The quarterfinals provided tough rivals for the three Spanish teams that are still in the Champions League. It could not be otherwise since there were only strong teams left in the pot. Real Madrid will face Chelsea, the current European champions and the team that eliminated them in the semi-finals last season. Unlike then, the second leg will be at the Bernabeu, a factor that can favor the Spanish team as there is no longer a double value of goals in the opposite field in the event of a tie.
The first leg will be played at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday April 6 and the return on Tuesday April 12 in Madrid. Today it is not clear that the London match will be played with spectators because the British Government, within its policy of sanctions for the war in Ukraine, prevents the club from blue sell tickets while it still belongs to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. A meeting on Tuesday between UEFA officials and the English club will determine whether the match is ultimately played behind closed doors or not.
Atlético and Villarreal had even worse luck than the Whites, as they possibly got the teams that start out a priori as the favorites for the title. Atlético, who has just eliminated Manchester United, returns to Manchester to now play against Pep Guardiola’s City. The first leg in England will be on Tuesday April 5 and the second leg at the Metropolitano on Wednesday 13. Villarreal will do so against Bayern, with the first leg at La Cerámica.
Real Madrid has never been able to beat a team trained by the German Thomas Tuchel
City is the leader of the Premier, with Liverpool very close. Atlético recalled yesterday that they had already eliminated a Guardiola team, in this case Bayern, in the 2016 semi-finals. Enrique Cerezo is buoyed by the victory at Old Trafford: “No team scares us. This year could be Atlético’s Champions League”, he said.
UEFA also raffled the crosses for the semifinals. The winner of Manchester City-Atlético will play the first leg of the semi-final at home against the winner of Chelsea-Real Madrid, which could lead to a duel from Madrid. Both would thus avoid a possible final between them on May 28 in Paris. This means another good news for the Madrid clubs, who will not have to cross paths with Bayern Munich before the final, which is the main favorite in that part of the draw.
Chelsea right now is a club with an uncertain future given that Roman Abramóvich has announced the sale of the entity, which is in the hands of a manager and awaiting purchase offers. The team continues with one of the most fashionable coaches, Thomas Tuchel, but it is not as strong as it was last season. Real Madrid has never beaten a team led by Tuchel.
Atlético already eliminated a team led by Guardiola, Bayern, in the semifinals in 2016
Third in the Premier, eleven points behind Manchester City, the blues They have a squad similar to the previous year, a team with a midfield that unfolds with great energy, with players like Kanté, Jorginho or Kovacic. Its two long-distance wingers are the Spaniards Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta. In their defense, the three central defenders are powerful in the air: Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Christensen, the latter with one foot in Barcelona next season. For the upper part, Tuchel’s team has fast strikers such as Pulisic or Havertz, or more physically powerful nines, such as Lukaku, a substitute against Lille, the rival that Chelsea comfortably won both games in the round of 16.
Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations for Madrid, commented after the draw: “It’s a tie between two teams with an offensive mentality, one of those who want to rule the match. It is a very difficult rival. Let’s see who is the strongest.”