The UEFA Champions League draw for the final four today threw up two potential blockbuster ties, as Manchester City face Real Madrid in the first semis, while Bayern Munich take on Atletico Madrid in the other mammoth clash. The two legs will be played from the last week of April onwards.
As the European powerhouses assembled in Nyon, Switzerland for the semi-finals draw on Friday, it was former champion Dejan Stankovic who was to reveal the match-ups, and the former Inter player did not disappoint with two mouth-watering ties.
English representatives Manchester City, who find themselves in their first Champions League semi-final, did not get to celebrate the occasion for too long. They were the first team to come out of the draw, and after having overcome Paris Saint Germain in the quarters, the Citizens now face Real Madrid. Madrid, who made a stunning comeback in the second leg against Wolfsburg to overturn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 aggregate win thanks to a Ronaldo hat-trick, will have their hands full against City, who will be playing the first leg at home.
Atletico Madrid, conquerors of defending champions Barcelona, will take on Bayern Munich in the second semifinal. Pep Guardiola, who has reached the semi-final in each of his three seasons with Bayern Munich, will hope to beat Diego Simeone’s men in what will be the first clash between the two sides since 1974. With Atletico playing the first leg at home, Bayern could hold a slender advantage.
The winner of the Manchester City-Real Madrid game will be the home team in the final, which will take place on 29 May(0015 hrs IST) at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
In the Europa League draws which followed the Champions League draw, defending champions Sevilla were drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukranian club were the first team to come out of the bowl and will play the first leg at home. Meanwhile, Liverpool will be up against the Spanish side Villareal, who will play the first leg at home. The Europa League final will be held at the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland on 19 May(0015 hrs IST).