5️⃣ things we learned from Wednesday's UCL action | OneFootball

5️⃣ things we learned from Wednesday's UCL action | OneFootball

Icon: OneFootball


Ben Browning·17 April 2024

5️⃣ things we learned from Wednesday's UCL action

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Wednesday's UCL action

The last of the Champions League quarter finals played out this evening as four sides fought it out to join Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain in the last four of the competition.

Bayern Munich edged past Arsenal in Germany, with a Joshua Kimmich goal proving the difference and sending Mikel Arteta’s side crashing out of the competition.

OneFootball Videos

Meanwhile, Real Madrid edged out Manchester City courtesy of a penalty shoot-out on an awful night for English clubs that has knock on effects across the Premier League.

Here are the five things we picked out from the evening’s games.

Arsenal overawed by the occasion?

Heading to the Allianz Arena against a wounded Bayern side, Arsenal had battled well to a 2-2 draw in north London a week ago.

But after a promising start to the second leg, they faded fast.

Bayern dominated much of the second half, hitting the post twice before Joshua Kimmich scored what proved to be the decisive goal.

It was Arsenal’s second loss in a costly week that has seen them lose control of the Premier League too.

Was it fatigue, or were they simply overawed by the occasion?

Antonio Rüdiger; big game player

It was already well known just how good Antonio Rüdiger was when the German helped Chelsea lift the Champions League back in 2021, but he seems to have gone to a whole new level in the white and gold of Los Blancos.

The German (ably assisted by veteran defender Nacho) kept Haaland quiet all night like he had in the first leg, with the Norwegian having just 21 touches and managing five passes before being substituted on the full time whistle.

Then, as if to prove his nervelessness, the centre back stepped up to take the fifth penalty for his side, needing to score to send them through.

Needless to say, he found the bottom corner, capping off an excellent evening for the 31-year-old.

Now he just needs to remember to take Haaland out of his pocket before he hands his shorts to the kit-man!

Goals galore in Champions League swansong but…

Kimmich’s second half goal set a new record, with the most goals in any Champions League stage in history having been scored across the past eight days.

But the games on show tonight proved that there can still be close and nervy low-scoring ties.

Just three goals in 210 minutes of football was a far cry from the goal -ests from the three other nights of Champions League action in the last week, but each proved massive in its own way.

Maybe more goals aren’t always more fun after all.

Ancelotti’s magic finds a way again

Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid developed a reputation of snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat and, after a brief hiatus last season, that appears to have come back with a vengeance.

Manchester City battered on the Real Madrid door for 120 minutes, but despite finding a leveller they couldn’t find a winning goal.

That left it down to penalties, and despite Ederson saving a penalty for the first time since Sergio Agüero left Manchester City in 2021, a horror effort from Bernardo Silva and Andriy Lunin saving Mateo Kovačić’s spot kick ensured that Ancelotti’s side marched into the last four against all the odds once more.

Kane and Dier coming back to stop Tottenham?

It is fair to say that most Tottenham fans will not have wanted Arsenal to go through against their record goalscorer, but in knocking out the Gunners the ex-Spurs players may have harmed their former side’s chances of Champions League football next season.

After Dortmund’s progression against Atlético de Madrid, Bayern’s advancement has only pushed Germany further ahead of England in the race for a fifth Champions League spot next season, with Italy also in the hunt for the prestigious accolade.

Article image:5️⃣ things we learned from Wednesday's UCL action

Combined with Manchester City’s exit at the hands of Real Madrid, and with West Ham United and Liverpool both teetering on the edge after first leg defeats in the Europa League, there may only be four English teams in Europe next season after all.

That makes the final run-in, where Spurs face all of the top three, even more crucial.