UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: What to look out for on Wednesday
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Real Madrid's N'Golo Kanté challenge and Bayern's wariness for their trip to Villarreal are among the storylines in the second set of quarter-final first legs.
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The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw offers Real Madrid the chance to avenge last season's elimination at the hands of Chelsea, while Bayern have reason for caution at Villarreal.
Presented by Expedia, we pore over the talking points ahead of the second set of first legs, with the returns set for 12/13 April.
Champions League quarter-final first legs
Tuesday 5 April
Manchester City 1-0 Atlético
Benfica 1-3 Liverpool
Wednesday 6 April
Villarreal 1-0 Bayern
Chelsea 1-3 Real Madrid
How to stop all-action Kanté?
"We play with Danny Drinkwater in the middle, with Kanté either side," Leicester's head of recruitment, Steve Walsh, said during the Foxes' Premier League title-winning season. At times for Real Madrid in last season's semi-final against Chelsea, it must have felt like N'Golo Kanté was playing the complete midfield diamond, such was the Frenchman's omnipotence.
He won back-to-back Player of the Match awards, adding another in the final – a diminutive figure for the big occasion. Another year on, and with a new man in Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, can Madrid come up with a way of countering him/them?
Bayern wary of Villarreal
As Bayern weighed up opponents Villarreal following the draw, the Spanish side's stunning triumph at Juventus two days earlier did not go unnoticed. Thomas Müller, having watched the game with his dog, warned that his side would "have to fight for every second".
Bayern, although more inconsistent than in previous seasons, will take some beating over two legs. Perhaps lucky to escape with a draw from the first leg of their last-16 tie against Salzburg, Julian Nagelsmann's side made the smooth transition from first gear to fifth and hit seven in the return.
2021/22 Champions League key dates
Quarter-finals, first legs (5/6 April)
Quarter-finals, second legs (12/13 April)
Semi-finals, first legs (26/27 April)
Semi-finals, second legs (3/4 May)
Final (28 May, Stade de France, Paris)