Real Madrid CF reached the last four of the UEFA Champions League for the fourth season running despite a 2-0 quarter-final second-leg defeat by Borussia Dortmund.
With the injured Cristiano Ronaldo watching helplessly from the bench, Carlo Ancelotti's men looked in serious danger of relinquishing their three-goal first-leg advantage as Marco Reus struck twice in a frantic opening period. However, Madrid – beaten twice in Dortmund last term – withstood the German side's second-half pressure to eliminate the 2012/13 finalists 3-2 on aggregate.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp had clearly instructed his charges to enjoy themselves in potentially their last game in the competition this season, and they did just that. Roared on by the famous Yellow Wall, the hosts worked the ball out well from defence but lacked the necessary incisiveness further up the pitch.
Their failure to score early on was very nearly punished on 17 minutes as Łukasz Piszczek was penalised for a hand ball in the box. Roman Weidenfeller dived to his left to block Ángel Di María's spot kick, though, and the thunderous cheer which reverberated around the stadium reinvigorated the Bundesliga team.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the first to go close for Borussia when he side-footed just wide following good work from Robert Lewandowski and Reus. It was the latter who broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, pouncing on Pepe's backward header before skipping past Iker Casillas and threading beyond the scrambling Sergio Ramos.
Sensing an opportunity, Dortmund soon created another opening as Mats Hummels powered a header goalwards from Reus's free-kick. Casillas got two firm hands behind it, but he was helpless again five minutes later as Reus capitalised on another loose ball in midfield, rolling left for Lewandowski whose finish came back off the far post before Reus followed up to smash high into the net.
As Madrid attempted to match Dortmund's tempo after the restart, Gareth Bale brought a rare save from Weidenfeller, but from there BVB peppered their visitors' goal with chances. Mkhitaryan spurned a fantastic opportunity to level the tie on aggregate, rounding Casillas only to plant his finish against the post with the goal beckoning.
It was Casillas who proved the Liga side's hero as he showed quick reactions to repel another Mkhitaryan effort and again moments later to deny Kevin Grosskreutz as the Blancos kept their Décima dream alive.
Demba Ba came up with the golden touch with three minutes remaining to blast Chelsea FC into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and break the hearts of a Paris Saint-Germain side who were so close to pulling off a famous triumph.
The strike, ensuring Chelsea's success on away goals, sent José Mourinho hurtling down the touchline to celebrate with his players. Considering the woodwork twice intervened to prevent them adding to substitute André Schürrle's first-half goal sooner, no one would question Chelsea's right to a seventh semi-final.
It had the makings of one of the great European nights at Stamford Bridge with both sets of supporters in good voice and the tie promising heady drama. It was no surprise to see Samuel Eto'o recalled to the Chelsea colours while Frank Lampard's return could only enhance their goalscoring potential.
First the home team had to free themselves from the Paris shackles. Quick into the tackle, the visitors restricted Chelsea's room to work. A source of Chelsea progress was likely to be via the quick feet of Eden Hazard but the Belgian international was struggling from early on and replaced by Schürrle after 17 minutes.
The change would not have dimmed Paris's confidence and only their loose passes back to Salvatore Sirigu were a cause for alarm at this stage. Until the 28th minute, that is, when Lampard's free-kick deflected off a Paris head and forced a rapid reaction from the goalkeeper. It heralded an increase in the Chelsea tempo with Schürrle seeing plenty of the ball. He chose an opportune time to open his European goal account for the club, side-footing in after David Luiz had helped on a long throw.
Thiago Silva recovered from a heavy collision with Eto'o to continue at the heart of the Paris resistance. His experience would be needed as Chelsea renewed their pursuit of a second goal with vigour. Oscar carried the fight to the edge of the area and when Willian pulled the ball back, Schürrle was so unlucky to see his first-time effort crash against the crossbar. Two minutes later and Oscar's free-kick met the same fate while at the other end Ezequiel Lavezzi's set-piece delivery was palmed out by Petr Čech, the keeper's first serious involvement.
As the game became stretched so Edinson Cavani came more into the picture. He was found with a couple of exquisite passes, firstly from Blaise Matuidi then from Yohan Cabaye. He took the shot on but each time cleared the bar.
Ba and Fernando Torres came on to beef up the attack. It paid off when César Azpilicueta's strike was diverted to Ba who managed to scoop the ball high into the net with his outstretched leg. Cue pandemonium.
Club Atlético de Madrid reached their first European Cup semi-final for 40 years after an early goal from midfielder Koke took the Rojiblancos through at the expense of FC Barcelona.
After an absorbing first leg had finished 1-1, Atlético seized the initiative during a first period in which they hit the woodwork three times; from the first of those attempts, in the fifth minute, Koke volleyed in from close range after the ball had been retrieved. That proved enough for Diego Simeone's team to make the semi-finals for the first time since 1973/74, ending Barcelona's run of six successive last-four appearances in the process.
As if playing to predictions, Atlético began by allowing their opponents to patiently probe. The game's outlook soon changed dramatically as, with the hosts suddenly bursting forward, the four-time European champions back-tracked. Groans rang out among the home crowd when Adrián López – in for the injured Diego Costa – thumped a shot against the crossbar. The ball eventually reached David Villa on the left, and when his centre was headed back across the goal by Adrián, those moans turned to roars of delight as Koke volleyed in at the far post.
"Win, win and win again," read the mosaic that greeted the players as they took to the field and the message seemed to have reached its target as Atlético went in search of a second. The alert Koke fed Villa for an effort that beat José Manuel Pinto only to strike the post. The visitors stirred and Lionel Messi found himself free in the area but could only nod Daniel Alves's header wide.
Barça's respite was brief, Villa bursting clear of Marc Bartra before smashing against the woodwork once again. Having not missed out on the last four since 2006/07, the Blaugrana responded to Atlético's energetic display through Neymar's left-wing trickery, yet the Brazilian's good work came to nothing when Messi drove his pass wide. Having already scored twice against Atlético this term, Neymar continued to menace, although he was denied after the restart by Thibaut Courtois's scooped clearance. The Atleti keeper looked on in relief when Xavi Hernández diverted over shortly afterwards.
The drama and tension that filled the air was unrelenting, substitute Diego – Atlético's marksman at Camp Nou – squirming away from Sergio Busquets to draw a near-post save from Pinto. The visiting custodian then deflected Gabi's low attempt wide after the Liga leaders had once more broken away. Although Neymar flashed a header wide for Gerardo Martino's men, it was Atlético who appeared the likelier team, Pinto repelling Cristián Rodríguez in the final seconds – but his side would not be denied.
FC Bayern München reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons with a 3-1 second-leg victory against Manchester United FC.
With the sides poised at one apiece from last week's match, the title holders controlled possession throughout the first period but were stunned when Patrice Evra crashed in a superb opener towards the hour. Josep Guardiola's charges swiftly levelled through Mario Mandžukić, however, before Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben completed the turnaround to end Bayern's winless run at home to English clubs and send them through 4-2 on aggregate.
It was no surprise to see Bayern set the tone early, and with Mandžukić leading the line, they were keen to get the ball wide into crossing positions. Robben looked particularly motivated and flashed three shots off target, but Wayne Rooney spurned arguably the best initial chance when he sneaked in behind at the other end, going for goal himself when he might have found the supporting Shinji Kagawa.
Antonio Valencia did have the ball in the net for David Moyes's men though his finish was ruled offside, and otherwise Bayern had little to deal with defensively. The trouble was in attack. Their forward traffic came almost exclusively via the flanks and, with Müller and Mario Götze uncharacteristically uninventive with their movements in the centre, the hosts were limited to long-range strikes.
While Franck Ribéry hit the side netting with one effort and Toni Kroos curled narrowly over, it was all very uncharacteristic of a Bayern team whose many goals this term have come almost entirely from within the box. The German champions were almost lulling themselves into a daze with all their possession, and United pounced.
Evra's rocket of a strike had the visiting fans in raptures, yet the Frenchman's spectacular goal served only to awaken the home side. Just as in the first leg, Bayern equalised within minutes of falling behind as Mandžukić dived to head in Ribéry's cross.
Things might have panned out differently had Rooney converted a glorious opportunity from close range shortly afterwards. Instead it was Bayern who seized their moment, going in front when Müller converted Robben's low centre. Robben himself then made absolutely sure of Bayern's place in the semi-final draw with a trademark run and deflected finish with 14 minutes remaining.