Five talking points from the Champions League quarter-final draw Harry Kane Bayern Arsenal
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Champions League quarter-final draw: Five talking points

The UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw has been made and it’s thrown up some sensational ties in the last eight.

Manchester City and Arsenal have each learned their opponents and both teams face formidable challenges to progress to the semi-finals.

We’ve looked at five talking points from the Champions League quarter-final draw.

Arsenal face familiar nemesis

Arsenal can be excused for feeling a sense of déjà vu after the quarter-final draw, with the Gunners drawn to face Bayern Munich. The German champions have proven to be a regular nemesis for the north Londoners in this competition, eliminating Arsenal in four previous knockout round ties between the teams.

Arsenal have won just three of the 12 meetings between the sides in the Champions League, with their most recent encounters being one-sided contests. The last three games have all ended 5-1 in favour of the German giants, including a 10-2 aggregate loss in the 2016/17 last 16.

None of the current Arsenal team are survivors from those clashes, which could bode well as the Gunners look to navigate a tough test against the six-time European champions.

Kane returns to north London

Key to success for Arsenal will be stopping the impact of Harry Kane, who will return to north London for the first time since leaving rivals Tottenham in the summer.

The 30-year-old has had a record-breaking start to his Bayern Munich career despite an up-and-down season for the Bundesliga champions, scoring 36 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions. The joint-leading scorer in this season’s Champions League, the arrival of Kane was designed to help Bayern take the next step to European success.

Kane scored twice in the turnaround of the club’s last-16 tie with Lazio and will be central to the Bavarian’s hopes of challenging for the Champions League. The record goalscorer in north London derbies, he boasts a brilliant record against Arsenal with 14 goals in 19 career appearances.

Luis Enrique makes Barcelona return

Barcelona will welcome back a former favourite in the Champions League quarter-finals, as Luis Enrique brings his Paris Saint-Germain team to Catalonia.

A revered figure at Barcelona as both player and manager, he scored 109 times in 300 appearances during a decorated career with the Catalans, before leading the Spanish side to nine trophies – including a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble in the 2014/15 season – as head coach.

Enrique is now tasked with ending Paris Saint-Germain’s wait for an elusive European title and after an unconvincing group stage, the French champions impressed to beat Real Sociedad in the first knockout round.

Kylian Mbappe scored in both legs of that tie and Barcelona are well aware of the threat he can pose. Mbappe scored a scintillating hat-trick when the teams last met in 2021. Having been placed on the more favourable side of the semi-final draw, PSG will be quietly confident.

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Favourites face off in glamour tie

Manchester City meet Real Madrid in the glamour tie of the round, as the reigning European champions face the 14-time winners in the last eight.

The two teams have met 10 times in the Champions League since 2012, with an even record in head-to-head clashes. Manchester City have won four of those games, with three Real Madrid victories and three draws.

Last season, the teams collided in the semi-finals and Manchester City ended Real Madrid’s hopes of back-to-back trophies with a stunning second-leg success at the Etihad. Their 4-0 humiliation of the then-holders might just be the greatest Champions League performance from an English club, one the Spaniards will have scars from as their rivalry resumes.

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An opportunity for the underdogs?

Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund began the quarter-final draw as outsiders for success this season and each will have been pleased to have been drawn together in the last eight.

While each of the remaining teams possesses huge quality, there will be confidence from both at navigating a comparatively favourable last-eight draw.

Having also avoided Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Arsenal in the other half of the semi-final draw, an opportunity has opened up for an underdog to make an unexpected run to the decider at Wembley.

Read – Champions League quarter-final draw: Kane faces Arsenal

See more – Five talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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