Today’s Champions League Quarter-Finals

Bayern  welcome Arsenal in mouthwatering encounter

Returning to the scene of many Champions League capitulation, Arsenal step foot onto the Allianz Arena turf on Wednesday night for the second leg of their mouthwatering quarter-final with Bayern Munich.

Last week’s opening battle at the Emirates certainly lived up to the hype, but Mikel Arteta‘s men were left to lament uncharacteristic mistakes in a 2-2 draw with the former Bundesliga champions, who came away with a hard-fought stalemate despite the absence of an away end.

Bayern leave their mark at Emirates

Neither Serge Gnabry nor Harry Kane made the grade in Arsenal colours during their stints in the Gunners academy, but the Bayern duo certainly left their mark on the Emirates soil during a four-goal thriller, which was sparked into life through Bukayo Saka‘s fine finish.  The Emirates stalemate certainly benefits Bayern, even with the away goals rule now a thing of the past.

With Bayer Leverkusen’s coronation on the German top-flight title, Bayern now only have European stardom to fight for between now and the end of the season, and the Bavarians have advanced from 17 of their last 18 Champions League knockout ties when avoiding defeat in the first leg, as well as going unbeaten in their last 14 home matches in Europe’s top tournament.

Arsenal take solace in defensive record

A handful of glass-half-empty Arsenal fans have already resigned their side to another title failure as Mikel Arteta’s men trail Manchester City by two points following their first Premier League loss of 2024, one which saw Villa weather a first-half storm before getting their reward for their second-45 dominance.

Arteta and co cannot dwell on Sunday’s chastening result for long, though, and the travelling crowd can take encouragement from Arsenal’s spectacular defensive record on rival territory, which has seen the Gunners ship just one goal in their last six away matches and keep clean sheets in each of their last three.

No Gooner needs reminding of the visitors’ previous humiliations on the Allianz Arena turf, though, as Arsenal return to Munich on the back of successive 5-1 away losses to Bayern in 2015 and 2017, and only one of their six away games versus the Bavarians has seen the Gunners prevail.


For the most part, Bayern boss Tuchel oversaw a tactical masterclass in last week’s first leg, where the Bavarians’ centre-backs, midfielders and wingers all terrorised an Arsenal side evidently lacking experience of such a momentous European occasion.

While Arteta’s men are usually defensive powerhouses on the road, their lack of ruthlessness and second-half capitulation versus Villa was worrying, and with Bayern working with an extra day’s rest, we expect the Gunners to wake up from their Champions League dream.



Manchester City and Real Madrid cross paths once again

After the first leg lived up to the hype and then some, Manchester City and Real Madrid cross paths once again for the return fixture in their Champions League quarter-final at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Two European Titans

An evening of spectacular strikes at the Bernabeu saw the two European titans share the spoils in a 3-3 thriller last week, and the reward for Wednesday’s victor will be a semi-final test versus either Arsenal or Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid

Encounters between Man City and Real Madrid in the Spanish capital rarely fail to live up to the pre-game billing, and last week’s first leg was no different, with a six-goal extravaganza.

Coincidentally, six goals have also been registered in each of Man City’s last two Premier League contests, but Pep Guardiola‘s men have come out on the correct end of the scoreline each time, coming from behind to conquer Crystal Palace before the weekend’s 5-1 dismantling of relegation-threatened Luton Town.

Unbeaten Record

Now unbeaten in 27 matches across all tournaments since December’s lowly loss to Aston Villa, City have more than just a semi-final place on offer this week, as progression would also see the hosts equal a club-record 42-game unbeaten streak on home turf, a feat set all the way back in 1921.

Manchester City

Not since November 2022 – before the Qatar World Cup – have Man City emerged from an Etihad encounter on the wrong end of the scoreline, but Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are no strangers to extraordinary Champions League comebacks against their counterparts in sky blue.

Real Madrid’s unbeaten sequence may not be as noteworthy as their hosts’, but a 15-game streak without being bested is still nothing to be scoffed at, and the 14-time Champions League winners have some Mancunian history on their side ahead of Wednesday’s midweek sojourn to the north of England.


Twenty-three goals have flown into the back of the net during City and Real’s last five contests – an average of 4.6 per game – and another engrossing encounter ought to be on the menu between two sides boasting fully-fit attacking contingents.

There ought to be no repeat of the four-goal drubbing dished out by Guardiola’s charges a little under 12 months ago, but with the holders imperious on home soil – albeit without the defensive solitude to match – we expect Man City to remain on course for back-to-back continental triumphs and inflict a familiar sense of Mancunian misery on Los Blancos.



Werder Bremen suspend Naby Keita  until end of season                                              Former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been suspended by Werder Bremen until the end of the season and given a “substantial fine” after refusing to travel with the team for Sunday’s Bundesliga game at Bayer Leverkusen.

The club said after Keita, 29, found out he would not start the match he “decided to go home instead”.

Werder Bremen lost 5-0 as Leverkusen were crowned Bundesliga champions.

“We won’t tolerate Naby’s behaviour,” said football director Clemens Fritz.

Naby Keita

“He let his team down in a time of difficulty surrounding our recent run of form and squad availability and put his own interests above those of the team.

“We can’t allow that. At this stage of the season, we need full focus on the remaining games and a team who stick together. That’s why we’ve been left with no alternative.”

The Guinea international will not train with the team or be part of the first-team dressing room as part of his punishment.

He joined 12th-placed Werder in June 2023 after five seasons at Liverpool but has made only five league appearances for the German side, and just one start.



Bayern Munich20:00Arsenal

Manchester City20:00Real Madrid


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