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5 Talking points from Tuesday's Champions League quarter-finals

Last updated on: April 02, 2014 09:56 IST

5 Talking points from Tuesday's Champions League quarter-finals

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Rediff Sports Desk

Dazzling goals

Whether it was the exquisite goal from Neymar that rescued Barcelona or the stunner 35-metre strike from Diego that put Atletico Madrid in the driving seat, the goals were the talking points of the Champions League first leg quarter-final matches on Tuesday night.

- PHOTOS: Atletico deny Barca victory; United draw with Bayern

Let's not forget Bastian Schweinsteiger's superbly taken first-time lash to the roof of David De Gea's net that came nine minutes after Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic stretched to clinically head a Wayne Rooney corner past stranded Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

For the record, Barcelona, aiming to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the seventh year in a row, drew 1-1 with Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid, while holders Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw at a resilient Manchester United.

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Image: Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United heads in the first goal
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Manchester United, the underdogs?

United's performance was in stark contrast to their recent 3-0 home defeats by arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in a lacklustre Premier League campaign.

These days, Manchester United are no strangers to playing games in which the opposition are favourites.

Although the draw ended United's run of four straight Champions League home wins this season, it was a huge improvement on much of their domestic league form which has left them stranded in seventh place in the table.

Manager David Moyes, who has endured a tough baptism this season after taking over from the retired Alex Ferguson, had said his main wish was to have a foothold in the tie going into the second leg and he was encouraged by United's performance.

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Image: Nemanja Vidic celebrates with Manchester United teammate Shinji Kagawa
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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5 Talking points from Tuesday's Champions League quarter-finals

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Iniesta’s genius

After Atletico took lead in the 56th minute, Spanish international Andres Iniesta then spotted a gap in the visiting defence 15 minutes later and threaded the perfect through ball for Diego's Brazilian compatriot Neymar to beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a curling right-foot effort from a tight angle.

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Image: Andres Iniesta of Barcelona goes past Diego of Club Atletico de Madrid
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Don’t blame Rooney

Bastian Schweinsteiger, who scored Bayern Munich's equaliser in the 67th minute, got a second booking for tripping Wayne Rooney, ruling him out of next Wednesday's second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Schweinsteiger seemed to suggest that Rooney got him sent off.

But replays showed that the English striker was fouled and Schweinsteiger should be lamenting his own poor decision-making.

Defender Javi Martinez is also suspended for the return Arena.

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Image: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on as Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Muenchen receives yellow card from Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Diego Costa’s injury could hamper Atletico’s cause

Atletico Madrid's chances of domestic and European success suffered a blow when their top scorer Diego Costa picked a hamstring injury.

Costa, who has seven goals in five matches in Europe's elite club competition this season and 25 in 30 La Liga outings, pulled up clutching the back of his thigh and was forced off after half an hour with the score at 0-0 at the Nou Camp.

"Diego Costa has a muscle injury at the back of his right thigh," Atletico said in a statement on their official Twitter feed.

They did not say how long the 25-year-old Spain international might be sidelined.

Atletico are a point clear of Barca at the top of La Liga with seven matches left and host the Catalan club in their Champions League quarter-final, second leg match on April 9.


Image: Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid is helped to his feet before leaving the field
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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