Holders Man City to face Real Madrid in Champions League quarters

Holders Manchester City will come up against record 14-time winners Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals after being paired together in Friday’s draw, meaning the sides will meet in a third consecutive season in the competition.

Arsenal will face Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich, while Paris Saint-Germain meet Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will take on Borussia Dortmund in the other ties.

Pep Guardiola’s City will travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg on April 9, with the return in Manchester on April 17.

City beat Madrid in the semi-finals last season on the way to winning the Champions League for the first time, following a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu with a stunning 4-0 victory at home in the second leg.

Real came out on top when the teams met in the last four a year earlier, before going on to defeat Liverpool in the final.

The Spanish giants also won a semi-final clash between the teams in 2016, just before Guardiola took over at City, while the English club emerged victorious in the last 16 in 2020.

“It looks like a little bit of tradition –- three years in a row playing the king of the competition, who have won 14 Champions Leagues, but it is what it is,” Guardiola said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Newcastle United.

“Hopefully we can arrive in a good moment. It’s still a few weeks before the first game in Madrid and we will see.”

“They are the champions and we know each other perfectly, so I don’t need to explain the virtues of City,” Emilio Butragueno, the former Real player who is now the club’s director of institutional relations, told Spanish broadcaster Movistar+.

“Two tremendous games await us.”

The draw threw up a set of mouthwatering ties with Arsenal being rewarded with a clash against German champions Bayern after beating Porto on penalties to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

The Gunners will host the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on April 9, which will see former Tottenham Hotspur talisman Kane — who has so far scored 36 goals in his first season at Bayern — return to London.

The sides will meet again in Bavaria eight days later.

– All-English semi-final? –

There is the prospect of an all-English semi-final, with the winners of the tie between Arsenal and Bayern facing either City or Real in the last four.

PSG’s meeting with Barcelona will be the latest instalment in the rivalry between those sides, as the French club aim to win the Champions League for the first time in their final season before Kylian Mbappe departs when his contract expires in June.

Five-time champions Barcelona knocked PSG out in the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2015, before their spectacular victory in the last 16 in 2017, when they recovered from losing 4-0 away in the first leg with a 6-1 win in the return at the Camp Nou.

The Barcelona coach then was Luis Enrique, now in charge of Paris.

PSG avenged that defeat in the last 16 in 2021, when Mbappe scored a hat-trick in the away leg to help his side triumph 5-2 on aggregate.

“It is going to be a great tie. PSG have a very young side and a coach who we know very well, but we also have a great team and they will help us to go through,” Rafael Yuste, the Barcelona vice-president, told Movistar+.

The sides will meet in the French capital on April 10, before the return six days later at Montjuic in Barcelona.

Atletico will host Dortmund in the first leg of their quarter-final, with the winners of that taking on PSG or Barcelona in the last four.

“We’re looking forward to a trip to Madrid,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic at a press conference on Friday.

“Our clear goal is to take on a tough opponent who are a bit of a monster in knockout games and to defeat them ahead of the home game where we want to experience a magical evening in Dortmund.”

This season’s Champions League final will take place at Wembley in London on June 1.


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