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Women's Champions League quarter-finals: Meet the teams

Meet the eight teams in March's UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals.

The eight knockout contenders
The eight knockout contenders UEFA

The road to the UEFA Women's Champions League final in Bilbao is now set and we introduce the eight contenders.

Road to Bilbao: Quarter-final and semi-final ties


First legs:

Tuesday 19 March
Ajax vs Chelsea (18:45)
Benfica vs Lyon (21:00)

Wednesday 20 March
Häcken vs Paris Saint-Germain (18:45)
Brann vs Barcelona (21:00)

Second legs:

Wednesday 27 March
Lyon vs Benfica (18:45)
Chelsea vs Ajax (21:00)

Thursday 28 March
Barcelona vs Brann (18:45)
Paris Saint-Germain vs Häcken (21:00)

All times CET

Semi-finals (20/21 & 27/28 April)

1: Brann/Barcelona vs Ajax/Chelsea
2: Benfica/Lyon vs Häcken/Paris Saint-Germain

Final (25 May, San Mamés, Bilbao)

Winner semi-final 1 vs Winner semi-final 2

Ajax vs Chelsea

  • No previous meetings in UEFA competition.

Ajax (NED)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 29
How they qualified: Dutch champions; W3-0 vs Dinamo-BSUPC, W8-0agg vs Zürich
Group stage: Group C runners-up (W2-0 h vs Paris Saint-Germain, L0-3 a vs Roma, D1-1 a vs Bayern, W1-0 h vs Bayern, L1-3 a vs Paris Saint-Germain, W2-1 h vs Roma)
Group stage top scorers: Romée Leuchter & Tiny Hoekstra (2)
Last season: Round 2
Domestic honours: 3 x League champions, 5 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Round of 16 (2018/19)
Quarter-final record: First quarter-final

  • Ajax looked outsiders in a group containing three of last season's quarter-finals, but brilliant home wins against Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern were followed by a comeback win to edge past Roma, their matches at the Johan Cruijff ArenA watched by a combined total of close to 50,000, the most of any team in the group stage.
  • The first Dutch side to reach the group stage and only their second quarter-finalists after Saestum in 2006/07.
Ajax's road to the last eight: Every goal

Chelsea (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 6
How they qualified: English champions
Group stage: Group D winners (D2-2 a vs Real Madrid, W4-1 h vs Paris FC, D0-0 h vs Häcken, W3-1 a vs Häcken, W2-1 h vs Real Madrid, W4-0 a vs Paris FC)
Group stage top scorer: Sam Kerr (5)
Last season: Semi-finals
Domestic honours: 6 x League champions, 5 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Runners-up (2020/21)
Quarter-final record: W4 L0

Previous quarter-finals
2022/23: W2-2agg, 4-3pens vs Lyon (W1-0 a, L1-2aet a)
2020/21: W5-1agg vs Wolfsburg (W2-1 h, W3-0 a, both legs in Budapest)
2018/19: W3-2agg vs Paris Saint-Germain (W2-0 h, L1-2 a)
2017/18: W5-1agg vs Montpellier (W2-0 a, W3-1 h)

  • Even losing their home hat-trick hero against Paris FC, Sam Kerr, to injury during the group stage did not stop Chelsea coming through again in some style. While Kerr may be absent, their hopes have been bolstered by the return from injury of summer signing Catarina Macario plus newly arrived forward Mayra Ramírez and defender Nathalie Björn.
  • This is their eighth and final European campaign under long-serving United States-bound manager Emma Hayes, having narrowly missed out on a second final last season following a tight semi against Barcelona.
Chelsea's road to the last eight: Every goal

Benfica vs Lyon

  • These teams met in the 2021/22 group stage, Lyon winning both matches 5-0.

Benfica (POR)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 23
How they qualified: Portuguese champions; W8-1 vs Cliftonville, W4-0 vs SFK Rīga, W11-0agg vs Apollon LFC
Group stage: Group A runners-up (L0-5 a vs Barcelona, W1-0 h vs Rosengård, W1-0 h vs Eintracht Frankfurt, D1-1 a vs Eintracht Frankfurt, D2-2 a vs Rosengård, D4-4 h vs Barcelona)
Group stage top scorer: Marie Alidou (4)
Last season: Group stage
Domestic honours: 3 x League champions, 1 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Group stage (2021/22, 2022/23)
Quarter-final record: First quarter-final

  • Having shown swift progress since their very first season in 2018/19 and European debut in 2020/21, Benfica have made history for Portugal. The key was their home win against four-time champions Frankfurt and then the 1-1 draw in which German goalkeeper Lena Pauels denied her fellow countrywomen with a last-gasp penalty save. Ended with a thrilling 4-4 draw against Barcelona, Benfica coming back from two down but denied victory in added time.
  • No Portuguese team had reached the last 16 in any format until 2021/22; Benfica have done so three seasons in a row and now are their first quarter-finalists.
Benfica's road to the last eight: Every goal

Lyon (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 2
How they qualified: French champions
Group stage: Group B winners (W9-0 a vs Slavia Praha, W2-0 h vs St. Pölten, W3-1 h vs Brann, D2-2 a vs Brann, W1-0 a vs St. Pölten, D2-2 h vs Slavia Praha)
Group stage top scorers: Kadidiatou Diani & Ada Hegerberg (5)
Last season: Quarter-finals
Domestic honours: 16 x League champions, 10 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Winners (2010/11, 2011/12, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2021/22)
Quarter-final record: W12 L2

Previous quarter-finals
2022/23: L2-2agg, 3-4pens vs Chelsea (L0-1 h, W2-1aet a)
2021/22: W4-3agg vs Juventus (L1-2 a, W3-1 h)
2020/21: L2-2agg away goals vs Paris Saint-Germain (W1-0 a, L1-2 h)
2019/20: W2-1 vs Bayern (n, Bilbao)
2018/19: W6-3agg vs Wolfsburg (W2-1 h, W4-2 a)
2017/18: W3-1agg vs Barcelona (W2-1 h, W1-0 a)
2016/17: W2-1agg vs Wolfsburg (W2-0 a, L0-1 h)
2015/16: W9-1agg vs Slavia Praha (W9-1 h, D0-0 a)
2012/13: W8-0agg vs Rosengård (W5-0 h, W3-0 a)
2011/12: W8-0agg vs Brøndby (W4-0 h, W4-0 a)
2010/11: W1-0agg vs Zvezda-2005 (D0-0 a, W1-0 h)
2009/10: W3-1agg vs Torres (W3-0 h, L0-1 a)
2008/09: W9-1agg vs Bardolino Verona (W5-0 a, W4-1 h)
2007/08: W3-2agg vs Arsenal (D0-0 h, W3-2 a)

  • Lyon were through with two games to spare despite letting a two-goal lead slip in their 2-2 draw at Brann. With Diani prolific since arriving and competition all-time top scorer Hegerberg in peak form, OL look well placed to challenge and wrest back the title from Barcelona.
  • Have added yet another competition record to their collection, matching Arsenal's tally of 15 quarter-finals.
Lyon's road to the last eight: Every goal

Häcken vs Paris Saint-Germain

  • These teams met in round 2 last season, Paris going through to the group stage as they won 2-1 away and 2-0 at home.

Häcken (SWE)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 24
How they qualified: Swedish runners-up; W4-3agg vs Twente
Group stage: Group D runners-up (W2-1 a vs Paris FC, W2-1 h vs Real Madrid, D0-0 a vs Chelsea, L1-3 h vs Chelsea, D0-0 h vs Paris FC, W1-0 a vs Real Madrid)
Group stage top scorer: Rosa Kafaji (3)
Last season: Round 2
Domestic honours: 1 x League champions, 3 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Quarter-finals (2011/12, 2012/13)
Quarter-final record: W0 L2

Previous quarter-finals
2012/13: L1-4agg vs Juvisy* (L0-1 h, L1-3 a)
2011/12: L2-3agg vs Arsenal (L1-3 h, W1-0 a)

*Now known as Paris FC

  • Just days before the group stage started, Häcken were denied the Swedish title by Hammarby on goal difference in a dramatic league finish but showed no ill-effects with a superb start to a tough group. After beating Paris and Madrid, they recorded a draw at Chelsea (the only other team the Blues failed to beat at home in all competitions in 2023 were Barcelona) and a victory in the Spanish capital to book a first quarter-final in 11 years.
  • Known as Göteborg until their association with Häcken in 2021, they made the group stage for the second time under their new name, having managed just three points two years ago. They are the first Swedish side to get past the group stage.
Häcken's road to the last eight: Every goal

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 4
How they qualified: French runners-up; W4-2agg vs Manchester United
Group stage: Group C winners (L0-2 a vs Ajax, L0-1 h vs Bayern, W3-1 h vs Roma, W2-1 a vs Roma, W3-1 h vs Ajax, D2-2 a vs Bayern)
Group stage top scorer: Marie-Antoinette Katoto (4)
Last season: Quarter-finals
Domestic honours: 1 x League champions, 3 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Runners-up (2014/15, 2016/17)
Quarter-final record: W6 L2

Previous quarter-finals
2022/23: L1-2agg vs Wolfsburg (L0-1 h, D1-1 a)
2021/22: W4-3agg vs Bayern (W2-1 a, D2-2aet h)
2020/21: W2-2agg away goals vs Lyon (L0-1 h, W2-1 a)
2019/20: W2-1 vs Arsenal (n, San Sebastián)
2018/19: L2-3agg vs Chelsea (L0-2 a, W2-1 h)
2016/17: W4-1agg vs Bayern (L0-1 a, W4-0 h)
2015/16: W1-0agg vs Barcelona (D0-0 a, W1-0 h)
2014/15: W7-0agg vs Glasgow City (W2-0 a, W5-0 h)

  • Having seen off debutants Man United in qualifying, Paris (like their city rivals) followed two opening group losses with a swift recovery and edged first place with a thrilling 2-2 draw at Bayern that went right to the final seconds. Despite losing Kadidiatou Diani to Lyon in the summer, Katoto is back to her old self having missed the whole of last season injured.
  • Have reached at least the quarter-finals nine times in ten seasons (only missing out in 2017/18, when they were not in Europe).
Paris' road to the last eight: Every goal

Brann vs Barcelona

  • No previous meetings in UEFA competition.

Brann (NOR)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 64
How they qualified: Norwegian champions; W5-0 vs Lokomotiv Stara Zagora, W3-0 vs Anderlecht, W6-0agg vs Glasgow City
Group stage: Group B runners-up (W2-1 a vs St. Pölten, W1-0 h vs Slavia Praha, L1-3 a vs Lyon, D2-2 h vs Lyon, W1-0 a vs Slavia Praha, W2-1 h vs St. Pölten)
Group stage top scorer: Justine Kielland (3)
Last season: Round 2
Domestic honours: 2 x League champions, 2 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Round 2 (2022/23)
Quarter-final record: First quarter-final

  • Brann showed their ability against Anderlecht and Glasgow City in qualifying and hit the ground running in their group. They impressed even in their loss at Lyon, and the following week became the first team ever to avoid defeat from two goals down against the French giants since they became Olympique Lyonnais Féminine in 2004, Signe Gaupset levelling in added time. Victory against Slavia confirmed progress before a last-gaso win against St. Pölten.
  • The first Norwegian side to reach the group stage, in only their second European campaign. Formerly known as IL Sandviken, they were the only team in the group stage to have never previously reached the last 16 in any format and had the lowest coefficient of all the group contenders.
Brann's road to the last eight: Every goal

Barcelona (ESP, holders)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2022/23): 1
How they qualified: Holders, Spanish champions
Group stage: Group A winners (W5-0 h vs Benfica, W3-1 a vs Eintracht Frankfurt, W6-0 a vs Rosengård, W7-0 h vs Rosengård, W2-0 h vs Eintracht Frankfurt, D4-4 a vs Benfica)
Group stage top scorer: Salma Paralluelo (5)
Last season: Winners
Domestic honours: 8 x League champions, 9 x Cup winners
Previous European best: Winners (2020/21, 2022/23)
Quarter-final record: W6 L3

Previous quarter-finals
2022/23: W6-1agg vs Roma (W1-0 a, W5-1 h)
2021/22: W8-3agg vs Real Madrid (W3-1 a, W5-2 h)
2020/21: W4-2agg vs Manchester City (W3-0 h played in Monza, L1-2 a)
2019/20: W1-0 vs Atlético (n, Bilbao)
2018/19: W4-0agg vs LSK Kvinner (W3-0 h, W1-0 a)
2017/18: L1-3agg vs Lyon (L1-2 a, L0-1 h)
2016/17: W3-0agg vs Rosengård (W1-0 a, W2-0 h)
2015/16: L0-1agg vs Paris Saint-Germain (D0-0 h, L0-1 a)
2013/14: L0-5agg vs Wolfsburg (L0-3 h, L0-2 a)

  • Only team to have topped their group in all three seasons since the current format began in 2021/22. Cruised through their group other than, with the group won, needing a last-gasp goal to draw 4-4 at Benfica.
  • Reclaimed the title last season with a thrilling comeback from two down to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 in Eindhoven.
Barcelona's road to the last eight: Every goal

Cup winners refers only to main FA national cup in each country.

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