UEFA Champions League (2023/24)

Group Standings after Matchday 5

Copenhagen claimed a crucial point and kept their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 alive after grinding out a goalless draw at Bayern Munich.

The result means Manchester United need to beat Bayern Munich in their final Group A game at Old Trafford on 12 December and hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in Denmark on the same night.

Bayern, already guaranteed a spot in the last 16 prior to kick-off, were ponderous in possession and chances were sparse in the first half with Thomas Muller going closest to breaking the deadlock when his header was clawed away by goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.

Harry Kane struggled to get into the game in the opening 45 minutes, having just eight touches of the ball, but he did force Grabara into a save in the second half as Bayern penned Copenhagen back.

Copenhagen's best sight at goal came in the final five minutes when Manuel Neuer denied Mohamed Elyounoussi and the Norway international was unable to turn in the rebound.

The Danish outfit, who sit second in Group A, deserve huge credit for their well-organised and disciplined display as they became the first club since Ajax claimed a draw in October 2018 to take points off Bayern in the group stage of the Champions League at the Allianz Arena.

Source: BBC

Arsenal reached the Champions League knockouts as group winners by thumping Lens at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners scored five in a phenomenal first-half display as they reach the last 16 in their first appearance in the competition for seven years.

Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all scored in the first half, before Jorginho added a late penalty.

Arsenal progress from Group B alongside PSV Eindhoven, with Lens out.

Havertz, brought into the starting XI after scoring the winner against Brentford at the weekend, opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Lens failed to clear a looping ball into the box. Jesus nodded across goal and Havertz showed a striker's instinct to finish from close range ahead of goalkeeper Brice Samba.

Jesus turned scorer to slot the second past Samba from 15 yards, sweeping home after being set up by Saka's powerful run between defenders from the right.

Arsenal's attacking unit was in full flow, illustrated by Saka taking his turn to move from provider to scorer just two minutes and 20 seconds later, steering the ball home after Samba saved from Martinelli.

Brazil winger Martinelli would not be denied and scored the best of the lot on 27 minutes, finding the far bottom corner after cutting inside from the left.

The fifth came in first-half stoppage time, Odegaard perfectly timing a volley from 12 yards following Takehiro Tomiyasu's excellent cross.

Arsenal are the first side in Champions League history to have five different scorers in the first half of a match.

A more sedate second half followed, before Jorginho added a sixth from the spot following a handball by Abduqodir Khusanov.

Source: BBC

Jude Bellingham became the first player to score in each of his first four Champions League appearances for Real Madrid as they beat Napoli.

The England midfielder headed in David Alaba's cross in the 22nd minute to put the 14-time winners 2-1 ahead.

It was the 20-year-old's 15th goal in his 16th appearance for Los Blancos.

He also assisted the fourth goal for Joselu in added time as the Spanish club continued their perfect record in the Champions League with a 4-2 win.

Giovanni Simeone opened the scoring for the visitors in the ninth minute but Rodrygo's brilliant curling effort brought Real level two minutes later.

Bellingham put the home side ahead but Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa equalised for the Italian champions just after the restart with a powerful volley from a tight angle.

Teenage substitute Nico Paz, the son of former Argentina defender Pablo, scored the third for the hosts in the 84th minute before Bellingham brilliantly crossed with the outside of his right boot for former Newcastle United and Stoke City striker Joselu to tap in.

Real had already advanced to the last 16 as Group C winners after matchday four. Napoli remain second, three points ahead of Sporting Braga, who they face in their final group match.

Source: BBC
PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal Match Report

Much-changed Arsenal were held to a draw at PSV Eindhoven in their final match of the Champions League group stage.

The Gunners had already won Group B and manager Mikel Arteta made eight changes from the weekend's Premier League loss at Aston Villa.

It led to a disjointed performance, although Arsenal took the lead through Eddie Nketiah after 42 minutes.

But PSV earned a deserved point via Yorbe Vertessen's fine equaliser.

Nketiah fired Arsenal ahead three minutes before the end of a first half in which they had been put under significant pressure by PSV, who had also already qualified for the knockout stages as group runners-up.

It was a superb finish by the England forward, controlling a low ball from the right before striking into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.

But Arsenal were pegged back five minutes after the break through Vertessen's right-footed strike off the left post.

Both sides had good chances to find a second-half winner. Ismael Saibari hit the near post before Guus Til shot across the face of goal late on.

Arsenal did have the ball in the net, Jakub Kiwior heading home after beating PSV keeper Walter Benitez to a free-kick, but it was ruled out for offside against Gabriel.

Nketiah was denied one-on-one by Benitez in the sixth minute of stoppage time, before Leandro Trossard fired the rebound over.

Arsenal conclude the group stage with 13 points from six games - four ahead of PSV - and will face one of the other seven runners-up in the last 16.
Red Star Belgrade 2-3 Manchester City - MATCH REPORT

Winger Micah Hamilton scored on a dream Manchester City debut as he helped his side beat Red Star Belgrade and reach the Champions League last 16 with a 100% record.

Hamilton, 20, has been with the club since the age of nine and put City ahead after 19 minutes in a hostile atmosphere in Serbia.

Matheus Nunes found him down the right wing and Hamilton, who has represented England at under-16 level, got into the penalty area and shifted the ball to create space before powerfully firing into the roof of the net.

On a great night for City's academy, 20-year-old Oscar Bobb also scored his first goal for the club with a jinking run at the home defence, before curling in the second on 63 minutes.

Hwang In-beom pulled one back for Red Star when he got free of marker Kalvin Phillips and shot low past Stefan Ortega.

But Phillips made amends when he converted a penalty, after the impressive Hamilton had been fouled.

Aleksandar Katai headed in a late second for Red Star, but reigning European champions City were not to be denied and follow in the footsteps of Real Madrid to advance into the last 16 with six wins from six group matches.

Pep Guardiola's side become only the second English side to achieve this, after Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in 2021-22.

The draw for the last 16 will be held at Uefa's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland at 11:00 GMT on Monday, 18 December.

City will face one of the sides to have progressed as group runners-up, with one of their potential opponents being Inter Milan - the side they beat in last season's final.

Source: BBC
Newcastle into the knock out stages if the scores remain the same. Very good football from them today.

PSG will go hard now, the match will open up bigtime.
1-1 in both matches now.

PSG 2nd
Newcastle 3rd - as it stands.

Huge last 20 mins .
These are the final group standings in this season's Champions Leagues. Congrats to all the teams who have made it through to the knockouts.

News Update:

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League takes place today.

Let's see if we could get some great match ups in the last 16.

Holders Man City to play FC Copenhagen while Arsenal drawn against Porto; Harry Kane's Bayern Munich take on Lazio and Jude Bellingham's Real Madrid face RB Leipzig; first legs will take place on February 13, 14, 20 and 21, with second legs being played on March 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Manchester City will play FC Copenhagen in the Champions League last 16, while Arsenal will take on Porto.

After finishing top of both their respective groups, holders City will travel to Denmark and the Gunners will make the trip to Portugal for the first legs in February.

They are the only two British sides involved in the knockout rounds after Manchester United, Newcastle and Celtic exited at the group stage.

Harry Kane's Bayern Munich will face Lazio, while Jude Bellingham's Real Madrid - the record 14-time winners - have been drawn against RB Leipzig.

Real's city rivals Atletico Madrid take on last season's runners-up Inter Milan, while Spanish champions Barcelona were handed a tough assignment against Serie A winners Napoli.

Paris Saint-Germain will play Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund face PSV Eindhoven.

The last 16 is played over four weeks at the start of 2024. The first legs will take place on February 13, 14, 20 and 21, with the second legs being played on March 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Source: Sky Sports

Real Madrid remain 'undeterred' by Liverpool's Anfield dominance

As Anfield continues to remain a stronghold for Liverpool, it seems that Real Madrid have managed to remain undeterred by the intimidating venue that has witnessed big names succumbing to the pressure.

Termed by many as the greatest football venue in the world, Anfield has been Liverpool's bastion for years with the Reds securing wins against top-tier sides with the likes of including FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and others.

With 19 wins and six draws, the Reds, under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp, have remained unbeaten in 25 out of the 26 matches they've played at Anfield in 2023.

Teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal played at Anfield twice in the year and failed to beat the Merseyside club. Among all, there is one surprising name that played at the Reds’ home only once and managed to beat the mighty Liverpool.

Liverpool met Real Madrid in the Round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League 2022-23 and they were hammered by Los Blancos in all aspects of the game.

Madrid, coached by Carlo Ancelotti, handed Liverpool their biggest defeat in the Champions League era, as they battered the Reds 5-2 courtesy of an all-round display by the Whites.

Even though Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave a bright start to the home side by finding Thibaut Courtois’ net in the 4th and 14th minute respectively, they couldn’t carry the momentum and soon found themselves trailing as soon as Vinicius Junior started the comeback in the 21st minute and eventually levelled the game in 36th minute.

A goal from Eder Militao and a brace from Karim Benzema cemented Los Blancos’ name in history as they netted five past Alisson Becker, becoming the only visiting side to score five at Anfield.

Madrid have played at Anfield for a total of four times, and their only loss came in 2008 when they were beaten 4-0.

In 2014, the two sides faced one another in a group stage match in UCL and Ancelotti, who was Madrid's coach at that time as well, led them to a 3-0 win.

Ajax defeated Liverpool 5-1 in 1966 in Amsterdam but that counts in the European Cup era as the format was changed in 1992-93, so was the name.

It is worth noting that one of Liverpool’s most memorable comebacks in the Champions League history came against FC Barcelona in the semi-final of the 2018/19 season.

Barca headed to Anfield with a three-goal lead but crumbled unbelievably as they conceded four and were out of the tournament. Liverpool went on to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the final and became the champions.

Source : The News International
Union Berlin manager Nenad Bjelica has been given a three-game ban for shoving Bayern Munich's Leroy Sane in the face.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of Wednesday's Bundesliga defeat when forward Sane attempted to get the ball from Bjelica on the touchline.

Bjelica, who has also been fined 25,000 euros (£21,330), raised his hands twice to Sane's face, pushing him away, and was subsequently sent off.

He showed "unsporting behaviour", the German Football Association said.

The Croatian, 52, has been in charge of Union since November and will miss the Bundesliga games against Darmstadt, RB Leipzig and Mainz.

Union, who finished fourth last season, are 15th and just three points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Bayern are second, four points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen, after winning Wednesday's game 1-0.

Source: BBC Sport

The Champions League last 16 begins on Tuesday with holders Manchester City away to Danish champions FC Copenhagen.

Arsenal are the only other British club in action, hoping to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's premier competition after a 14-year absence.

Elsewhere, two Englishmen are charging in the golden boot race and Harry Kane is hoping to finally break his trophy duck by firing Bayern Munich to European glory.

I'm extremely proud of Bayern Munich records - Kane
Are the two best players in Europe right now English?

England captain Kane and midfielder Jude Bellingham are stalwarts for European giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively.

Kane joined Bayern from Tottenham last August and has since scored 28 goals and provided eight assists in only 28 games.

He also managed four goals and three assists in six Champions League appearances, as six-time winners Bayern went unbeaten in Group A to set up a last-16 tie with Italian side Lazio.

As for Bellingham, the 20-year-old recorded four goals and three assists in five Champions League group stage fixtures - but will miss Tuesday's trip to Leipzig with a sprained ankle.

In his debut campaign with Los Blancos, Bellingham has scored 20 goals and crafted eight assists in 29 matches across all competitions.

His Real Madrid team, record 14-time winners, hope to have the midfielder back in time for the second leg after tests allayed any fears of a serious injury.

Haaland for golden boot?
Last season Manchester City's Erling Haaland finished as the competition's top scorer with 12 goals from 11 games.

This term the Norwegian has netted five goals from five group games, putting him level with Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata, and Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund at the top of the competition's goalscoring charts.

Though Hojlund's United are no longer in the tournament, there are plenty of players from English clubs who could still challenge Haaland's title.

Fellow Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez and Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus both have four goals in the Champions League this season, while City's Phil Foden and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka have three each.

Last season, after scoring five goals in the groups, Haaland hit five in one match against RB Leipzig in the last 16.

Is there room for more individual brilliance 12 months on?

Barcelona are back in the knockouts after a three-year absence, taking on Napoli who are one of seven clubs in the last 16 who have never won the Champions League or European Cup.

Two of those sides are Paris St-Germain and Real Sociedad, who will meet for the first time in a Uefa competition.

PSG squeezed through Group F to reach the last 16 for the 12th season running while Sociedad are unbeaten in their first Champions League campaign after a decade away.

Last season's runners-up and Serie A leaders Inter Milan take on an Atletico Madrid side boasting Morata and Griezmann in unstoppable form.

PSV Eindhoven, who currently lead the Dutch top flight, are hoping to reach their first Champions League quarter-final since 2007. Borussia Dortmund, whose squad will include Manchester United loanee Jadon Sancho, stand in their way.

Champions League last 16, first-leg dates
FC Copenhagen v Manchester City (Tuesday, 13 February, 20:00 GMT)

RB Leipzig v Real Madrid (Tuesday, 13 February, 20:00)

Lazio v Bayern Munich (Wednesday, 14 February, 20:00)

Paris St-Germain v Real Sociedad (Wednesday, 14 February, 20:00)

Inter Milan v Atletico Madrid (Tuesday, 20 February, 20:00)

PSV Eindhoven v Borussia Dortmund (Tuesday, 20 February 20:00)

FC Porto v Arsenal (Wednesday, 21 February 20:00)

Napoli v Barcelona (Wednesday, 21 February 20:00)

Source: BBC Sports
The German Bundesliga has leapfrogged England's Premier League in the race for a bonus Champions League spot next season - but the odds still look good for English sides...

For the first time, five Premier League teams could qualify for the Champions League through their league position. Traditionally, there have only been four clubs who have qualified through their league place.

This will be the final season of the existing format - 32 teams in the group phase, split up into eight groups of four, with the top two progressing.

The change will see 36 teams competing in the competition in a 'Swiss league' style, allowing for an additional place to be allocated to the two countries whose clubs perform best across all UEFA competitions.

Italy and Germany currently hold those positions, with the latter leapfrogging England after the midweek Europa League and Europa Conference League play-off knockouts.

Papers: West Ham sound out candidates to replace Moyes
Ngannou: Joshua won't get back up against me like Fury did
The Rashford-Barkley press which has gone viral.

Six English sides have reached the round of 16 across UEFA competitions, with Manchester City - who beat Copenhagen 3-1 in the first leg - and Arsenal in the Champions League, Liverpool, West Ham and Brighton in the Europa League and Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League - only Manchester United and Newcastle failed to progress to the knockout stages.

Source: Sky Sports
Today's Fixtures (05-03-2024)

Bayern Munich vs Lazio
Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint Germain
Today's Fixtures (12-03-2024)

Arsenal vs Porto
Barcelona vs Napoli
Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

Ateltico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid vs Man City

PSG vs Barcelona.

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Semi finals

Atletico Madrid/Borussia Dortmund vs PSG/Barcelona

Arsenal/Bayern vs Real madrid / man city
Arsenal have been drawn against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while Manchester City will play 14-time winners Real Madrid.

The Gunners will host German side Bayern, who have England captain Harry Kane in their squad, at Emirates Stadium in the first leg.

Meanwhile, this is the third successive season City, who won last year's title, have met Real in the knockout stages.

The first legs take place 9-10 April, with the second legs on 16-17 April.

If Arsenal and City win their ties the two Premier League clubs will face each other in the semi-finals.

In the other ties, five-time winners Barcelona will play French champions Paris St-Germain, while Atletico Madrid, who are fourth in La Liga, host German opposition Borussia Dortmund.

The semi-finals will be held on 30 April and 1 May, with the second legs a week later on 7-8 May.

Wembley Stadium will host this year's final on Saturday, 1 June.

Quarter-finals draw

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund

Paris St-Germain v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester City

Semi-finals draw

Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund v Paris St-Germain or Barcelona

Arsenal or Bayern Munich v Real Madrid or Manchester City

Arsenal reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010 by beating Porto in a tense penalty shootout at the Emirates on Tuesday.

Kane moved to the Bundesliga champions from Tottenham last summer and the 30-year-old striker has scored 30 times in 25 league appearances this season.

The Gunners lost their last tie with Bayern 10-2 on aggregate, losing both legs of their last-16 meeting in the 2016-17 competition 5-1. They were also beaten 5-1 in the group stage of the previous season's competition, having won the home tie 2-0.

City cruised to a seventh successive last eight appearance with a comfortable 6-2 aggregate win over Danish title holders Copenhagen in the round of 16.

Pep Guardiola's Treble winners dominated Real in the semi-finals last year, beating Carlo Ancelotti's side 5-1 on aggregate. They were beaten 6-5 over two legs by Real in the previous season's semi-final.

Pep Guardiola: "Real Madrid is tough. But Barcelona would’ve been, Bayern, Arsenal, any club, Atletico too!".

"This competition is really tough. That’s why I was: our opponent is Real Madrid? OK. We’re going to try again.. That's it".
Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Can Harry Kane haunt Gunners again in Champions League last eight?

Arsenal may have thought they had seen the back of nemesis Harry Kane when he left Tottenham for Bayern Munich in the summer, but he returns to north London looking to dump Mikel Arteta's side out of the Champions League.

The Gunners host Bayern in Tuesday's quarter-final first leg.

The 30-year-old has scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal than anybody else - with 14 strikes. Five of those came at the Emirates, which is the joint most for a non-Arsenal player.

Kane has enjoyed a record-breaking start in Germany with 38 goals in his first 37 games.

He is running away with the European Golden Shoe, the competition for the top scorer in any of Europe's top divisions and one he has never won before, with 32 goals to date.

The England captain is only the fourth player to reach that total in a Bundesliga campaign, after Bayern legends Gerd Muller and Robert Lewandowski, who did it three times each, and Cologne's Dieter Muller.

The record for goals in a Bundesliga season was Lewandowski's 41 for Bayern in 2020-21, a record Kane would need 10 goals in his final six games to break.

"He will win the European Golden Shoe this year and all this will add to the perception that, yes, he is a fantastic striker," said European football journalist Guillem Balague on BBC Radio 5 Live's Euro Leagues Show.

"He breaks the record of Lewandowski and we start talking about legendary status.

"He has adapted so quickly. His four kids and wife are there, he is trying to learn German. He has jumped out of the comfort zone and into the pressure cooker and is still doing well."

On top of that, nobody has scored more Champions League goals this season than Kane's six.

The competition may be Kane's best chance of winning his first major trophy, having won nothing during his decade in the Tottenham first team.

He moved to a team which had won 11 consecutive Bundesliga titles but they sit 16 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen with six games to go.

If Leverkusen beat Werder Bremen on Sunday it will be the first time since the start of April 2013 that Bayern have not been the champions of Germany - and it could even be confirmed on Saturday if Thomas Tuchel's side suffer an unlikely defeat at home to second-bottom Cologne.

"If Kane had more titles he would be seen in a different way to everyone - the proof of it is the Ballon d'Or," said Balague.

"That shows you how popular you are and he has never finished higher than 10th. No doubt now, he is at a top club, trying to win things at a top club and is delivering."

European football writer Mina Rzouki said: "How easy it has seemed for Harry Kane. Bayern have struggled at times this season but he has come in and taken to it like a duck to water. It would be a real shame if he didn't win anything."

Cracking games already, 3 goals each in the two ties.
C'mmon City...losing against any team is fine but can't take a defeat against RM :cry:
What a goal...Phil Foden.

Madrid fans stunned...take that :ROFLMAO:


Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich
Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City

All to play for in the second leg.
Brave call to go against Real Madrid in the Champions League but it's hard to rule out City too. This should be a cracking second leg at Etihad Stadium.

City were unlucky to concede the first two , horrible deflections. Real are always in it tho
Paris St-Germain manager Luis Enrique believes his side are in a great position to overcome their first-leg deficit against Barcelona and reach the Champions League semi-finals.

PSG, who lost 3-2 to Barcelona in Paris last Wednesday, were last in the semi-finals three years ago.

Source: BBC
Barcelona should feel hard done by here. Should’ve had a penalty and the refs handing out red cards like they’re fliers :ROFLMAO:
One of the worst referees I’ve seen in a long time

Was more like a WWE special guest referee
One of the worst referees I’ve seen in a long time

Was more like a WWE special guest referee

That referee it so funny. It is almost like he had some personal issues with Barcelona. He gave red card to Araujo, then to the manager Xavi and then went onto giving another red card to a support staff. I have never seen anything like that.

Also, what was Lewandowski doing? Its time for him to retire...or probably go to Saudi league. He is too old and past his prime to play for any European clubs let alone playing as a Striker for a team like Barca.
PSG's booking in final is all but confirmed. No way Dortmund is beating them in semi's.

This may be the season to shine for Mbappe as leading footballer in the world now that Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar is out of sight.
That referee it so funny. It is almost like he had some personal issues with Barcelona. He gave red card to Araujo, then to the manager Xavi and then went onto giving another red card to a support staff. I have never seen anything like that.

Also, what was Lewandowski doing? Its time for him to retire...or probably go to Saudi league. He is too old and past his prime to play for any European clubs let alone playing as a Striker for a team like Barca.
Terrible decisions by Lewandowski, he could have slid the RW through when it was 2-1 and levelled the score but oh well. Things happen.

I guess in regards to the referee, there is some Karma as I remember that Referee who unnecessarily sent off Robin Van Persie in the Barca/Arsenal tie at the nou camp. Xavi was playing that game too. Just significant of how Barca are no longer that powerhouse of football that got decisions favouring them most of the time against inferior opponents.

Arujo had a valid point, the other defender was close to close down the attacker, it was a yellow card for sure but not a direct Red IMO
Harry Kane replies to awkward question about taking Champions League spot off Tottenham

Harry Kane has acknowledged the fact that helping Bayern Munich progress in the Champions League could have a detrimental effect on Tottenham qualifying for next year's competition.

The England captain, 30, came through the academy ranks at Spurs and is the club's all-time leading goalscorer with 280 goals. He left Spurs to join Bayern in the summer for a club record €100million (£86.4m) to win major trophies.

Unfortunately for Kane, Bayern have endured a disappointing season; their domestic dominance in the Bundesliga was ended by Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend and the Champions League is now the striker's final opportunity to win silverware this season.

If Bayern were to progress at Arsenal's expense and Leverkusen knock West Ham out of the Europa League later this week, Germany would be in pole position to acquire the additional Champions League spot on offer to the country with the highest UEFA co-efficiency ranking. Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League as things stand and would miss out if England fails to bank the additional spot.

When that scenario was put to Kane in an awkward moment in his pre-Arsenal press conference, he admitted: “I don’t really know how to answer that! What will be, will be. I can’t control other things outside of that.”

The former Spurs talisman then added: “Of course, I know there will be a lot of Spurs fans watching hoping Bayern Munich go through tomorrow night. I can't focus on that. All I can do is try and beat the team in front of us, and that's Arsenal.”

While it's been a disappointing season for Bayern as a collective, Kane has averaged a goal a game in all competitions, plundering 39 in total.

Kane was on the losing team when Tottenham were beaten by Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League final and admitted that he's itching to make amends with Bayern this year. He said: “Yeah, for sure, whenever you reach the final of a competition and don’t quite get over the line there’s always that burning fire inside you to get back there and go that one step further.

“We have an opportunity this year and with a big moment tomorrow and if we can take that step then we’re only a couple of games away from trying to get to Wembley.

"It’s still in the distance at the moment, it may come around quickly but all my focus is on tomorrow and that’s all I can do. All I can do is to put in my best performance, help the team’s best performance and then step by step we can try and reach our goals.”