Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United out of Champions League

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas looks dejected after Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored their third goalThe Premier League looked strong during 2017-18 Champions League play, sending five teams to the round of 16. A slightly favourable draw gave English fans hope of seeing four teams in the quarterfinals, but it proved to be the end of the line for Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester United.

Chelsea had the toughest draw, facing the otherworldly talents of Lionel Messi and Barcelona. A 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the opening leg gave the English side hope, but Messi snuffed it out with two goals in the second leg as Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win. Messi finished with three of Barcelona’s four goals in the tie and assisted on the other, and his deceptive ball handling was a nightmare for Chelsea’s overmatched defense.

Manchester United appeared to have a road to the quarterfinals against unremarkable Spanish club Sevilla, and a draw in the opening leg set up the perfect opportunity for United to take control at Old Trafford. But it was Sevilla that asserted itself on the road, peppering the United goal with shots and eventually prevailing 2-1. The shocking loss led to heavy criticism of midfielder Paul Pogba and manager Jose Mourinho, and it could lead to the departure of star goaltender David De Gea during the next transfer window.

Tottenham drew Juventus and was in a good position against the Italian club after managing a 2-2 draw on the road. Juventus hasn’t been the defensive stalwart it was on the way to last year’s Champions League final, and Tottenham has the ability to score in bunches at home, but everything fell apart in the span of three minutes when Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala both scored for Juventus to make the difference in a 2-1 second leg.

Liverpool and presumptive Premier League champions Manchester City survived their ties against Porto and FC Basel, respectively, riding the momentum of their big opening leg victories into the quarterfinals. Of the remaining eight teams, three are Spanish, two are Italian, two are English, and one is German, leaving European football’s balance of power in a relatively similar spot to other recent Champions League competitions. The quarterfinal draw is scheduled for Friday.