UEFA Champions League updates: 7-13 April

All the latest from the last eight.

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by UEFA.com newsdesk - 07/04/2014
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"Bayern and Barcelona are the best two teams in the competition," Manchester United FC's Wayne Rooney told UEFA.com ahead of this week's quarter-final decider against FC Bayern München. "But we're ready, it's an exciting game for us all and for the fans – and it's a massive game to be involved in." See more here...

 

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Real Madrid CF are on their way to Germany for tomorrow night's quarter-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund. UEFA Champions League centurion Cristiano Ronaldo opted for the beanie, shades and suit look as he boarded the plane, the Portuguese attacker back in the fold having sat out the 4-0 weekend win away to Real Sociedad de Fútbol with a minor knee problem.

"Cristiano wants to play every game," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said last Friday, before explaining that both finally agreed that taking a breather for Saturday's trip to San Sebastian was for the best, given the team's packed calendar. The 29-year-old will thus be eager to feature at the BVB Stadion Dortmund tomorrow as he attempts to create history by beating the record for goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season. Ronaldo's strike in the 3-0 first leg triumph saw him match Lionel Messi's previous best – and José Altafini's European Cup record - of 14 goals in a single campaign.

©AFP/Getty Images

 

 

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Zlatan Ibrahimović, who sustained a thigh injury in the first leg, is the only notable absentee as Paris Saint-Germain's squad set out for Chelsea FC bidding for a last-four ticket after their 3-1 home win last week. Though he missed the first leg, right-back Gregory van der Wiel is back in the squad, having featured for the first time since 8 March in Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Stade de Reims. The Dutchman has shaken off a bout of tendonitis in his knee and declared himself "ready to play in London" after a 65-minute showing at Parc des Princes.

With Ibrahimović missing, coach Laurent Blanc has elected to bring along youth team striker Hervin Ongenda, who replaced Lucas this weekend. After four games, a goal and an assist in the UEFA Youth League this season, 18-year-old could make his first UEFA Champions League appearance.

©AFP/Getty Images

 

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The papers in Germany have been forgiving regarding Josep Guardiola's heavy rotation, which resulted in FC Bayern München's first league loss in 54 games this weekend - 1-0 at FC Augsburg. Daily Die Welt writes: "Bayern's C-team lost at Augsburg, coach Guardiola faces criticism. But Bayern also wanted to test talents like [Mitchell] Weiser and [Ylli] Sallahi in the Bundesliga."

Der Westen added: "The Bundesliga is upset: Coach Pep Guardiola has rested his stars in the away game at Augsburg, played three youth players and lost 1-0. Other clubs are seeing a distortion of competition in this, but Guardiola did the right thing." Some Bayern fans, however, deemed the performance unacceptable. "Some Bayern faithful are angry after the derby," note Die Welt. "The performance in Augsburg was embarrassing, Guardiola overplayed his cards - such were the comments on Facebook and Twitter. That's not rotation anymore, they said: It had been a C-team, with players who do not even feature for the reserves on a regular basis, they said."

©AFP/Getty Images

 

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There has been nothing to separate Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona this season – the teams have already played out four draws in 2013/14 – and even the sides' Spanish top-flight encounters at the weekend bore many similarities. A colossal effort by both in the 1-1 first leg draw last Tuesday was followed by respective victories on Saturday that kept the Liga giants at the summit. Yet following bright starts - Atlético in their 1-0 win against Villarreal CF and Barça in the 3-1 victory at home to Real Betis Balompié - the UEFA Champions League challengers began to tire with their efforts four days prior proving a telling factor.

"What we'll take from today is the result," a relieved Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said, after a Lionel Messi double either side of Jordi Figueras's own goal ensured the Blaugrana stayed second, behind Los Rojiblancos, in the table. "The fatigue from Tuesday was important. I was watching Atlético for a while [earlier] and saw that they were also going a little slower," the Argentinian tactician continued. "The mental and physical efforts in the first leg were incredible and we are expecting a similar, if not worse, scenario [in the second leg] on Wednesday."

©AFP/Getty Images

 

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Much was said after the first leg as Chelsea FC's Eden Hazard exchanged shirts with one of the Paris Saint-Germain players and tried it on for size a few months after being courted by the French champions. It is likely that much more will be said after he joked about the possibility of a move to the French capital.

"If one day my wife tells me 'I want to go to Paris', then I'll consider the move," he said with an intriguing smile in a long interview with Canal Plus. "She is the boss at home. Everything she says must be taken seriously."

©AFP/Getty Images

 

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Karim Benzema speaks to UEFA.com about tuning in to 'El BBC' ...

 

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Meanwhile, injured Manchester United FC striker Robin van Persie has bumped into an old friend ... 

 

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UEFA.com newsdesk

Dan Ross

Paul Saffer

UEFA.com French newsdeskUEFA.com French newsdesk

UEFA.com German newsdesk

UEFA.com newsdesk

UEFA.com Spanish newsdesk

 
 

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Competition statistics

Matches played: 120

Goals scored
348 Total
2.9 Match average
Total attempts
2995 Total
24.96 Match average
on target
1774 Total
14.78 Match average
off target
1220 Total
10.17 Match average
blocked
610 Total
5.08 Match average
against woodwork
81 Total
0.68 Match average
Corners
1189 Total
9.91 Match average
Offsides
527 Total
4.39 Match average
Yellow cards
502 Total
4.18 Match average
Red Cards
27 Total
0.23 Match average
Fouls committed
3300 Total
27.5 Match average
Fouls suffered
3141 Total
26.18 Match average
Passes
138968 Total
1158.07 Match average
completed
104741 Total
872.84 Match average
Last updated: 10/04/2014 13:05 CET
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