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Europe’s top eight

Champions League quarter-final line-up complete

The line-up for the Champions League quarter-finals was completed on Wednesday night when holders Manchester United defeated Inter Milan 2-0 on aggregate, Barcelona saw off Olympique Lyon 6-3, Porto overcame Atletico Madrid on away goals after the sides drew 2-2 on aggregate, and Arsenal beat Roma 7-6 on penalties after two 1-0 home wins and a goalless period of extra-time.

On Tuesday, Bayern cruised into the last eight with a 12-1 aggregate win against Sporting Clube. The German champions were joined by Liverpool (5-0 aggregate winners over Real Madrid), Villarreal (3-2 winners against Panathinaikos) and Chelsea (3-2 winners against Juventus). All four English Premier League hopefuls remain in the trophy hunt, but the Italian league is no longer represented.

Draw on 20 March

The eight clubs now turn their attention to UEFA’s Swiss HQ in Nyon, where the draw for the quarter and semi-finals takes place on 20 March. “We’re hoping for a fantastic, attractive draw. My players have shown what they’re really capable of in all our Champions League games so far. We needn’t be afraid of anyone,” Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann declared.

“I wouldn’t necessarily want to meet Liverpool. I think they’re very, very strong at the present time. The most important thing would be having the first game away from home. That would be a huge advantage. I don’t want to play the first leg at home to Manchester United, and then go to Old Trafford for the return,” commented general manager Uli Hoeneß. Munich are through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the eighth time in all.

First leg away, please

“You need the luck of the draw. When I won it with Barcelona three years ago, we played every first leg in the knockout phase away from home. It’s definitely an advantage,” agreed captain Mark van Bommel. In this year’s Round of 16, only three of the eight winners (Chelsea, Arsenal and Villarreal) were at home for the first leg.

The last eight ties will be played on 7 and 8 April, with the returns on 14 and 15 April. The semi-finals are set for 28 and 29 April, and 5 and 6 May. The Final takes place at the Olympic stadium in Rome on 27 May.

2008-9 Champions League quarter-finalists:

Bayern, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Villarreal, Porto