The Champions League Quarterfinals are set, well almost as Liverpool and Inter Milan play their second leg in Milan on March 11th with Liverpool traveling to Italy after winning the first leg at home 2-0. There have been some major surprises and some not so major surprises in the 2008 Champions League. Defending champions AC Milan will be watching from home, as they were defeated in the first round of the knockout phase. Two of the surprise teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are Schalke 04 from Germany and Fenerbahçe from Turkey. If Liverpool can get past Inter Milan there will be 4 teams from England’s Premier League in the last 8 teams in the 2008 Champions League Tournament.
Here is a recap on the first knockout phase of the Champions League.
Schalke 04 defeats Porto – After Schalke 04 beat Porto 1-0 in Germany both teams played in Portugal to determine, which team would head to the quarters. The game was 0-0 until late in the game when Porto scored to tie the aggregate score. In the extra period Porto had a few point blank shots but Schalke 04 keeper Manuel Neuer denied Porto and the game ended 0-1 Porto, which set up a shootout. In the shootout Manuel Neuer came up with two spectacular saves as Schalke 04 advanced to the quarterfinals.
Chelsea defeats Olymiakos – After the teams played to a 0-0 draw in Greece the Premier League Powerhouse came alive in the home leg and easily won 3-0 advancing the quarterfinals.
AS Roma defeats Real Madrid – In a shocker Real Madrid falls in the first round. Roma defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in Rome, and in Madrid AS Roma played a great game and scored first and, after Madrid tied the score, AS Roma scored late in the game given them a 2-1 victory and vaulting them to the quarterfinals.
Barcelona defeats Celtic – Barcelona cruised past Celtic, beating them in Scotland 3-2 and 1-0 in Barcelona. The victory was a costly one for Barcelona as Argentine striker Lionel Messi is out for 6 weeks with a severe hamstring injury.
Fenerbahçe defeats Sevilla – In perhaps the most thrilling games in the first round Fenerbahçe defeated Sevilla, as it came down to penalty shots. Both home teams won 3-2 so the aggregate was tied 5-5 setting up the shootout. In the shootout the Turkish team came out on top for the surprising quarterfinalists.
Manchester United defeats Lyon – Man U only won 1-0 at home, but after scoring one goal in Lyon’s 2-1 victory in France the English perennial power finds itself in familiar territory in the quarterfinals.
Arsenal defeats AC Milan – Arsenal sent defending champion AC Milan packing after defeating them in Milan 2-0. In England the two battled to a 0-0 draw, so the outcome of the game in Milan was the decider. Arsenal scored two late goals to advance to the quarterfinals.
Author: Jason Green