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Champions League Draw: Bayern v Atleti and Real Madrid v Man City

ucl-drawThe Champions League semifinal draw kept apart the two teams from Madrid and also denied Pep Guardiola the opportunity to face his club for next season, Manchester City–at least until a potential final.

When the names were drawn out in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday, it was Manchester City vs. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich vs. Atletico Madrid. Both semifinals will be fascinating, but on the basis of the quarterfinals, you could argue that the two weakest teams still left face each other, as do the two strongest teams.

City knocked out Paris St Germain in the quarter-finals thanks to a goal from Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne which secured a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium and sent the Premier League side through 3-2 on aggregate.

Madrid recovered from a 2-0 first-leg defeat by Wolfsburg to progress to the last four following a hat-trick by former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pellegrini was manager at Real Madrid from 2009 to 2010, during which time the likes of Ronaldo was bought from Manchester United for £80m, along with Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso.

The Chilean, though, was sacked after just one season, and replaced by Jose Mourinho, following early elimination from the Champions League and also losing out on the domestic championship to Barcelona.

“It is a difficult draw,” said Pellegrini. “It doesn’t matter which team we played. The options are the same.

“I always prefer to finish at home but that is not the most important thing.”

City have played Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage of 2012/2013, with the Spanish giants winning 3-2 at home while it finished 1-1 in Manchester.

The other semi-final will see Atletico Madrid, who knocked out Barcelona, take on Bayern Munich, managed by Pep Guardiola in what will be his final season before taking over at City next season.

This is a replay of the 1974 European Cup final, which the Germans won 4-0 following a replay.

These are the two best teams left in the competition, along with the two most tactically interesting coaches. The tie is a hipster’s dream, with Guardiola’s vision of total football facing the immovable object of Diego Simeone’s defensive rock of a side, one that has conceded only 16 goals in 32 La Liga matches all season.

Even more impressive, that has happened in a league that averages more goals per game (2.71) than England (2.62), France (2.49) and Italy (2.53) (although not Germany, which is at 2.8 partly because Bayern and Dortmund have scored so many).

In his seven years as coach, Guardiola has always reached this stage of the competition: in the last two seasons, Spanish sides have been his undoing, Real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona last year.

This could be even tougher for his side that is brilliant going forward but continues to make mistakes at the back. A 2-2 draw at Benfica in the quarterfinal second leg was enough to progress, but was hardly convincing.

With Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribery showing signs of their best form, Guardiola will need more from Douglas Costa and Thiago Alcantara for a two-legged affair that could turn out to be a classic.

Champions League Semi-Final
Tues, 26 April: Man City v Real Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Wed, 27 April: Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich – Buy Champions League Tickets
Tue, 3 May: Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Wed, 4 May: Real Madrid v Man City – Buy Champions League Tickets

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • dinho April 28, 2010, 5:09 am

    inter milan to win barcelona 😀

  • tareq (kalapur) April 28, 2010, 2:40 am

    i like mesi mesi mesi……………………………………………………this world cup football….2010…….will win ARGENTINA…..

  • Karl April 27, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Messi could be the best at this moment, because there are no real players that he can compete with.
    He should be when the Master (Zinedine Zidan) use to be at the fields, and pretty sure he will stay with his mouth either open of foolness or with his mouth shut because he will not have nothing to show.
    Who is the beter of goalkeeprs of all times, there was no goalkeeper for the Master he had beten all best goalkeepers, has Messi done that, well will see if he is good as much think on the world cup, Which I am pretty sure they will not get to FINALS…..

  • Gabriel Nungolo April 27, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Well it is strong game which myself i call it a final before the final…. But realy can not say who will win because before teams are performing well and with the advantage that Inter has already,,,,, realy is something else but let wait and see the ball will decid…

  • chebsolo April 20, 2010, 1:37 pm

    WINNERS AND WINNERS 4 EVA…. NOTHING WILL EVER STOP BARCELONA…. INTER, I LOVE YOU BUT BARCELONA IS BEST. THE WORLD CAN TESTIFY THAT…..

  • cornelius April 20, 2010, 7:21 am

    i belief to beat inter is to take control of the mid-field and feed the attachers even from the wings to enable my messi do his finishing job perfectly. i see inter as a no threat to us at all, with lionel whom i always reffer to as cornel, victory over vinter is what we will deffinately do. LONG LIVE BARCA.

  • Philip April 20, 2010, 3:48 am

    Barcelona will be lucky if they score tonight. Inter will not only beat them but they will totally outclass them at the San Siro! Forza Inter!!

  • angel of mathematics April 20, 2010, 2:28 am

    Todays match is going to be a disgrace to inter. The fact is barca is full of experience players. Inter fans forget about this season, next season shall be a nice one. Up Barca

  • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:26 am

    barcelona for sure…………i strongly recommend the team to over take inter as they are more strong than the opposite team…

  • sagni April 18, 2010, 10:53 am

    barca will win the champion not only win semi final inter. inter is nothing .but, barca for all.

  • cot April 18, 2010, 7:48 am

    inter siap berenkbenk’z barca

  • gtyhyh April 15, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Barcelona have beaten Inter and will again. Barca for champs!!!!!

  • Solari Danny Amamoo April 13, 2010, 9:29 am

    INTER INTERNATIONALE ALL THE WAY AND NO ONE STOP US UNTIL OUR BONES ARE ROTTEN

    • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:32 am

      bra……i believe that your thinking is completely wrong….imagine on how will those unskilled defenders tuckle the magision messi

  • Solari April 13, 2010, 9:27 am

    Intermilan all the way and i know we are going to beat Barcelona and also win the champions league this year

    • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:36 am

      huuuuh……better think back brother…………………

  • russel April 13, 2010, 5:09 am

    totally agree jack

  • jack April 13, 2010, 5:06 am

    well only to stop barca is not by defensive it just by attacking and push them in defense by that only you can win inter defending 90 minuts to barca is sure that you are loosing this game so just attack them. if u don’t conceed a goal in first half then there is almost a chance to win the game. so best of luck to inter milan.barca its time to good bye for champions league

  • DiRrtyDog April 9, 2010, 1:57 pm

    The Champions League winner, will be either Inter Milan or Barcelona. It is sad that they already meet in the semi-finals, because a final on a neutral ground between those teams would be AMAZING. One of the best defensive teams against maybe the strongest offensive team in Europe, for the time being.

    I don’t think Lyon or Bayern will be capable of winning against either of those teams. The reason why I think they won’t be winning, is simply, that they haven’t been convincing enough.

    Bayern were lucky to beat Fiorentina by an offside goal and advance to the quarterfinals, and even though they impressed me by beating united with 2 amazing comebacks, there were still alot of holes in their defensive line. They wouldn’t stand a chance against Barca’s offensive (Messi, Pedro, Iniesta etc.) with that poor defensive play. And Inter would win 1-0 if they were to meet Bayern in the Finals.

    Lyon is a bit of a joker in my opinion, but I think they need that last bit, to be a threat against Barca or Inter (or even Bayern for that matter) I saw the second leg against Bordeaux, and they were seriously outplayed by them, and the only reason why they did advance, was because of outstanding goalkeeping. And I don’t think the goalkeeper will save them against barca, but against Inter, well maybe they’ll have a small chance (but really I don’t think that as a possibilty)

    Well that’s just my bet on the Chl Winners 2010 🙂 And I will eat all of those words again if I’m wrong. (and sorry for spelling or grammar problems, I’m not English)

    Have a nice Weekend

    • David Wilson April 9, 2010, 5:22 pm

      Totally agree with your comments. Bayern might be the weakest team to reach the CL semi-finals in years.

      As for Inter v Barca it promises to be a great series. Arsenal showed that you cannot give Barca time and space to make all their little passes. You have to be stronger and physical as Chelsea were last season, and that describes Inter.

  • micheal April 7, 2010, 11:00 am

    it seems every body want to get to the top of this game but i tell u the only term dat has make it to d final is barca.

  • Red Devils April 7, 2010, 3:59 am

    Man United can win tonight match.. i know they can. GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!! miracles could happen

  • Philip April 7, 2010, 2:40 am

    Messi is no doubt the best player in the world at the moment . Last night’s 4-1 win over Arsenal confirmed what we already knew. This time however, against Inter they stand no chance. Inter will reach the final!!

  • Abdulah March 25, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Arsenal will have a tuff game against barcelona i know that we are going to win home but away will be really tuff but we will se what happens (inshallah)

  • gunners March 25, 2010, 11:26 am

    arsenal will upset barca and prove all of you wrong…just wait and see

    • Alen April 20, 2010, 7:12 am

      spoke to soon there…

    • Rooney10_PAKI April 23, 2010, 1:14 pm

      u can’t beat man utd,how will u beat barca

  • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:20 pm

    The is no other team that will stop barca from winning champions league

  • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Barc has been and I will be best team for the next decade!

  • zakari harouna barmou March 22, 2010, 8:16 pm

    barcelona is the king of football.

    • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:16 pm

      They have the talent in world of footbal to beat arsenal, most importantly I would them go all the way to the final and thrash man united. I want Barca to prove the world that they are the best team in the world and to man united.

  • nebeolisa March 22, 2010, 4:06 am

    wenger barca has all it takes to win the match,but if arsenal struggles hard they can make it.

  • Fernando August 19, 2009, 11:07 am

    There can be no cheating in Champions league. There must be
    transparency. Starting with the referees. Unspeakable
    was the performance of the Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai in Lisbon
    18Aug2009 giving the same disciplinary value to a aggression (yellow card), 2 fouls with a view to preventing gaming and goal (without punishment), and take the shirt off to celebrate a goal ( second yellow card). Unbelievable.
    Impaired? Sporting Club de Portugal.

  • rooney August 8, 2009, 7:02 am

    man u champions again,you wait maha,see the youth and our striking force go mad.man u v barca final…arsenal dont have a final in them unless its there youth in carling cup in there lucky.rooney player of the year/world

    • leonard March 24, 2010, 12:26 pm

      Rooynen, is the best strike in barclays…wait to see the best strikes when they meet best team in the world

  • BAYONLE April 9, 2009, 5:56 am

    I DONT THINK MAN U CAN STILL QUALIFY BUT LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

  • BAYONLE April 9, 2009, 5:53 am

    BARCELONA VS ARSENAL FOR FINAL.

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