Four teams remain in the Champions League after Wednesday's quarterfinals saw Liverpool and Tottenham join Barcelona and Ajax in the semifinals. Barcelona, Liverpool and Ajax form a trio of historic powerhouses and past winners in the tournament. Tottenham, meanwhile, is in the final four for the first time in club history and has never won the Champions League before. Now that we know our semifinalists, where does each team rank? Let's take a look at the best and the worst teams remaining:
The 2018 Champions League semifinal draw is complete, and at long last, after dozens of qualifiers and 120 matches in the competition proper, the final stage of the road to Kiev has crystalized. The draw took place Friday afternoon at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and offered up two intriguing matchups: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, and Liverpool vs. Roma.
The prospect of Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, back in his homeland’s capital to put Juventus to the sword in Saturday’s Champions League final, was the perfect script. But while the top club competition in international soccer has a habit of providing alluring story lines, the romance on Saturday is likely to come from elsewhere. The mundane impact of injury means Bale is likely to start on the bench for the Spanish champion.
Manchester City and Liverpool will be participating in next season’s Champions League. Most notably, Arsenal will not be in the competition for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Man City pummelled Watford 5-0, while Liverpool coasted past Middlesbrough 3-0 to secure third and fourth place in the Premier League table, respectively. Ten-man Arsenal defeated Everton 3-1, but came up one point short of the top four. It’s the first time Arsenal has missed out on the top four in 21 seasons.
Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite a 3-1 win over Everton on the final day of the Premier League. The Gunners began the day a point behind fourth-place Liverpool and were on course to displace the Reds when they took an eighth-minute lead. But Liverpool, needing a win to ensure fourth, broke Middlesbrough resistance just before the break, and won 3-0.
The Champions League looks set for a repeat of the 1998 final after Juventus took charge of its semifinal against Monaco with a 2-0 victory in the principality a day after Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid seized a 3-0 lead after the home leg of its semifinal against Atletico Madrid. Monaco never hit its stride at home, failing to score in a league or Champions League game for only the third time this season (running Juventus's shutout streak in the competition to 621 minutes), and it was undone by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain, both of them set up by Dani Alves.
Zinedine Zidane's side celebrated their penalty shootout win over Atletico by showing off the trophy to thousands of fans on the streets of the Spanish capital
Manchester United bid to find themselves a place in the Champions League group stage, with the qualifying play-off first legs taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Red Devils are drawn against Belgian hopefuls Club Brugge, with Louis van Gaal hoping his side make short work of their opponents at Old Trafford.
Fans all over the world will have no need to miss a single minute of the action in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League as FC Barcelona bid to defend the trophy.
The Champions League playoff round represents the last step before the group stage, the promised land for clubs around Europe searching for glory. This is the final stage of qualifying for the continent's top club competition, and there's just 20 teams left, paired up and ready to battle it out for the last ten group stage spots on offer.
After missing out on qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the 2014-15 season, Manchester United’s current squad will be feeling plenty of pressure ahead of the first leg of their playoff round clash with Club Brugge on Tuesday.
So much for a leisurely walk in the park in Manchester United's Champions League play-off with Club Brugge. The Belgian side took a lead inside of 10 minutes when Michael Carrick's attempt to deal with a free-kick was redirected past Sergio Romero.
United came from behind courtesy of a Memphis brace and a late, late header from Marouane Fellaini to take control of the tie
Rank outsiders Skenderbeu and distant Astana will line-up alongside traditional powers such as Manchester United, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen as the Champions League playoffs get under way with first legs this week. With millions of euros' revenue, plus the prestige of a place in the group stage at stake, the playoffs often serve up more drama and tension than the group stage itself.
There's just one stage of matches left before the Champions League group stage, and it's time to see who's going to face who to earn the last few places left in Europe's elite competition. The draw for the playoff stage is here, and soon, the field will be set. The draw includes twenty teams and is divided into two groups -- teams that qualified by winning their respective leagues, and teams that qualified by where they finished in their respective leagues. That way guarantees more actual, you know, league champions make the Champions League proper, as the so called "league route" group tends to include much bigger clubs that would trounce the "champions route" clubs from smaller countries.
So far in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, the threat of upset has been the order of the day. A number of sides expected to win easily got much tougher battles than they expected, and several may not make the final playoff round for the much sought-after Group Stage spots. While French side Monaco built on their Champions League quarterfinal run from last season with an easy 3-1 road win against Swiss side Young Boys, Netherlands power Ajax seemed to continue their fall from European grace, struggling to a 2-2 draw against Rapid Wien in Austria.