Bayern Munich and Barcelona cruised to victories in their respective quarter-final clashes, while Real Madrid finally ended their jinx against Atletico Madrid this season, thanks to the 88th minute winner from Javier Hernandez. Juventus did enough to fend off the threat from Monaco and secured a semi-final berth for the first time since 2003.
Javier Hernandez played hero for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid Getty Images
As the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final matches finished on Thursday night, four former winners Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid will lock horns in the semi-finals of this year’s tournament.
Real finally break their jinx against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid have two former Manchester United players to thank for their derby victory, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez, teamed up for the winner against Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo found the ball on the flank in the Atletico half and burst away with pace leaving the defenders behind. A quick one-two with James Rodriguez at the edge of the box, saw the Portuguese talisman through on goal with Rodriguez’s perfect lay off.
Unselfishly, Ronaldo squared the ball into the path of Javier Hernandez in the penalty area and the on-loan Manchester United striker had no problem turning the ball into the back of the net, in the 88th minute.
The goal from Hernandez was his first significant goal for the Los Blancos and he may hope that it would be enough to permanently secure a move with his dream club. Hernandez who has struggled for game time at Real, was brought into the side due to Karim Benzema’s injury.
Juventus resolutely fend off Monaco threat
Juventus have had a dream run in the Champions League (Facebook)
Serie A champions elect Juventus ensured that Arturo Vidal’s penalty in the first leg of their tie against AS Monaco, was enough for the Italian outfit to secure a semi-final berth in the Champions League.
Monaco were the far better side in attack but couldn’t find the finishing touch, thanks to Juventus’ resolute defending. Patrice Evra and Giorgio Chiellini were the two stalwarts in the Juventus defense and ensured the score remained 0-0 at the final whistle.
The principality outift had their shouts for a penalty waved off by the referee when Geoffrey Kondogbia was brought down in the box. Kondogbia found himself sandwiched between Chiellini and Vidal inside the box, as replays suggested that the Frenchman was indeed brought down by Vidal who got his leg rather than the ball, in the 36th minute.
Gianluigi Buffon came to Juventus’ rescue this time as a wayward backpass from Vidal in the 55th minute saw the ball fall into the path of Monaco striker Dimitar Berbatov. But the evergreen Italian goalkeeper darted the ball out of the Bulgarian’s feet and ensured that the tie remained goalless.
Barca cruise against PSG
Neymar (L) stole the show against PSG
Barcelona’s charge towards achieving an elusive ‘treble’ continued as the Catalans cruised to a 2-0 victory against French Champions PSG. Barca who won 3-1 at the Parc de Princes in the first leg, were the firm favourites to win and did not disappoint as, the La Liga leaders were inspired by two goals from Brazilian talisman Neymar.
Andres Iniesta produced a sublime run with the ball from the halfway line that slit the PSG defence wide open and passed the ball into the path of Neymar at the edge of the box. Neymar quickly pushed the ball into the penalty box and neatly tucked the ball into the back of the net in the 13th minute of the match.
Neymar doubled his tally by heading in Barca’s second goal in the 33rd minute of the match, thanks to Dani Alves’ pinpoint cross into the box. Two first half goals from Neymar secured a semi-final berth for Barcelona.
Bayern hand Porto a 6-1 rout at home
Bayern Munich hit FC Porto for a six
Bayern Munich showed exactly why they are such a dominant force in Europe, with a stellar performance against Porto. Bayern fell to a shock 3-1 loss against Porto in the first leg, with the German outfit requiring a scoreline of 2-0 in the second leg to secure a place in the semi-finals.But Bayern went rampant against a sorry Porto side, scoring five goals in the first half itself.
The German champions thumped Porto with a scoreline of 6-1 at the end of the night, thanks to goals from Thiago Alcántara (14′), Boateng (22′), Lewandowski (27′), (40′), Müller (36′) and Alonso (88′).
Jackson Martinez got a consolation goal for Porto in the 73rd minute, as the Portuguese outfit lost by an aggregate scoreline of 7-4.
All that’s left to see is the semi-final draw, which will see either of the remaining four European giants face each other.
Will Barca’s Luis Suarez face his old enemies Chiellini and Evra of Juventus in the semi-final, or is it yet another exciting El Clasico on the cards?
Or will Bayern take on Real in a repeat of last year’s semi-final?
Wait and Watch!