MADRID – The UEFA Champions League season 2022/23 round of 16 second leg completed on Wednesday night, to produce the eight teams of the quarter final.
In the focused match yesterday, Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0 at Bernabeu Stadium, finishing a double kill against the runner-up last season with aggregate 6-2.
The defending champion won their first meeting 5-2 at Anfield three weeks ago, didn’t give a hope for the Reds to create a miracle to overturn the situation, secured their home victory with a goal from Karim Benzema in the 87th minute.
With a powerful performance in the qualification stage, Los Blancos proved their ability to retain the title as well as their 15th European championship.
Liverpool might face another empty season after the elimination, they are next to impossible to win the English Premier League this season, while failing in the FA Cup event.
Napoli: The Rising Powerhouse
In another match last night, SSC Napoli beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 at home, advancing into the next round with aggregate 5-0.
The Italian Serie A leading team showed their identity as a rising powerhouse in the European competition, potentially to challenge for their first ever UCL trophy.
The Blue Squad had minor difficulty against the German club for both legs, celebrating their second win with two goals from Victor Osimhen and a penalty kick from Piotr Zielinski.
Napoli is now aiming for two titles this season, they are pretty close to their third Serie A trophy in history, with a huge 18 points gap above second place’s Inter Milan.
The Comeback of Italian Clubs
There are three Italian teams in the UCL quarter final this season, the most record in the last 17 years, showing the comeback of the Serie A league.
Inter Milan and AC Milan had qualified in the previous matchdays, by eliminating Porto and Tottenham Hotspur with the same aggregate 1-0.
Two English Premier League clubs appeared in the Last 8, including Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Cities are regarded as the top favourite of Champions League winner this year, after their superb 7–0 victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Real Madrid represents the Spanish LaLiga, while Bayern Munich from the German Bundesliga is another hot pick.
Among the eight giants, Benfica from Portugal has the least expectation to win the title, but potentially to play as a dark horse.
Upcoming: Europa League
After the UEFA Champions League event, the Europa League round of 16 will be completed on Thursday night as well.
The focused matches of the second leg include the visiting of Manchester United on Real Betis.
The Red Devils who led 4-1 aggregate expected to march into the Last 8 with less difficulty in Spain.
Meanwhile, Arsenal has a tough mission to welcome Sporting CP at Emirates Stadium, after a 2-2 tie in Portugal last month.
The fixtures of the UCL and the Europa League quarter finals will be revealed at Malaysia time Friday night.
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