Five Major Talking Points in 2023/24 Champions League Quarterfinal First Leg

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The 2023/24 Champions League quarterfinal first leg has come and gone with cracker matchups that lit the footballing world on April 9 and 10.

Pitting the best of footballers and managers, all four matches lived up to the bidding with the mesmerizing dance of strategy, the thrill of fiery goals, masterclass individual performances, side-pitch histrionics by managers, and the seething cauldron of stadia packed with enthusiastic fans.

From the deafening fans echoes at Santiago Bernabeu, the subdued atmosphere at Parc Des Princes, the uproar at Civitas Metropolitano to the half-filled arena in North London, the rollercoaster matchups ran full cycle with their characteristic hysteria and pomp. The bountiful harvest of goals added a unique and intriguing layer to the games with 16 goals scored in all

Futballnews takes a look at five major talking points as UEFA draw the curtain on the first round of matches in this year’s quarterfinal fixtures.

A finely poised finishes in the first matchday

The 2023/24 Champions League quarterfinal matchday one was the most intriguing. And, interestingly, they both ended all-squares.

Real Madrid settled for a 3-3 draw with Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu. Arsenal settled for a 2-2 draw in a half-filled Emirates stadium, where Bayern Munich fans were barred from the arena via European sanctions.

The draws in the two matches were deservedly earned after a strongly-contested 90 minutes of football. It has left all four teams on equal footing as they set out for the second leg on April 16 and 17.

Dramatic victories in the second matchday

Away from the deadlock at Santiago Bernabeu and the Emirates in matchday one, the second matchday produced winners in the two matches.

Barcelona defied the odds to defeat PSG 3-2 away from home at Parc Des Princes while Atletico Madrid secured a narrow 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at the Civitas Metropolitano Stadium.

Barcelona’s victory over PSG came just hours after PSG boss and former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique seemed to aim a dig at Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez for not representing well Barcelona’s characteristic attacking and possessive style of play.

The match outcome apparently vindicated Xavi and gave the Catalans a huge advantage going into the second leg in Spain.

Conversely, Atletico Madrid will travel to Signal Iduna Park to defend their 2-1 victory.

Multiple LaLiga clubs likely in the Semifinals

All three LaLiga clubs in the quarterfinal first leg avoided defeat with two – Barcelona and Atletico – emerging with victories. Based on permutations, it is more likely we could have more than one LaLiga club in the last four of the tournament.

This will go a long way to boost their UEFA coefficient and possibly have the Spain elite division secure more slots in UEFA club competitions.

Arsenal yet to extinguish nightmare runs against Bundesliga clubs

Arsenal’s chances in this year’s Champions League dominated the conversation ahead of the quarterfinal first leg. The high-flying North London outfit, under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta, were tied against regular knockout opponents Bayern Munich, who have triumphed three times over them in the knockout.

Generally, Arsenal pose a miserable record against German clubs in European club competitions.

They have won six times, drew five times, and lost 10 times. Despite playing with only their fans in the stands, the Gunners managed a draw against the visitors. Traveling to Anfield with Bayern Munich fans returning to the stands is certainly going to be a tough test for the Premier League title hopefuls.

The new king of Europe is yet to be decided

All eyes were on the Real Madrid Vs Manchester City cracker. It was a high-stake clash with the mantle of European football up for grabs.

The matchup saw reigning champions Manchester City battle it out with the biggest and most successful club in the continent – Real Madrid.

A win for Manchester City would have consolidated their status as emerging European dominos but it was rightly delayed, thanks to Federico Valverde’s equaliser.

The second leg at Etihad will see the two sides settle the scores. A loss to Real Madrid would be another chastening defeat that will weigh on their status as European juggernauts.

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