in Italy. Atalanta’s dream run comes to an end, but Leipzig can look forward to a first venture into the last four – does a meeting with Bundesliga rivals Bayern await? Who knows, because this isn’t actually real.


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