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Champions League blog: 16 March

Thursday 17 March 2011, 0.59CET
Read all the post-match reaction from the Santiago Bernabéu and Stamford Bridge on a night where Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC completed the quarter-final lineup.
 
 
Published: Thursday 17 March 2011, 0.59CET

Champions League blog: 16 March

Read all the post-match reaction from the Santiago Bernabéu and Stamford Bridge on a night where Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC completed the quarter-final lineup.

Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC have joined last night's winners Manchester United FC and FC Internazionale Milano in the draw for the quarter-finals.

The draw takes place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Friday at 12.00CET.

Thursday 00.00, London
The video highlights are now published. That's it for tonight from our UEFA Champions League blog, but be sure to return on Friday morning for our running coverage of the quarter-final draw.

Wednesday 23.53, Madrid
Lyon's Bafétimbe Gomis, a scorer in the first leg, admitted Lyon were beaten by the better side on the night in Madrid. "There is disappointment," he said. "We aimed to go through like last season, but we succumbed to a team who were on top of their game. A goalless draw would have prompted regrets [but] there are none over this scoreline."

Wednesday 23.21, Madrid
Lyon coach Claude Puel was magnanimous in defeat, saying his side "couldn't match Real Madrid tonight". He added: "They put pressure on us from the start but I think we failed to hit the heights we can. We started the second half well but conceded two stupid goals."

Wednesday 23.12, Madrid
Real Madrid players all took off their jerseys to reveal T-shirts that read 'Ánimo Abidal' (You can do it Abidal) in support of Eric Abidal, the FC Barcelona defender who is due to undergo surgery on a liver tumour on Friday. "There are more important things than football, including the health of a player, even if he is from a rival team," said Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso. "It's important to show support at a tough moment for him. Hopefully he will have a good recovery and we'll see him on the pitch again soon."

Wednesday 23.00, London
Petr Čech was pleased with how Chelsea played despite the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. "We are happy that we're through to the next round," he said. "What we were missing in our performance was goals – we created enough chances but didn't take them. At 0-0 we had to be careful not to concede the goal which would have given them a lift. We're in a good position, in the quarter-finals, and will wait to see who we get in the draw. We are confident and have a lot of experience."

Wednesday 22.38, London: Tonight's final scores
Chelsea FC 0-0 FC København (agg: 2-0)
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Olympique Lyonnais (agg: 4-1)

Wednesday 19.53, London

The teams have been announced. See them in the MatchCentre, where you can also follow tonight's games until the final whistle. This blog will be close now until full time, when we will bring you immediate post-match reaction.

Wednesday 19.46, Trevor Huggins at Stamford Bridge
The match can start now as far as the Danish fans are concerned. An hour before kick-off and the away contingent is small but in good voice. At least a dozen Danish flags, along with a variety of fan group banners, are on display. Things are slowly warming up here.

Wednesday 19.19, Paul Bryan at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
There is a stiff breeze whipping around this famous ground at the moment as fans of both teams wait to enter. On the team news front, a last-minute decision will be taken on whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo will start tonight's encounter. The 26-year-old – who has been suffering with a left thigh complaint – was put through rigorous tests this morning yet his presence in tonight's starting lineup is rated at only 50-50.

Wednesday 19.15, Trevor Huggins at Stamford Bridge
The first fans are filtering into the South Stand and the ones who didn't put on warm clothes before setting off will start regretting it now. The temperature has dropped sharply, and there's a bitterly cold, misty night drawing in. Hopefully, matters on the pitch will warm them up in about an hour and a half.

Wednesday 19.08, London
While tonight's games decide the quarter-final lineup, the last eight of the UEFA Women's Champions League has just begun with holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in France to visit FCF Juvisy Essonne. We have live updates as well as a preview of tomorrow's remaining first legs, with Arsenal LFC and Olympique Lyonnais among those in action.

Wednesday 18.56, Jamie Reid at Stamford Bridge
Just two hours to go now until kick-off and the gates are open to the København supporters. Around 100 eager fans are already waiting to get inside and they are in optimistic mode. Speaking to one supporter, he rejected the notion that Chelsea were as good as through. "Of course we can win. Obviously the first goal is the most important thing tonight, but I know we can do it." Pushed for a prediction, he added, with a mischievous grin, "3-1 to FC København, with Jesper Grønkjær to score a hat-trick".

Wednesday 17.54, Trevor Huggins in London
Kick-off is still several hours away, but the match scarves and memorabilia sellers are already setting up for the night's business around Stamford Bridge. It's a cool late afternoon in west London and the visiting fans will clearly be hoping their side come away with more than just a few souvenirs. Trailing 2-0 after the home leg, the Danish league leaders will need to conjure up something special to reach Friday's draw.

Wednesday 17.26, Jamie Reid at Stamford Bridge
The atmosphere is starting to build in SW6 as more and more home fans file out of Fulham Broadway tube station. The familiar smell of burger vans is also now prominent – a sure sign kick-off is fast approaching. I had a quick word with a couple of Chelsea fans outside the ground, and the general consensus seems to be the same – score early and put the tie to bed. "As long as we get the first goal, I think we'll be in for a comfortable night," one supporter said. "However, if they score first then that changes the tie completely. Can't see it happening though; Chelsea to win 3-0 for me."

Wednesday 14.52, Jamie Reid at Stamford Bridge
It is cold, cloudy and windy in Chelsea today as smatterings of supporters begin to arrive at the ground. A large group of Danish supporters are waiting to go on a stadium tour. They seem in good spirits, perhaps buoyed by Inter's performance last night in Munich. After the Nerazzurri became only the second team in UEFA Champions League history to overhaul a first-leg home defeat and progress to the next round, could lightning strike twice in two days?

Wednesday 14.33, London
Ahead of tonight's encounter at Stamford Bridge the English press are speculating about who will play for Chelsea against København, with the Guardian suggesting that coach Carlo Ancelotti may rest record €50m signing Fernando Torres. "I will not say who will definitely play but maybe [Torres] will have a rest," said Ancelotti. "I want to rotate in this game." For more of Ancelotti's and visiting coach Ståle Solbakken's thoughts on tonight's game, click here.

Wednesday 12.33, Marcos Prieto at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
It's cold and rainy in Madrid, with temperatures just about touching 7°C. The Spanish media have spent most of the morning reminding Madridistas that the hosts have never beaten Olympique Lyonnais, who come here tonight in need of an away goal to keep their UEFA Champions League hopes alive. Some French fans are already milling around this grand old stadium, perhaps looking to buy up some of the few remaining tickets. They had better hurry up as tonight's decider is expected to be sold out.

Wednesday 11.01, Paris
As the French dailies reflect on last night's encounter at Old Trafford, l'Equipe runs with, "Marseille, so close yet so far", adding: "Marseille did not perform poorly against an average Manchester side but they never really regrouped after conceding early."

The focus now turns to the last remaining Ligue 1 side in the competition. Referring to the possibility of Lyon beating Real Madrid tonight, l'Equipe writes: "Wouldn't that be fabulous", continuing: "Eliminating José Mourinho's Real Madrid, who have won all of their matches at the Santiago Bernabéu this season; that is the massive challenge that lies in store for ambitious OL."

Wednesday 10.57, Milan
The Italian press, are agog this morning at Inter's remarkable comeback against Bayern. "Inter, you are unique," reads the headline in the famous pink sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Goran Pandev was the match winner in a game that will remain in the memory, whatever happens next in their European campaign. The Macedonian, Samuel Eto'o and Wesley Sneijder were not just goalscorers but protagonists of a Hollywood-style comeback."

Il Corriere dello Sport runs with "Inter fairytale". "The extraordinary victory was signed off by Eto'o, who opened the scoring, Sneijder, who made it 2-2 after the break and Pandev, who three minutes from time scored the all-important goal of qualification. The goal sparked great celebrations by Inter and Leonardo, while Louis Van Gaal and Bayern were left with a bitter taste in their mouths. Indeed the Germans, after overcoming the initial goal with strikes by Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller, wasted too many chances and went out in the most painful fashion."

Wednesday 10.54, Frankfurt
German tabloid Bild pulls no punches in its assessment of Bayern's 3-2 loss at home against Inter, flagging up "Huge chances missed" and "gigantic mistakes in defence". It adds starkly: "Championship gone, [German Cup] gone, and now Europe has gone down the drain as well."

The Frankfurter Rundschau harked back to Saturday's 6-0 demolition of Hamburger SV, and wrote: "Those days after the fair-weather match against a Hamburg which failed to put up a fight against Bayern turned out to be nothing but a short term warm spell." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung concluded that Bayern "had made Inter a gift" of a quarter-final place despite having "played an outstanding match" for long periods.

Wednesday 10.50, Madrid
For any Madridista who awoke feeling slightly nervous about tonight's encounter with Lyon, a glance at the front page of sports daily AS would not have brought much comfort. "Madrid set to face the nightmare of the last 16," ran the headline while underneath the paper explained: "After so many years of falling at this hurdle one can forgive the hosts for feeling a little worried."

There was more optimism inside, however, with the pluses of Los Merengues' season so far the reason given as to why "another disaster at this stage" should be avoided. "Madrid have won all 21 of their home games this term and have not conceded in 14 of those. José Mourinho hasn't lost a home game in 150 encounters and the general feeling within the side is positive ... surely therefore another defeat at this stage is unimaginable."

Wednesday 10.48, London
Running the rule over their hard-fought victory against Marseille, the English press have recognised an obdurate, if not, impressive performance from Manchester United. "Didier Deschamps ought really to be despondent that his squad made so little of circumstances when United were in a disrupted state," writes the Guardian. "Manchester United may have lived dangerously but this was a night when Sir Alex Ferguson's team demonstrated their powers of endurance, the mentality that accompanies being serial winners and the way they refuse to be cowed when obstacles appear like a series of tripwires."

The Sun, meanwhile, praises the performance of United's double goalscorer Javier Hernández. "The carrot was a place in the Champions League quarter-finals and 'The Little Pea' delivered. Javier Hernández is proving to be the bargain of the season. Hernández has made such progress he is often preferred to £30m Dimitar Berbatov in the starting lineup, despite the Bulgarian having been in cracking form with 20 goals to his credit this season."

However, the famous red-top urges a note of caution, with FC Barcelona their possible next opponents. "United showed the value of topping their qualifying group, meaning they avoided hot favourites Barcelona in this last-16 round. But they cannot avoid them any more as Friday's draw for the last eight looms. Whatever [Wayne] Rooney's bravado in claiming 'We don't mind who we play next', everyone will want to avoid the Catalans."

Wednesday 10.43, London
Looking ahead to tonight's games, we have previews of both Chelsea v FCK and Madrid v Lyon, with our Spanish correspondent Paul Bryan dissecting the magic of José Mourinho elsewhere.

Emmanuel Adebayor also spoke of Madrid's hunger to return to the last eight in the run-up to the big game at the Santiago Bernabéu, but César Delgado still fancies Lyon's chances.

FCK look to be chasing a lost cause at Stamford Bridge, but their former Chelsea star Jesper Grønkjær said the Danish champions will be doing their best "to keep the dream alive".

Wednesday 10.00, London
UEFA.com has video highlights from Tuesday's games, as well as the thoughts of the coaches at Old Trafford and the Fußball Arena München.

Wesley Sneijder told UEFA.com he never doubted that Inter would prevail against Bayern, but the Bavarians' striker Mario Gomez maintained that his side's defeat was more down to "our stupidity" than the holders' skill.

Marseille's players also had the impression that they had missed one chance too many as they bowed out to United, whose two-goal hero Javier Hernández called the Red Devils "the best team in the world".

Wednesday 09.30, London
Our Predictor competition gives you the chance to forecast this week's scores – and win semi-final tickets. Tickets are on offer in our Player Rater feature while there are also prizes to be won in Play of the Day, which reviews the top action from the last round of 16 games. Visit the Ford Classics page and enter the Champions Quiz for the chance to win a ticket for this season's final.

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All times CET.

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Last updated: 17/03/11 0.33CET
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