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What to look out for in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals

We pick out the key storylines from the remaining quarter-final first legs.

Häcken and Rosa Kafaji take on the might of Paris Saint-Germain
Häcken and Rosa Kafaji take on the might of Paris Saint-Germain UEFA via Getty Images

The UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals are under way. We look at the key storylines as the Bilbao final comes a step closer.

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


First legs:

Tuesday 19 March
Ajax 0-3 Chelsea
Benfica 1-2 Lyon

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

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Häcken aim for Paris double

Häcken, having faced Lyon, Bayern and Benfica in the inaugural group stage, missed out last season thanks to a 4-1 aggregate round 2 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain. But the Gothenburg side put that right this time, twice coming from behind to knock out Twente (who have gone on to open up a big lead over Ajax in the Eredivisie Vrouwen).

In the group stage they drew 0-0 at Chelsea and finished above not only Real Madrid but also Paris FC, conquerors of Arsenal and Wolfsburg. That showed particular cool nerves from Häcken, who just days before the group stage kicked off had been denied the Damallsvenskan title on goal difference by Hammarby following a dramatic final day in Sweden.

Häcken's road to the last eight: Every goal

In their first quarter-final since making the 2011/12 and 2012/13 last eight in their former guise of Göteborg FC, Häcken are reunited with Paris Saint-Germain, who had to overcome Manchester United in round 2 then recovered from losing their first two group games to finish above Ajax, Bayern and Roma after nervy Matchday 6 draw in Munich.

Having fallen narrowly to Wolfsburg at this stage last year to end a run of three straight semi-final appearances, the two-time runners-up are determined to return to the last four, and a possible showdown with Lyon. This term Paris Saint-Germain have been powered by the prolific Marie-Antoinette Katoto, whose free-scoring form after missing the whole of 2022/23 injured has softened the blow of Diani's departure to OL, but she has not travelled for the first leg.

Paris' road to the last eight: Every goal
Bracket Predictor: Plot road to final

Brann look to make more history

Brann were the only one of the group contenders to have never been among the last 16 in any format (and, like Häcken, had to contend with no domestic action) but their quarter-final progress was not a total surprise, even ahead of experienced campaigners Slavia Praha and St. Pölten. Where Brann truly impressed, though, were in their matches against group winners Lyon.

The Norwegian side performed well in a 3-1 away loss and then the following week became the first team to avoid defeat after going 2-0 down against the French side since the club took over the former FC Lyon in 2004. Brann's last-gasp equaliser was scored by 18-year-old midfielder Signe Gaupset, who had already won praise from several Lyon stars after the game in France.

Brann's road to the last eight: Every goal

Of course holders Barcelona, aiming to make their fourth final in a row and fifth in six years, and who were last knocked out in a two-legged tie back in the 2017/18 quarters by Lyon (their 2019/20 semi-final loss to Wolfsburg was in a one-off match). For the second year running Barcelona were group stage top scorers, only dropping points in that 4-4 Matchday 6 draw at Benfica when first place was already secure.

Barcelona's previous meeting with a team from Norway was also when the most recent occasion a Toppserien side reached the quarter-finals, a 4-0 aggregate success against LSK Kvinner, whose team featured Ingrid Engen, now with the Blaugrana.

Barcelona's road to the last eight: Every goal

Where is the 2024 UEFA Women's Champions League final being played?

San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao will stage the 2024 Women's Champions League final on Saturday 25 May, with the kick-off time to be confirmed.

The 50,000-plus capacity home of Bilbao's Athletic Club was built on the site of the old San Mamés, replacing the 100-year-old arena of the same name in 2013. Athletic Club women's team have played several games in the new stadium, attracting 48,121 fans for a 2019 cup tie against Atlético de Madrid, at the time a Spanish record.

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