5 Takeaways From The UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals

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UEFA Champions League, the tournament which is arguably the biggest in world football has given us our final four. Real Madrid's road to their 12th UCL title will be challenged by three worthy contenders in Juventus, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco. Before Friday's semi-final draw, we look at the five talking points from the quarters. 

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5. AS Monaco - Dark horse

No one really thought much of Monaco when they drew Manchester City in the round of 16. The Citizens, with a host of stars in their ranks, were the clear favourites but Monaco's youngsters showed just how talented and resilient they are. 

In the quarterfinals, they went up against Borussia Dortmund, the team with most goals in the group stage of the tournament and came out on top once again with an aggregate score of six goals to three booking their place in the semifinals for the first time since 2004. We talk about Leicester, but Monaco's dream run is also nothing short of sensational. 

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4. Atletico Madrid - third time lucky?

Three years, two finals, two heartbreaks, one opponent. Atletico Madrid are desperate to leave their demons behind and this could finally be their year. They ended Leicester City's dream run Tuesday night as they managed a 2-1 aggregate victory. 

Manager Diego Simeone's narrow 4-4-2 system provides a rare balance between offence and defence. A frustrating resistance and a fearsome counter-attacking unit make them deadly as ever. 

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3. Juventus - Buffon's shot at European glory

At the start of the tournament, Barcelona were considered as the favourites of lifting the biggest silverware there is. Their historical comeback against Paris Saint-Germain only solidified the belief. 

Juventus were the clear underdogs going into the clash against Barcelona but the brilliant Paulo Dybala effectively took the game away from them with his performances in the first leg. Of course, miracles do happen and when it's Barcelona, odds are never too bad. 

Wednesday, however, wasn't Barcelona's night, it was a night of discipline and structure. The night of Juventus' triumph over the mighty Blaugrana, the night when Buffon got a little closer to the trophy which will complete his illustrious cabinet. 

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2. Real Madrid - Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid faced Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals and after a cagey couple of legs, 'Los Blancos' booked their place in the semifinals for the seventh consecutive season. The game ended 6-3 on aggregate and there was that one man who made sure his goals were enough to see Real through. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's five goal haul showed us once again why he is so important to the team. A team which consists of some the biggest names in the world still looks to the mercurial Portuguese's inspiration. The Portugese scored his 100th Champions League goal on Tuesday night and if Madrid manages to win their 12th this season, they'll know whom to thank. 

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1. There are no favourites

We have our final four teams in Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Monaco. Atletico have not managed to beat their crosstown rivals in the Champions League till now and would love to settle the scores given the chance. 

Juventus & Monaco last met in 2015 Champions League quarterfinals and a pretty cagey affair saw Juve win the game 1-0 over the two legs. The form Monaco's in right now they'll fancy themselves against any team in the world and Juve's no exception. 

We all know about Real's semi-final exit against Juventus back in 2014/15 and the Merengues would love nothing more than brushing the Italians aside. Real's star power, Juventus's discipline, Atletico's resilience and Monaco's passionate young brigade, all are the perfect ingredients for what is turning out to be one of the most exciting Champion League last four fixtures in recent years.