Manchester City and Real Madrid became the fifth and sixth teams to secure their place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after victories last night – and there are two more spots up for grabs at 20:00 GMT this evening.
Here, we run through the key points from Tuesday’s games and preview the Bayern Munich v Lazio and Chelsea v Atletico Madrid ties with one eye on the UEFA Champions League Fantasy game.
Last Night’s Action
Manchester City continued their unbelievable run of form with a comfortable 2-0 win in Budapest. Although they will certainly face more formidable opponents throughout the competition, there was something about the comfort and control they had in this game that suggests they’re the team to beat.
They made five changes from their 3-0 win over Fulham, highlighting their ridiculous quality of squad depth.
Riyad Mahrez (8.9m) was the standout from this team, teeing up Kevin De Bruyne (11.4m)’s wonder strike and just generally causing havoc on the right wing. He could’ve had a hat-trick on another day. Phil Foden (7.1m) and Ilkay Gundogan (6.6m) also had great games, with Foden’s mazy run for Gundogan’s clever finish the highlight of a good day at the office for both. When City played this well and still leave Raheem Sterling (10.5m), Gabriel Jesus (9.4m), Sergio Aguero (9.8m) and Aymeric Laporte (5.3m) on the bench, you get some idea just how scary Pep Guardiola’s side really are. This could well be their quadruple year.
Real Madrid also provided a comfortable win over an Atalanta side who just didn’t look up to the occasion. Luka Modric (7.4m) rolled back the years in midfield, robbing the ball from the Atalanta defence and teeing up Karim Benzema (10.4m) to give Madrid the lead. Sergio Ramos (6.5m) scored a penalty after Vinicius Junior (7.9m) was fouled and Lucas Vazquez‘s (7.8m) great run from right-back set up Marco Asensio (7.9m) to finish the game off. But this is a far from impressive Madrid side and there should be a degree of sceptiscim about their chances against tougher teams.
Bayern Munich vs Lazio (agg: 4-1)
Hansi Flick’s attacking steamroller of a side don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. A week after their incredible comeback win in Der Klassiker, Bayern comfortably beat Werder Bremen 3-1 without really leaving second gear. Thomas Müller (10m) had a great game in the hole, setting up the first two goals. Robert Lewandowski (12.1m) scored Bayern’s third and could have had a few more, taking his Bundesliga tally to 32 in 24 games.
The Pole is the top captaincy pick for this evening by some distance but any player across this Bayern team is worthy of consideration. Serge Gnabry (9.8m) looked on top form against Bremen and he’s a great differential pick for any owners.
Lazio battled to a scrappy 3-2 win over Crotone at the weekend and really don’t look like they’ll offer enough to challenge this Bayern team. Not much can be expected from any of their assets, although Ciro Immobile (10.6m) always has a goal in him and Bayern do seem to be a tad leaky.
Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid (1-0)
This is incredibly hard to call. Chelsea will sit back and let Atletico attack them and Blues’ fans will just have to hope that Thomas Tuchel’s defence holds fast. Diego Simeone has spoken about having to go out and attack and confirmed that Joao Felix (9m) is likely to play from the start. This will be a very different Atletico side to the one who sat back in the reverse tie, with Kieran Trippier’s (5.2m) return from his ban moving Atleti back to more of a 4-5-1.
Atletico could well upset the applecart here, thanks to a mixture of Simeone’s European pedigree and Chelsea’s woeful form in front of goal. Their 0-0 draw with Leeds on Saturday was less than impressive and they really struggled to offer anything of note going forwards. With Jorginho and Mason Mount both suspended for this tie, both of whom have played key roles at both ends for Tuchel’s side, Atletico should find enough holes to grab the two goals they need to win tonight.
Luis Suarez (9.8m) has gained a reputation for poor away form, but as Simeone said in the press conference, this has to end at some time. Attacking midfielder Marcos Llorente (6.5m) is also back and could well find himself amongst the points.
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