Real Madrid the eye-catchers of Champions League last eight
With the first legs of this season’s Champions League quarter-final bouts in the book, few could argue that Real Madrid impressed most at the last-eight stage of the competition.
And in reaction, Ladbrokes have trimmed the Spanish champions to 15/8 for tournament glory, with 12/5 available prior to their 3-0 Bernabeu success over Galatasaray.
Real were almost completely dominant in their disposal of the Turkish champions, and their position in Europe appears further strengthened by Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos’ late bookings in the game too.
The pair will now miss the second leg of this tie, but be free of lingering suspension worries should Los Blancos reach the final four.
And that will please a Jose Mourinho who will be extremely confident of reaching the semi-final, after gaining such a solid first-leg footing.
Somewhat inevitably, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at the Bernabeu, taking his tally to 32 Champions League strikes in just 37 appearances for Real.
His form too is sure to entice punters to get on the nine-time European Cup winners whilst 15/8 remains available.
Meanwhile, Barcelona remain tournament favourites, but in light of great rivals Real’s shortened price, they have been pushed out slightly to 13/8.
With Lionel Messi’s fitness in doubt, and Barca set to have only one central defender at their disposal for their second leg opposing PSG, they could be deserted by punters.
Elsewhere, Malaga’s 0-0 draw at home to Dortmund was arguably a better result for them than the Germans, though the away side were unlucky not to take an advantage back to the Westfalenstadion.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s men wasted a host of opportunities, and a similar dominance of the play the next time the sides meet would surely result in German victory.
Tipped by many as dark horses for the tournament, Dortmund remain 7/1 shots to lift the European Cup, whilst their compatriots Bayern Munich, who will take a 2-0 aggregate lead to Juventus, are 16/5 to take the trophy back to Germany.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.