This is not meant in any way as a slight against any of the six other teams who are still quite rightly enthusiastic about their Champions League prospects, but it cannot have escaped the attention of many that the draw in Nyon has created a bewitching collision course. The route to a possible final between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been cleared. Last season these sworn foes met in the semi-final, with the outcome in keeping with Barcelona's usual superiority these days, but such are the permutations this time, it is the final or nothing.
Barcelona have the tougher looking route, with a quarter-final against Milan and then a semi-final against Chelsea or Benfica. Real had to suppress their delight at drawing the courageous underdogs from Cyprus, Apoel, for their quarter-final. The semi-finals would pair them with the winner of Bayern's tie with Marseille.