We’re now down to the final eight teams and every club in the quarterfinals will have realistic hopes of lifting European club football’s most prestigious trophy on May 29 in Istanbul.
Paris Saint-Germain will be hoping to avoid deja-vu as it faces Bayern Munich in a repeat of last season’s final. The French club, playing in its first Champions League final, was narrowly beaten 1-0 courtesy of Kingsley Coman’s winner last July.
Bayern has been in scintillating form in the Champions League and is currently enjoying a 19-game unbeaten streak, equaling its own longest run of games without defeat in the competition’s history.
PSG does have cause for optimism, though, after comfortably dispatching Lionel Messi’s Barcelona 5-2 on aggregate — and all without star forward Neymar, who had a thigh injury.
The Brazilian is back in training and new head coach Mauricio Pochettino will need all the firepower he can get if he is to go one better than predecessor Thomas Tuchel and lift the trophy that PSG’s Qatari owners crave the most.
Elsewhere, there will another final repeat — this time of the 2018 final — as 2019 champion Liverpool faces 13-time winner Real Madrid.
Both sides have endured difficult domestic seasons so far — Liverpool perhaps more so than its Spanish counterpart — but the Champions League has provided some welcome respite.
Few of Liverpool’s defensive frailties were on show as Jurgen Klopp’s team comfortably strolled past a dangerous RB Leipzig side, while Zinedine Zidane’s Real started to show flashes of its potential in the 4-1 aggregate win over Atalanta.
This season’s favorite, Manchester City, faces the daunting prospect of going up against Europe’s most lethal striker, 20-year-old Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian wonderkid seems to break records every time he steps onto the pitch, scoring four more goals in Borussia Dortmund’s thrilling 5-4 aggregate win over Sevilla to take his tally to 20 Champions League goals.
Haaland has reached that number in just 14 games, considerably faster than any other player in the tournament’s history.
City, however, has been in imperious form of late. The team sits 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League and cruised past Borussia Monchengladbach in the round of 16, winning 4-0 on aggregate while barely getting out of second gear.
Pep Guardiola is yet to get close to winning the Champions League since moving to Manchester and he knows the pressure is on from the club’s Emirati owners.
The final match up sees Tuchel’s impressive Chelsea side take on Porto, which knocked out Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in a thrilling round of 16 tie that went to extra time.
Chelsea has been one of Europe’s form teams since the German took charge following Frank Lampard’s dismissal, and most anticipated Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid would provide a much sterner test than it did.
The Blues boast one of the most talented squads in Europe and after hiring a manager with Champions League credentials, fans may be quietly optimistic of adding another title to the one in claimed 2012.
Analysis from World Sport’s Alex Thomas
A Champions League draw with something for every football fan and probably all the better for keeping the two German teams and three English sides apart.
Of the eight survivors, only Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain aren’t former champions and they’re two of the bookmakers’ favorites to lift the trophy.
On form alone, the dream final would have been City vs. Bayern, but that’s impossible now they’re in the same half of the draw. Both will be expected to reach the last four at the expense of the competition’s two most exciting youngsters, Dortmund’s Haaland and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.
Real Madrid against Liverpool will be fascinating and, for all Porto’s qualities, Chelsea boss Tuchel seems to have a route to another final, less than a year after guiding PSG there.
Draw in full
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
Porto vs. Chelsea
Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
The first legs of the quarterfinals will take place on April 6 and 7, with the returns legs on April 13 and 14.
Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid or Liverpool vs. Porto or Chelsea