Entertaining? Maybe. Surprising? Not very much. Bayern Munich didn’t run into too much trouble with Arsenal, ending their second leg encounter with a 1-1 draw to put them through, while Atletico Madrid looked a lot more hungry and impressive in their 4-1 demolition of AC Milan, also making it into the Champions League quarterfinals.
For Atletico, this is the first time they’ve made it through a knockout stage in the competition, and their first trip to the quarterfinals since 1997. Carrying a 1-0 lead from the first match at the San Siro, they were the better and dominant side at home as well.
Diego Costa opened the scoring after only three minutes from Atletico’s specialty and Milan’s weakness: The set pieces, scoring off a corner kick. Milan had a few moments of enjoyable attacking football, especially in possession when both Adel Taarabt and Kaka touched the ball. Mario Balotelli? He really didn’t show up, and barely got a chance to create anything from inside the box.
Still, Milan got their goal to give them some hope in the 27th minute through Kaka and a Taarabt assist. However, Arda Turan’s shot from outside the box grazed a knee of a defender to give Atletico a 2-1 lead Milan couldn’t battle. Raul Garcia and Diego Costa finished the job in the second half, making it one of Atletico’s most impressive nights of the season.
In Munich, Arsenal had their moments but in general, they didn’t have enough of the ball to create too many dangerous moments next to Neuer’s goal.
Bayern scored first, finding the net in the 54th minute after Franck Ribery did an excellent job on the wing to find a wide open Bastian Schweinsteiger in the middle of the box, scoring the goal that probably relieved the few tense feelings for the European champions. Lukas Podolski scored only three minutes later to give Arsenal a feint hope once more, and Olivier Giroud missed a good chance a minute later, but Arsenal’s day was over after 57 minutes.
Thomas Muller missed a penalty kick in injury time, with the ball dramtically rolling on the line before Fabianski finally cleared it, but it didn’t really matter. For the second consecutive season, Arsenal are knocked out of the tournament in the round of 16, this time losing 3-1 on aggregate.