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Champions League quarter-finals: Atlético, Bayern, Benfica, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man. City, Real Madrid, Villarreal

All you need to know about the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists.

Champions League: Meet the last eight

The eight UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists have learned their fate, with the path now laid out all the way to the showpiece on 28 May.

Get the lowdown on all the contenders, from stats and form to key players. The quarter-final first legs take place on 5/6 April, with the deciders on 12/13 April - see the full 2021/22 Champions League match calender and schedule.

Guess the winner of every match from now until the end of the season to create your Champions League bracket.

Chelsea vs Real Madrid

Previous meetings
Chelsea: P5 W3 D2 L0 F7 A3
Real Madrid: P5 W0 D2 L3 F3 A7

Winners play Manchester City or Atlético in the semi-finals


Highlights: LOSC 1-2 Chelsea

Why they can win it
The reigning champions have the necessary experience to navigate their way through the Champions League knockout rounds and they seem to be basing this campaign on the same principles as last: a defence that is not used to conceding goals and enough quality in attack to hurt any opposition. And the man at the helm, Thomas Tuchel, has shown that he's one of the best around when it comes to motivating a team and keeping them goal-orientated from game to game.

UEFA ranking: 4
European Cup best: winners (2011/12, 2020/21)
Last season: winners (W 1-0 vs Man. City)

This season
Record: W6 D1 L1 F17 A5
Top scorer: Timo Werner (3)
Round of 16: 4-1 agg vs LOSC
Group H: runners-up

Campaign so far
Barring an off-colour performance away to Juventus in Matchday 2, Chelsea were excellent in the group stage – the highlight undoubtedly the 4-0 victory over the Italian side in the reverse fixture in London. Into the knockouts, and Chelsea were ruthlessly efficient in the first leg against LOSC before weathering the storm in the second.

Highlights: Chelsea 2-0 LOSC

Key player: Kai Havertz
The scorer of the winning goal in the 2020/21 Champions League final looks to be timing his run perfectly again this term, hitting his stride at the business end of the season. The German is a man for the big occasions.

Coach: Thomas Tuchel
The coach took over last January and immediately went 14 games unbeaten. The former Mainz and Dortmund boss was a runner-up with Paris in 2020 before going one better with the Blues last season. His Midas touch is yet to desert him.

Did you know?
The Blues have conceded just seven goals in 15 Champions League games since Tuchel's arrival, three of them in their 3-3 draw with Zenit on Matchday 6.

Real Madrid

Every Real Madrid group stage goal

Why they can win it
If they can turn that tie against Paris around, against all the odds, then nothing is beyond them. Two younger, energetic, less-used players produced star turns in eliminating the French side: Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga. Their impacts need to continue in the ascendancy. But it's the 70 goals and assists total which the Karim Benzema-Vinicíus Júnior partnership has produced this season which whispers potential winners.

UEFA ranking: 5
European Cup best: winners (1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18)
Last season: semi-finals (L 1-3 agg vs Chelsea)

This season
Record: W6 D0 L2 F17 A5
Top scorer: Karim Benzema (8)
Round of 16: 3-2 agg vs Paris
Group D: winners

Campaign so far
How is it possible to lose at home to Sheriff, and then reach the last eight with a gargantuan performance against Paris? The route map helps explain. Madrid won nothing last season and, by their own admission, are desperate to win domestically and in Europe this time round. The 5-0 away victory over Shakhtar reset Madrid's GPS in the group stage. And then defeat in Paris did the same – leading to a different high-pressing approach.

Highlights: Real Madrid 3-1 Paris

Key player: Karim Benzema
Many people wondered where Real Madrid's goals would come from when Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018, but the France forward has more than stepped up to the plate to become the club's talisman. Fittingly, he scored Madrid's 1,000th European Cup goal against Shakhtar earlier this campaign then turned around their last-16 tie with Paris with a second-half hat-trick.

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
The manager who steered Madrid to 'La Décima' in 2014 returned last summer for a second stint in charge. He is one of just three coaches to have won the European Cup/Champions League on three occasions.

Did you know?
Madrid had scored in 23 successive matches in the Champions League round of 16 before drawing a blank at Paris in the first leg this season.

Manchester City vs Atlético

Previous meetings: N/A

Winners play Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-finals

Manchester City

Highlights: Sporting CP 0-5 Man. City

Why they can win it
There are only one or two teams left in the competition – if that – who are capable of dealing with City's metronomic passing and relentless pressing. Their strength in depth is unrivalled across Europe, while their hunger for a maiden Champions League triumph remains as ferocious as ever. After all, they couldn't have gone much closer in Porto last May.

UEFA ranking: 2
European Cup best: runners-up (2020/21)
Last season: runners-up (L 0-1 vs Chelsea)

This season
Record: W5 D1 L2 F23 A10
Top scorer: Riyad Mahrez (6)
Round of 16: 5-0 agg vs Sporting CP
Group A: winners

Campaign so far
Ominously for City's last-eight rivals, there is still room for improvement. The Group A winners lost two of their three games away from home in the section – albeit narrowly – and only kept their first clean sheet of this season's competition in their last-16 first-leg win in Lisbon. Despite that comprehensive 5-0 victory, Pep Guardiola insisted afterwards that there was more to come from his side – a frightening prospect.

Highlights: Man. City 0-0 Sporting CP

Key player: Kevin De Bruyne
The 30-year-old schemer passed 250 appearances for the club last season and remains a talismanic figure in their midfield despite the riches around him. He endured something of a slow start to the campaign but looks to be returning to his best, making a habit of scoring in key games since the end of the group stage.

Coach: Pep Guardiola
One of the most decorated coaches in the game, the 51-year-old won this competition twice with Barcelona. He has scooped three league titles apiece at the helm of the Catalan club, Bayern and City.

Did you know?
Guardiola reached his eighth Champions League semi-final last season – the joint-most in the competition's history alongside José Mourinho.


Highlights: Man. United 0-1 Atlético

Why they can win it
You just need to take one look at the dogged determination Atleti showed as they fought their way past Manchester United in the last 16 to see why they can go all the way and upset anyone in this competition. They are so resilient and masters of backs-against-the-wall football, and will now look to add City to their recent list of English victims.

UEFA ranking: 10
European Cup best: runners-up (1973/74, 2013/14, 2015/16)
Last season: round of 16 (L 0-3 agg vs Chelsea)

This season
Record: W3 D2 L3 F9 A9
Top scorer: Antoine Griezmann (4)
Round of 16: 2-1 agg vs Man. United
Group B: runners-up

Campaign so far
It has not exactly been vintage Atleti in the Champions League this season, Diego Simeone's men having scraped through the group stage by the skin of their teeth. However, they rolled back the clock with a classic display against United and might just be hitting form at the right time.

Atlético vs Man. United: Watch brilliant João Félix goal

Key player: João Félix
Much like this Atlético side as a whole, the Portugal forward has grown into the campaign and is now a fixture in the side. His pace, directness and work rate have made him undroppable for Simeone, while his youthful impishness, guile and eye for goal have made him an idol for the Atleti faithful.

Coach: Diego Simeone
Now in his 12th season at the Atleti helm, Simeone has coached the Rojiblancos to two UEFA Europa League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and two Champions League finals. Last season, he added a second Liga crown to show his powers remain undiminished.

Did you know?
Atleti are the only side in European Cup history who have reached three finals and are yet to win.

Villarreal vs Bayern

Previous meetings
Villarreal: P2 W0 D0 L2 F1 A5
Bayern: P2 W2 D0 L0 F5 A1

Winners play Benfica or Liverpool in the semi-finals


Highlights: Juventus 0-3 Villarreal

Why they can win it
The Yellow Submarine might not be fancied by many, yet they showed exactly what they're made of when they won the UEFA Europa League last season. When you throw in the fact they've already knocked out Juventus and are welcoming back Gerard Moreno from injury, they'll be confident they can go one better than their 2005/06 semi-final exit.

UEFA ranking: 19
European Cup best: semi-finals (2005/06)
Last season: group stage, Europa League winners (W 1-1 11-10p vs Man. United)

This season
Record: W4 D2 L2 F16 A10
Top scorer: Arnaut Danjuma (5)
Round of 16: 4-1 agg vs Juventus
Group F: runners-up

Campaign so far
In a word, profligate. Unai Emery's side have desperately missed the injured Gerard Moreno, but you have to give them credit for getting this far with their talismanic goalscorer reduced to a cameo role. Their build-up play deserved far more than to scrape out of their group, and knocking out Juventus in the last 16 was a warning to the rest of Europe.

Every Villarreal group stage goal

Key player: Arnaut Danjuma
A summer arrival from the English second tier might not have had fans overly excited, but the Dutchman has been a revelation in both domestic and European football for Villarreal, troubling defences with his skill, pace and directness – and his eye for goal.

Coach: Unai Emery
The former Almería and Valencia coach made the Europa League his own with a hat-trick of successes at Sevilla. Led Paris to the treble in 2017/18 and Arsenal to a European final a year later, before joining Villarreal in summer 2020 – and promptly winning the Europa League again.

Did you know?
Just under half of Villarreal's 52,000 inhabitants can fit inside their 23,500-seater stadium.


Highlights: Bayern 7-1 Salzburg

Why they can win it
Quite simply, because it's Bayern; as long as they're in it, they can win it. Tougher tests await from the quarter-finals onwards, but with Robert Lewandowski fit and firing there's no reason the Bavarians can't go all the way and claim their seventh European crown.

UEFA ranking: 1
European Cup best: winners (1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 2000/01, 2012/13, 2019/20)
Last season
: quarter-finals (L on away goals vs Paris)

This season
Record: W7 D1 L0 F30 A5
Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski (12)
Round of 16: 8-2 agg vs Salzburg
Group E: winners

Campaign so far
A shaky draw in Salzburg aside, it has so far been a near faultless campaign for Bayern. Seven wins from eight, 30 scored and just five conceded – the stats speak for themselves. But it's what they do from now that will define the success of Julian Nagelsmann's debut season at the helm.

Lewandowski's Champions League hat-tricks

Key player: Robert Lewandowski
The relentless Poland striker hit new heights last term, scoring a record 41 German league goals as Bayern sealed a ninth straight championship. He has maintained that form this season and is 2021/22 competition top scorer with 12 goals to his name. Lewandowski is also third on the list of all-time scorers in the Champions League.

Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
The 34-year-old has been diligent as successor to Hansi Flick, overseeing some fine displays and a cruise through to the last eight. In 2016, he became the youngest coach in Bundesliga history when he took the Hoffenheim reins aged 28, leading them into the Champions League by finishing fourth the following season. He continued to impress across two seasons at Leipzig prior to joining Bayern last summer.

Did you know?
Bayern extended their record unbeaten streak in Champions League away games to 22 matches thanks to Kingsley Coman's late equaliser at Salzburg in the round of 16 first leg.

Benfica vs Liverpool

Previous meetings
Benfica: P10 W4 D0 L6 F11 A19
Liverpool: P10 W6 D0 L4 F19 A11

Winners play Villarreal or Bayern in the semi-finals


Highlights: Ajax 0-1 Benfica

Why they can win it
Unfancied Benfica are on an upward curve under caretaker boss Nélson Veríssimo. Drawing on homegrown players, the Eagles have had their wings clipped in the league but, in Europe, they are capable of making the most of the extra space they get in the attacking third, particularly Darwin Nuñez. Of course, there are big hurdles to negotiate, but the dream is alive.

UEFA ranking: 26
European Cup best: winners (1960/61, 1961/62)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32 (L 4-3agg vs Arsenal)

This season
Record: W3 D3 L2 F10 A11
Top scorer: Darwin Núñez (4)
Round of 16: 3-2 agg vs Ajax
Group E: runners-up

Campaign so far
Not many predicted that Benfica would make the last eight when they were drawn in the same group as Bayern and Barcelona back in August. Yet the underdogs had their day, a famous 3-0 victory against Barça helping them finish above the Catalan giants and take second place behind Bayern. Darwin's goals, Rafa Silva's pace and Nicolás Otamendi's resilience have been the common thread that ran right through their last-16 tie with Ajax, when Benfica soaked up the punches before finishing strongly.

Benfica's Darwin Núñez in focus

Key player: Darwin Nuñez
From virtual unknown to leading a side into the Champions League quarter-finals. His pace, work rate and physicality make the Uruguayan a player capable of scoring on the big stage at the big moments. He has delivered key goals, against Barcelona and Ajax, and Nélson Veríssimo's tactics seem to have brought the best out of him.

Coach: Nélson Verissimo
Jorge Jesus's second spell as Eagles coach ended in late December following a 3-0 Portuguese Cup loss to Porto. B team boss Nélson Veríssimo is in command for the rest of the season; the 44-year-old started his playing career as a defender at Benfica.

Did you know?
Benfica have lost five finals since last winning the competition in 1962, when Eusébio struck twice in a 5-3 triumph against Real Madrid.


Every Liverpool group stage goal

Why they can win it
The similarity to the 2018/19 Champions League-winning campaign is that domestically Liverpool are chasing a rampant Manchester City, and it seems that having such an objective always brings the best out of Jürgen Klopp's team. When they hit top form, and everything works in devastating harmony, it's hard to see anyone coping with them. If you add in the Anfield factor, anything is possible.

UEFA ranking: 3
European Cup best: winners (1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1983/84, 2004/05, 2018/19)
Last season: quarter-finals (L 1-3 agg vs Real Madrid)

This season
Record: W7 D0 L1 F19 A7
Top scorer: Mohamed Salah (8)
Round of 16: 2-1 agg vs Inter
Group B: winners

Campaign so far
Liverpool have faced stiff competition – indeed, of their opponents so far, only Atlético have never won the competition. This makes it even more impressive that they sport a near-perfect record, eight games and just one loss in the second leg against Inter. In fact, it was only the Nerazzurri who consistently troubled Klopp's side, but like any great team they found a way to win.

Salah: 'Qualifying was the most important thing'

Key player: Mohamed Salah
The Egypt forward has been the face of this Liverpool side since arriving from Roma in 2017. A star at Basel, he first landed in England with Chelsea in 2014 but has proved a major talent on Merseyside, his pace, intelligence and finishing helping him bag 33 Champions League goals for the club. He has seemingly gone up another notch this term.

Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Liverpool boss since 2015, Klopp guided the Reds to continental glory in 2018/19 and to their first English title in 30 years the next season. A striker turned defender at Mainz, he lifted two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund before heading to Anfield.

Did you know?
Liverpool have been European champions six times – more than any other English team. That is as many titles as Bayern, with Milan and Real Madrid the only clubs to have won more.

When do the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final ties take place?

First legs: 5/6 April
Second legs: 12/13 April

First legs: 26/27 April
Second legs: 3/4 May

When and where is the Champions League final?

This season's final takes place at the Stade de France in Paris. The game will kick off at 21:00 CET on Saturday 28 May.

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