The Premier League is the only domestic competition ever to have had four clubs represented in the last eight and, with City, United and Tottenham already through, Liverpool have repeated the English feat of 2007/08 and 2008/09 following their 3-1 second-leg victory at Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
Here, Press Association Sport looks back at the two previous occasions when four English teams made the last eight.
2007/08: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United
There had been previous instances of all three of a country’s entrants reaching the last eight but the Premier League’s long-established ‘big four’ – before the recent progress of City and Spurs – made history by seeing off AC Milan, Olympiakos, Inter Milan and Lyon respectively in 2008’s last 16.
Liverpool beat Arsenal 5-3 on aggregate in their quarter-final before falling to Chelsea, who had seen off Fenerbahce.
United beat Roma and then Barcelona before winning on penalties in the only all-English final in the competition, with Chelsea captain John Terry hitting a post before Edwin Van Der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka.
2008-09: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United
Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out win over Roma in the last 16 ensured a repeat performance the following year and the Gunners and United went on to beat Villarreal and Porto respectively in the last eight.
The greatest excitement came in a thrilling last eight second leg between Chelsea and Liverpool, with the Blues salvaging a 4-4 draw and a 7-5 aggregate win.
They were controversially edged out by Barca in the semi-finals, while United comfortably beat Arsenal, with the Catalan giants victorious in the final after goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.
Those are two of the five occasions when one nation provided three semi-finalists – including the preceding 2006/07 season when Chelsea, United and eventual runners-up Liverpool were all present.
Spain was the first nation to achieve that feat in 1999/2000, when Valencia beat Barcelona in the semi-finals before losing to Real Madrid in the final, with England’s Steve McManaman among the scorers.
AC Milan won a local derby against Inter in 2003 and went on to edge Juventus on penalties in an all-Italian final
Though several big players went missing, no one’s poor performance was as egregious as that of star striker Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern No 9 was completely nullified by the visiting defence, and could do little to have an impact even as the game gradually slipped away.
Here’s a closer look at the striker’s performance.
Goals – 0
Shots – 1
Dribbles – 1
Key Passes – 0
Offsides – 3
Aerial Duels won – 0/3
Lewandowski was involved in Bayern’s goal, as Joel Matip was harried into a rushed attempted clearance that turned into an own goal, knowing that the striker was behind him waiting for a tap-in.
Other than that moment, and another when he missed a Serge Gnabry cross by inches when a goal was certain had he connected, the Pole had little impact on this game. There was little link-up play or attempt to stamp his authority, and Liverpool’s defence handled him with ease.
It’s hard to think of what Lewandowski did well in this game. His mere presence gave Liverpool something to think about, as they were constantly aware of his potential threat, but they dealt with it without any problems. The Bayern striker managed only one shot, had fewer touches than either goalkeeper, and lost all three of the aerial duels he was involved in. Not a good day at the office for Lewandowski.
Lewandowski’s movement was awful – no player was caught offside more often. He also never found away to break free of Virgil van Dijk. In fairness, that’s a difficult task, but a player of Lewandowski’s ability shouldn’t be so handily pocketed, even against a great defender.
Drifted out of the game
The Bayern striker was generally not involved in the game. His 29 touches were the fewest of any player who started, barring Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson – who went off injured in the 13th minute. Lewandowski drifted completely out of the game.
Robert Lewandowski fails to score in his 7th Champions League knockout game in a row. pic.twitter.com/aGpzdABjfw— Bayern & Die Mannschaft (@eMiaSanMia) March 13, 2019
Lewandowski’s big-game prowess often gets questioned, and Wednesday’s performance will only give the critics more fuel. The striker was barely in the game. There are factors that explain that, his team-mates inability to find him with passes and crosses, Liverpool’s excellent defending, but for a striker who has shown that he can be more than just a lethal finisher, his lack of impact was galling.
Bayern had a few disappointing performances from star names on Wednesday, but Lewandowski’s stood out.
RATING – 4/10
Lionel Messi‘s ‘Panenka’ from the spot opened the scoring at Camp Nou in the 17th minute after Luis Suarez hit the deck. The Uruguayan then set up Coutinho for a tap-in with 31 minutes played as the Catalans progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Lyon pulled a goal back through Lucas Tousart just before the hour mark but Messi then settled the tie with an excellent third before Gerard Pique and substitute Ousmane Dembele both got forward during two separate breaks and added a fourth and fifth for good measure.
Here, we analyse Coutinho’s performance.
Goals – 1
Shots – 4
Shots on target – 2
Key passes – 2
Pass accuracy – 89.7%
Touches – 56
Dribbles – 2
Dispossessed – 2
Dembele was fit enough to make the match-day squad for this fixture, but Ernesto Valverde sprung a surprise by leaving him on the bench and persisting with the out-of-form Coutinho instead. A few sloppy moments at the start of the game suggested that may have been a mistake, but Barca as a whole were irresistible and seemed destined for victory.
The Brazilian then scored a rare goal, benefiting from Suarez’s excellent play to score into an empty net. The strike seemed to give the attacking midfielder a much-needed boost in confidence but that was short-lived. As Barcelona grew complacent with a two-goal cushion, Lyon took the initiative and Coutinho was once again confined to a peripheral role, rarely affecting proceedings until he was substituted in the 69th minute with the tie in the balance.
Coutinho consistently made the right runs. With Messi dropping deep effect play, he naturally attracted Lyon’s defenders and Coutinho took advantage by making darting runs in behind. That saw him get on the end Pique’s ball forward only for keeper Anthony Lopes to intervene.
His movement also earned him an opportunity in the second half but having rounded substitute keeper Mathieu Gorgelin, he could only find the side netting from a narrow angle. He was also alert and in the right area to help himself to a comfortable goal in the first half, slotting Suarez’s pass into an empty net.
Slowed play down
While the likes of Suarez, Messi and even Arthur at times, linked up in the final third seamlessly, Coutinho was guilty of not being on the same wavelength at times. First-time passes, lay-offs and dummies featured heavily in Barca’s attacking play but the Brazilian tended to dwell on the ball.
It was a sign of a player lacking in confidence. He received possession in great positions but – particularly during the first half an hour – he didn’t make the most of promising scenarios, even somehow going away from goal at times.
There were glimpses of the player Barca were promised when they signed him from Liverpool in January 2018 and his goal would’ve done him some good as well. However, he did little to dispel the feeling that he simply doesn’t fit in at the club. He struggled to get on the same page as his team-mates and soon retreated into his shell.