The Champions League Is Down to Eight Teams

The Champions League Is Down to Eight Teams

by March 17, 2022 0 comments

The 2021-22 UEFA Champions League is complete and the quarter-finals are set. For the second consecutive time, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been dumped out of the tournament in the Round of 16. Last week, heavy favorites Paris Saint-Germain was eliminated by Real Madrid. In addition, Juventus was eliminated by Villareal after a shocking 3-0 loss on home soil. Furthermore, Ajax lost at home to Benfica, thus losing 3-2 on aggregate. As a result, Ajax is out.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel now has 32 wins in his 50 Champions League matches, which sets a new record, surpassing Zinedine Zidane. Earlier this week, Manchester United’s run ended after a 1-0 loss at home to Atlético Madrid, resulting in their title drought increasing to five years. The future of PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino is unclear although he is linked with the managerial position at Manchester United. Pochettino has not addressed his future with the club.

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Which of these eight teams is the toughest?

Chelsea may be defending champions, they’re certainly not the toughest club. The toughest has to be Bayern Munich. Over and over again, Bayern Munich has proved that they’re not a club to underestimate. Taking them lightly is a fatal mistake since always play with a winning mentality and excel with team chemistry. If by any luck, Bayern Munich and Chelsea are to face off in the quarterfinals, whichever of the two that survives will prove who’s the tougher club.

Much like Bayern Munich, Chelsea is a good club, as well. They have a terrific manager, and they have talent. Despite the drama they’ve been dealing with involving the club’s owner, the players and staff are focusing on winning. So the team appears to be fine. They know it doesn’t get easier from here, so they know they’ll need to push harder in the quarter-finals regardless of who they play.

Manchester City was very close to winning their first title last season, but couldn’t secure it in the final. The last five tournaments have ended in a heartbreaking fashion The Citizens. Now, more than ever, they’re looking to win the Champions League for the first time. Manchester City is a good team and aside from winning their first title, they’re looking to silence the critics.

Can Liverpool or Real Madrid possibly Win it All?

As far as Liverpool and Real Madrid go, Liverpool’s chances of winning the title are about the same. Los Blancos eliminated PSG in a convincing fashion. Liverpool did not play well in their second leg against Inter Milan. The Reds were fortunate that Inter missed several scoring chances because Liverpool missed several scoring opportunities, as well. Had Inter not missed their opportunities, Liverpool probably would not be in the final eight. As far as Liverpool goes, they can’t afford another sloppy performance in the tournament. For Real Madrid, they need to be ready for anything and continue to play well as a team and maintain a winning mentality.

Altético Madrid at one point was at risk of not making out of the group stage. Injuries and suspensions really put Atlético at a disadvantage, but despite the insurmountable odds, they found a way to pull through. Although they didn’t easily get past Manchester United, they seem to be playing at a respectable level. The challenge only intensifies moving forward, so Altlético needs to maintain discipline.

The Underdogs

Villareal and Benfica had to fight hard to make it to the final eight. In Villareal’s case, they’re in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. Villareal would love nothing more than to make it to the final four for the first time since 2006. At this point, Villareal solidifies itself as the tournament’s dark horse.

Benfica is having quite a Cinderella run in this tournament. The club is in the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2015-16 Champions League. After surviving a group stage with Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Benfica is in for another big challenge. No doubt, they’ll have their sights set to make the final four to keep their Cinderella run going. The draw for the quarterfinals will take place tomorrow. The quarterfinals will begin on April 5 and 6

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