The quarter-finals produced twenty goals with ten of them coming in the 8-2 humiliation of Barcelona by Bayern Munich.
Favourites Manchester City came unstuck against Lyon for whom Portuguese international keeper Anthony Lopes was in fine form. PSG (France) overcame Italian underdogs Atalanta 2-1 and RB Leipzig beast Atlético Madrid by the same score.
Former Liverpool hero Philippe Coutinho scored twice in the last five minutes as Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona to complete a miserable night for the five times winners of Europe’s top club competition. The disastrous result sent shockwaves across Spain and it was no surprise when coach Quique Setién got his marching orders.
Dutch international and former Benfica boss Ronald Koeman is strongly tipped to be his replacement whilst Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi could be moving to pastures new.
Manchester City were undone by two late goals from former Fulham and Celtic player Moussa Dembélé. Lyon, who eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the previous round, beat City 3-1 with Anthony Lopes drawing widespread praise from various media outlets, including English broadcasters in particular.
“It is incredible because we are clearly the surprise team,” the Portugal goalkeeper said after the game. “I think few believed that this was possible at this level. We knew we were going to have opportunities against City and we are immensely proud and very satisfied. We have the right to continue to dream, to believe”.
The semi-finals pitted France against Germany with Leipzig playing PSG and Lyon hoping to surprise a rampant Bayern Munich.
The final on Sunday comes 70 years after Benfica won their first European silverware when, managed by former Millwall defender Ted Smith, they beat French side Bordeaux to win the Latin Cup, the precursor of the Champions League.
Portuguese internationals João Félix and Anthony Lopes were selected in the UEFA ‘Team of the Quarter-finals’. The young striker João Félix was a 58th minute substitute, gaining a penalty, for Atlético Madrid who lost to Leipzig.