Lille and Juventus were the last two teams to say goodbye to the Champions League, joining Paris Saint Germain, Inter Milan, Salzburg, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Manchester United.
Massimiliano Allegri, coach of the team where Juan Guillermo Cuadrado plays, lamented the lofty result at home against Villarreal (0-3), which triggered his premature elimination from the continental tournament, leaving the next phase without Italian representation.
“We have to accept this bad defeat, but we played well for most of the game. I can’t blame the boys for anything: I congratulate Emery and Villarreal, because they played a clean game. Their intention was maybe to take the game to overtime or take advantage of the episode, and they did it in the best way, ”he said.
“Villarreal is a very expert team and they took advantage of the opportunity they had, while we were very naive in conceding that penalty. We regret the result, because we had chances in the first leg and today too. But I can’t say much to my players, they just have to continue working as they have done up to now”, Allegri sentenced after the defeat.
Cuadrado, as captain, came out to face the elimination. “There are no explanations, sometimes football is like that. We had a good first half, but we didn’t know how to take advantage of our chances. It’s a shame, but we know that matches can be decided by this type of episode,” he explained.
Villarreal joined Chelsea to the eight teams that are still in the race for European glory. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Benfica, Manchester City and Atlético de Madrid also dream of ‘La Orejona’.
Spain vs. England?
La Liga and the Premier League are the two most represented competitions in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, with three clubs each, while the Bundesliga and the Portuguese league, with Bayern and Benfica, complete the list of the eight best in the ‘old continent’ for the 2021/22 season.
Real Madrid’s triumph last week was joined by Atlético de Madrid and Villarreal, both away from home after defeating Manchester United and Juventus, respectively. Their victories confirm that the Spanish League is still powerful in Europe, capturing almost 50% of the places in the quarterfinals.
Spain regains continental respect after last season only Real Madrid got past the round of 16 and has three representatives again four seasons later. The last one was 2017/18, also with the white team, in addition to the presence of Sevilla and FC Barcelona in an edition that the merengues finally won.
This same statistic presents British football, with three qualified clubs: Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, which was the last to get its ticket. The ‘blues’ are the current champions and those of Klopp and Guardiola -in top form- star in a nice duel for the league leadership.
In addition, Bayern Munich, a Champions League classic in the final rounds, completes the quarterfinals, as well as Benfica, who surprised Ajax last Tuesday and returns Portuguese pride to the most prestigious competition in Europe.
The draw for this quarter round will be held this Friday from 6:00 in the morning (Colombian time) in Nyon, the home of European football, and it will be pure. In other words, there will be no country restrictions, nor previous clashes, so it is very likely that a duel between the Spanish and the English will result in the next tie, which will be played on April 5-6 and 12-13.
At the same time, the possible semifinal keys will be defined and the path that each team will take on their way to the final, which will be played at the Stade de France after Uefa decided to suspend Saint Petersburg (Russia) as the venue.
Channel and time to see the draw
Champions League 2021/22
Quarter-final, semi-final and final draw
Friday March 18, 2022
Hour: 06:00 (Colombia)
Channel: Uefa.com and Uefa social networks
With information from Europe Press.