By Pranav Kanade
Following a remarkable comeback in Paris, Manchester United secured their place in the last eight of the Champions League and ensured that four English clubs reached the quarter finals of the tournament for the first time in nine years. Without the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to compete with, the English clubs have the best chance as any to claim European glory and the draw on 15th March detailed their route to the final.
The first two names drawn were Ajax and Juventus meaning the two meet for the first time since the final in 1996. Both teams were forced to overturn a first leg deficit and Ajax impressed the most with a 4-1 away win against last year’s champions Real Madrid but Juventus are still favourites to win the tie considering the quality of their squad and incredibly strong home record.
Soon after, Liverpool were drawn against Porto to set up a repeat of last year’s round of 16 tie which saw the Merseyside team run riot with a 5-0 aggregate victory. The next fixture will be an all English encounter with league leaders Manchester City coming up against Tottenham Hotspur, marking the first time the clubs will meet in a UEFA competition. The final tie will see Barcelona play Manchester United and will be a repeat of the 2011 final which saw the Spanish side claim a 3-1 victory.
Liverpool and Juventus will be happiest of the eight and are favourites to progress to the semi-finals whereas Manchester United and Spurs can feel hard done by and certainly seem to have the hardest draws.