Real draw Chelsea, Guardiola returns to Bayern in Champions League quarters, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Real draw Chelsea, Guardiola returns to Bayern in Champions League quarters

NYON – Reigning champions Real Madrid will play 2021 winners Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will face his former club Bayern Munich after they were drawn together in Nyon on Friday.

Spanish giants Real, who beat 2022 finalists Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate in the last 16, will be up against another English side after Graham Potter’s Chelsea handed Borussia Dortmund their first loss of 2023 and qualified with a 2-1 aggregate win.

City, who were runners-up in 2021, will face 2020 champions Bayern, who were managed by Guardiola for three seasons from 2013. Under the Spaniard, they were perennial Bundesliga champions but fell at the Champions League semi-final stage each year.

Guardiola, who last won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2011, will be up against Bayern for the first time since his move from the German club to City in 2016.

The fixture also gives City striker Erling Haaland the chance to add to his tally of five goals against Bayern when he was with Dortmund.

The 22-year-old Norwegian, who has 39 goals in all competitions for City this season, is also the leading scorer in the Champions League this term with 10 goals after firing five past RB Leipzig in his last match.

“It will be a reunion with Pep Guardiola, with Erling Haaland, with good acquaintances from the Bundesliga,” Bayern’s former goalkeeper and now chief executive officer Oliver Kahn said, describing City as an “absolute top team”.

“If you want to win the Champions League, you have to beat the best. That is the challenge and we are happy to take it on,” he added.

Reigning Serie A champions AC Milan will face this season’s runaway leaders Napoli in an all-Italian clash while Inter Milan play Portuguese side Benfica.

The semi-final draw was also made on Friday.

The winners of Real’s tie against Chelsea will go on to face either City or Bayern, throwing open the possibility of an all-English last-four tie.

The draw also increases the chances of seeing an Italian team reach the final for the first time since Juventus in 2017, as Inter will play either Milan or Napoli in the last four should the Nerazzurri beat Benfica.

The quarter-final first legs will be played on April 11 and 12, with Real entertaining Chelsea at the Santiago Bernabeu first before travelling to London for the return a week later, while City host Bayern in their opener.

Inter were drawn to play Benfica at home initially, but will now travel to Lisbon for the first leg to avoid a clash with AC Milan’s meeting with Napoli at the San Siro.

The semi-finals will be played in May with the final in Istanbul scheduled for June 10.

Champions League quarter-final draw

  • Real Madrid v Chelsea
  • Inter Milan v Benfica
  • Manchester City v Bayern Munich
  • AC Milan v Napoli

Champions League semi-final draw

  • AC Milan or Napoli v Benfica or Inter Milan
  • Real Madrid or Chelsea v Manchester City or Bayern Munich

In the Europa League, Manchester United will face record six-time winners Sevilla in the first leg of their quarter-final clash at Old Trafford, while Juventus will also start on home soil against Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon.

On the other side of the draw, Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma will travel to Dutch side Feyenoord in a repeat of last season’s Europa Conference League final won by the Italian side, with Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen drawn at home first against Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium.

The first legs will take place on April 13 with the return leg a week later. The semi-finals, like the Champions League, will also be played in May with the Budapest final on May 31. - REUTERS, AFP

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