Chelsea will face Real Madrid while Manchester City take on Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while the two Premier League sides could face each other in the semis.
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The west Londoners progressed to the last eight of the competition courtesy of a come-from-behind 2-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund while Premier League champions City also defeated German opposition, hammering RB Leipzig 8-1.
From the quarter-final stage onwards, the draw becomes ‘open’ with no seedings or country protection – meaning clubs from the same national association can now face each other – while the team drawn first plays the first leg at home.
Chelsea have been handed a particularly difficult draw against Real Madrid, who have won the tournament in four of the last seven seasons, while Pep Guardiola returns to Bavaria to take on old club Bayern Munich.
Chelsea will play the first leg at the Bernabeu with the second leg at Stamford Bridge a week later, while City face the difficult task of a second leg trip to the Allianz Arena.
Quarter-final draw in full
Real Madrid vs Chelsea
Benfica vs Inter
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich
AC Milan vs Napoli
An all-Italian affair sees last season’s Serie A winners AC Milan take on champions elect Napoli, while Inter – whose fixture was reversed as they share the San Siro with their city rivals – take on Portuguese league leaders Benfica.
In addition to the quarter-final draw, the brackets for the semi-finals have also been decided while there was a third draw to determine the ‘home’ side in the final.
Semi-final and final draw
Milan/Napoli vs Inter/Benfica
Real Madrid/Chelsea vs Man City/Bayern Munich
Semi-final 2 winner vs Semi-final 1 winner
Should Chelsea and Manchester City win their respective quarter-finals, they would then meet in the semi-finals in what represents a very difficult route to the final.
Italy, meanwhile, have not had a finalist since Juventus in 2017 but with three teams in one half of the draw they have a great opportunity to make the showpiece in Istanbul in three months’ time.
City are the bookies’ favourites to win the Champions League, closely followed by Bayern Munich – who edged out PSG in the last 16 and are involved in a serious title battle with Dortmund this year, while three others teams are just seven points adrift.
Reigning champions Real Madrid are also one of the main contenders after a 6-2 aggregate win over Liverpool, though they have been less impressive domestically and trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by nine points.
Free-scoring Napoli, meanwhile, have an 18-point lead at the top of Serie A and look well set to compete on both fronts, though Inter and AC Milan have endured more mixed campaigns – losing eight and six times respectively in Serie A and narrowly scraping past Porto and Tottenham.
Benfica could be a dark horse in the competition, having hammered Club Brugge 7-1 on aggregate in the last 16, while they have an eight-point lead domestically and have lost just once all season.
When are the quarter-finals?
The first legs take place on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 April, with the return legs scheduled for 18 and 19 April.
For Chelsea, that means they travel to Molineux to face Wolves before the first leg against Real at the Bernabeu, then host Brighton, before another very challenging away trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford following the second leg – but only if the Red Devils are not involved in the FA Cup.
City, meanwhile, will travel to Southampton before the first leg against Bayern, then host Leicester City, while the return leg is proceeded by a trip to Brighton – again, though, this is dependent on both clubs’ FA Cup participation.
When are the semi-finals and final?
The first legs of the Champions League semi-final will take place on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 11 May, with the return legs scheduled for 16 and 17 May.
The final will take place on Saturday 10 June at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. The venue was originally due to stage the 2020 final but it was postponed and relocated twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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