Last year's finalists Manchester United and Chelsea will be kept company by compatriots Arsenal and Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, with Barcelona, Villarreal, Bayern Munich and Porto charged with the task of keeping the trophy out of English hands this season. How those teams line up in the last eight will be determined by the draw on 20 March.
Whatever happens, the momentum seems to be with the tenants of England's Premier League, who advanced at the expense of a trio of Serie A sides this week, while Liverpool put paid to the hopes of Real Madrid on Tuesday.
United's advance also represented the first time since 2004/05 that the defending champions have reached the quarter-finals, after Porto, Liverpool, Barcelona and AC Milan all stumbled at the first knockout round in previous years.
Manchester United 2-0 Inter Milan (2-0 on aggregate)
Goals: Nemanja Vidic 4, Cristiano Ronaldo 49 (Manchester United)
The European champions had to dig deep to eliminate Jose Mourinho's challengers, eventually prevailing after a first-class encounter which proved much closer than the final score suggested. In the end, the hosts made the difference when it mattered, no doubt helped by their supreme experience at this level. Four minutes after kick-off, in fact, Nemanja Vidic headed the ball into the net from a Ryan Giggs corner.
They then doubled their advantage four minutes after the restart as Wayne Rooney made the most of excellent work by Giggs to set up Cristiano Ronaldo to head in. Between those two efforts, a slipshod United defence gave the visitors hope, with lone forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic a constant menace due to his technique and movement. The visitors were unable to take their chances, though, and will look back upon efforts against the woodwork for both Ibrahimovic and Adriano.
Europe beckons once again for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, but before that they must get to grips with Premier League challengers Liverpool at Old Trafford this Saturday, in what will be a fascinating encounter with more than a hint of a continental feel to it.
The other games
Putting their recent troubles behind them, Barcelona rediscovered the form they displayed earlier this term to sweep past perennial French champions Lyon 5-2 and 6-3 overall. The return of Andres Iniesta helped the Catalan outfit relocate their balance of old and all three forwards scored in the first half, with Thierry Henry adding two strikes to his first-leg effort and Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o increasing the damage, while Jean Makoun responded for the visitors. Barça took their foot off the pedal after the break as Lyon escaped with an almost respectable scoreline.
Fortified by their two away goals, Porto let Atletico Madrid come at them in Portugal, having opted to attack on the break. That approach allowed the home side's Brazilian forward Hulk - or Givanildo Vieira de Souza, to give him his full name - to emerge as the game's key player, and despite better pressure from Atletico after the interval the Spanish team never created any threatening chances. What proved to be a disappointing encounter ultimately finished goalless, allowing Porto to progress courtesy of their 2-2 draw in Madrid.
The final tie came down to a penalty shoot-out, long after hosts Roma had fired the only goal of the game. Trailing 1-0 after the opening leg, Luciano Spalletti's men drew level on the night with nine minutes gone courtesy of Juan, who buried a low centre from Francesco Totti at the far post following a mix-up in the Arsenal defence.
Despite missing a raft of players through injury and having to cope with a makeshift central pairing at the back, the Giallorossi often troubled their visitors without managing to edge ahead in the tie. The contest could have swung in either direction as the minutes passed and both teams tired, but penalties finally decided it and Arsene Wenger's charges held their nerve to go through seven spot-kicks to six in the stadium that will host this season's final.
110 - The number of Champions League games played by Giggs. At 35, the Welshman was once again one of the better players on the pitch for United in their match against Inter.
Barcelona 5-2 Lyon
Goal: Lionel Messi 5 (3-0)
The Argentinian chested down a long ball on the right flank and cut inside, keeping the ball glued to his feet. After sweeping past two Lyon defenders, he played a deft one-two with Samuel Eto'o, nudged past another marker and stroked the ball beyond Hugo Lloris with ease from 12 metres.
What they said
"We went out on to the pitch to win the game. The most important thing was how the team played. We've got to the next round and we're looking forward to it. We need to take it step by step," Samuel Eto'o, Barcelona striker.
Have your say
Will Barcelona be able to find a way past the English quartet?