Champions League and Europa League
After a thrilling fortnight, the Quarter-Finalists are all now in place for the European Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
A Lionel Messi masterclass helped sweep defending Champions Barcelona into the last eight.
One of the big stories was about that other Milan team, Inter, and their manager Jose Mourinho as he returned to face his former club Chelsea. With a 2-1 lead from the first leg, their advantage looked slender with the London club having an away goal. Both teams played nervously, knowing that just one goal could decide it, but it went in favour of the “special one” and the Italian fans went home very happy, thanks to a goal from Eto'o on 79 minutes. The other London club still in the competition, Arsenal fared much better with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Porto. Fiorentina and Bayern Munich drew 4-4 and the German club went through on the away goals rule. Making up the final place in the Quarter finals are CSKA Moscow, who beat Spanish side Sevilla 2-1 on aggregate.
The Quarter Final Draws for both European competitions were held on Friday 19th March 2010.
Champions League Draw.
Lyon v Bordeaux
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
Arsenal v Barcelona
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow
Manchester United or Bayern Munich v Lyon or Bordeaux
Inter Milan or CSKA Moscow v Arsenal or Barcelona
The first legs of the Quarter-finals will be played on March 30th and 31st
The second legs of the Quarter-Finals will be played on April 6th and 7th
The first legs of the Semi-finals will be played on April 20-21
The second legs of the Semi-Finals will be played on April 27th and 28th
The Champions League Final will be played on Saturday May 22 2010 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in Madrid, Spain.
In the Europa League, Liverpool turned around a 1-0 deficit to beat Lille 3-0 on the night at Anfield, whilst Fulham dreamed the impossible dream and made it possible. They were losing 3-0 from the first leg to the mighty Juventus, when they went another goal down! What happened next was little short of a miracle, but they came back to win 4-1 and progress into the next round. The Italian press was not happy! Elsewhere, Anderlecht beat Hamburg 4-3 but it was not enough to progress and the German side went through 6-5 on aggregate. Marseille lost at home 2-1 to Benfica a 3-2 victory overall to the Portugese club. Their neighbours Sporting did not fare so well. a 2-2 draw at home to Athletico Madrid meant that the Spanish won on away goals and progressed to the last eight. Standard Leige beat Panathinaikos 5-1 on aggregate, whilst Werder Bremen and Valencia fought out an exciting 5-5 draw over 2 legs. It was Valencia who went through, as away goals count double in the case of a draw. The final place in the draw went to Wolfsburg, beating Rubin Kazan 2-1 on the night, and 3-2 overall.
Europa League Draw
Fulham v Wolfsburg
Hamburg v Standard Liege
Valencia v Athletico Madrid
Benfica v Liverpool
Hamburg or Standard Liege v Fulham or Wolfsburg
Valencia or Atletico Madrid v Benfica or Liverpool
The first legs of the Quarter-finals will be played on April 1st, the second legs will all be played on April 8th.The first legs of the Semi-finals will be played on April 22nd, and the second legs on April 29th 2010.
The UEFA Europa League Final will be played on Wednesday May 12, Hamburg Arena, Hamburg, Germany.
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