Chelsea run into Real Madrid, Pep p Guardiola ‘returns’ to Munich
Defending champions Real Madrid will play 2021 winners Chelsea in the quarter finals of the Champions League, while Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola will face his former club Bayern Munich after they were drawn together in Nyon on Friday.
Real, who beat last year’s 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 the year 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 Guardiola, they were perennial Bundesliga champions but fell at the Champions League semi-final stage each year.
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 with all three Italian sides on one side of the draw and both English teams in the other half.
Six former champions who have combined for 34 titles in the 68-year history of the competition were in the draw. Only Napoli and City are yet to be champions.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said the clash against Manchester City is a massive challenge for the Bavarians but as contenders, they need to eliminate big clubs en route to the title.
“We watched the draw together with the coaching staff and I think it is a challenging tie but I think it is good because if you end up winning the title ... no one can accuse you of having the luck of the draw,” Nagelsmann told a news conference on Friday.
“Should there be a Champions League title at the end of the season it would be a great triumph,” he said.
Bayern, who came through a group that included Inter Milan and Barcelona, eliminated star-studded Paris St Germain with a 3-0 aggregate win over two legs in the Round-of-16 with PSG’s leading striker Kylian Mbappe shut out.
“You have to eliminate these teams if you want to win,” Nagelsmann added. “It was PSG, then it would be City then maybe Real or Chelsea and then in the final either a Portuguese or Italian team.
“It would be a triumph which would have a high value, one of great mentality and quality. I take a lot of energy and joy.
“It is challenging but we will prepare for it. We want to advance even further so we have to win against City,” Nagelsmann said.