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Sunday, May 24th

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Bayern and Atletico power into UEFA Champions League quarter-finals

Reigning Champions Bayern Munich and Spanish challengers Atletico Madrid booked their expected places in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last night with strong aggregate wins against Arsenal and AC Milan, respectively. Bayern, who lead 2-0 from the first leg in London, were held to a 1-1 draw on the night in Munich, while Atletico triumphed 5-1 on aggregate, thumping the 7-time former Champions 4-1 at the Vicente Calderon.

Bayern Munich played out an entertaining 1-1 draw against a combative Arsenal side, who huffed and puffed and produced a performance that they can be proud of at the Allianz Arena. After a goal-less first half that was dominated by Bayern, the hosts went ahead in the 55th minute from a close range finish from veteran midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger after he was perfectly picked out by Franck Ribery.

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Wenger urges Arsenal to do the 'Impossible' tonight

It is certainly not easy when a team has the challenge of overturning a 2-0 deficit in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie. And the task becomes even harder when the opposition is a club of the likes of reigning European champions Bayern Munich. However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident that his club are well-prepared and capable of the task at hand, despite finding himself in the aforementioned situation.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Gunners’ encounter with the Bavarian Giants at the Allianz Arena later tonight, the Frenchman said: “We’ve had a few good nights but that [beating Bayern to qualification] would be absolutely great. Bayern, at the moment, have confidence because they are doing well. But we have a great opportunity to do it. I am absolutely confident that we have the mentality to be ready to play at our best. Last year’s victory here is very important in that belief. We have done it before so, of course, we know we can do it again.”

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Champions League Mini Preview: Bayern Munich vs Arsenal

Premier League side Arsenal will be faced with yet another daunting test in the Champions League on Tuesday when they face defending Champions Bayern Munich in their backyard at the Allianz Arena in the 2nd leg of their round of 16 tie. Arsenal will need to overturn yet another 2 goal deficit from the first leg of the tie and will be hoping for atleast a repeat performance at the same stage of the tourney last season, when they gave Bayern a scare by beating them 2-0 in Munich.

While Arsene Wenger and his men will have nothing to lose on the night and could be a big irritant for Bayern, Pep Guardiola’s men must not drop their guard against the Gunners, who are fresh from an FA Cup quarter-final triumph against Everton.

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Mourinho bemoans a lack of teeth in attack

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has spoken of his dissatisfaction with his team’s attacking prowess after he saw his men squander a one goal lead against Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League.

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RVP turns on Manchester United teammates

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Former Arsenal skipper and current Manchester United hotshot Robin Van Persie has done the impossible by making David Moyes’ task at the helm of Manchester United even harder than it already was by pointing the finger at his own teammates in front of the world media.

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Galatasaray 1 - 1 Chelsea : Player Ratings

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Galatasaray and Chelsea played out a scored draw to set up the prospect of an enticing return leg at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Chelsea went ahead early through a close range finish from Fernando Torres and looked set for an away win. However, a tactical tweak from Roberto Mancini saw a strong comeback from Galatasaray and they equalised through Aurelien Chedjou from a corner to level the score.

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Galatasaray

Fernando Muslera (5/10): The keeper was shaky initially and presented Willian with a great chance. Was also partly at fault for the Chelsea goal

Emmanuel Eboue (5/10): The right back was often caught out of position and his lax defending saw Azpilicueta provide the cross for the goal

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Torres grabs crucial away goal as Chelsea are held by Galatasaray

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Galatasaray and Chelsea cancelled each other out to set up a tasty looking second leg tie after the first leg ended 1-1. Fernando Torres put Chelsea ahead early on in the game and the Blues looked set for a gritty away victory before conceding to Aurelien Chedjou from a corner. It was a game of two halves and after getting out ran initially, Mancini's switch to a 4-5-1 seemed to be the turning point in the game. Chelsea were perhaps slightly happier at the end of the evening, having grabbed that away goal and Mourinho's team requires only a goalless draw to progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Roberto Mancini named an expected line up who set out with a 4-4-1-1 formation. The pairing of Drogba and Yilmaz up front looked rather menacing and the two forwards were expected to interchange throughout the game. In midfield, the pairing of Inan and Melo looked more than a match for their Chelsea counterparts. Sneijder, the star Dutchman was theoretically starting in a wide position but it seemed like he was given the license to roam in and influence the play. The atmosphere in Istanbul, as always, delivered with a hostile cauldron welcoming Chelsea to the Turkish capital and the whole club looked up to a big occasion.

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