Champions League: Man Utd nightmare, Chelsea into semis
Quarter final draw: who will make it through to the last four of this season's Champions League?
THE draw for the quarter finals of the Champions League has been made with British clubs Manchester United and Chelsea drawn against last year's winners Bayern Munich and French champions Paris Saint-Germain respectively.
With three Spanish clubs in the last eight a La Liga showdown seemed inevitable, but there will be no quarter final 'Clasico' as Real Madrid were drawn against Borussia Dortmund, while the other Madrid team, Atletico, were pitted against their domestic rivals Barcelona.
Man Utd v Bayern Munich Manchester United's reward for overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos is a "daunting meeting" with reigning champions Bayern Munich, says the Daily Telegraph. "The task facing David Moyes' side will be even harder after they were also drawn to play the second leg in Munich," it adds. Theirs is the "toughest draw of all" says Phil McNulty of the BBC. "Pep Guardiola's side have already demonstrated their class against Manchester City and Arsenal this season and United's status as outsiders for the tournament will only be cemented after the draw against the Bundesliga superpower on a mission to become the first club to retain the Champions League." United are 20-1 to win the competition, which tells its own story.
Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain "The romance keeps coming for Jose Mourinho," says Rory Smith in The Times. After the "poignant encounter" with Didier Drogba of Galatasaray in the last round he must now face another "ardent disciple" in PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. "Their reunion is not the only intriguing aspect to what is, arguably, the most finely-balanced of the four quarter final ties. It is a game which pits the original oligarch, Roman Abramovich, against the club who have sought more than any other to ape his approach, Qatari money coaxing Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva and, of course, Ibrahimovic, to the French capital." But the Premier League club should prevail. "It will be a low-scoring tie but I think Chelsea can squeeze through," says Alan Smith in the Telegraph.
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid Atletico are the emerging force in Spanish football and are a point above Barca in La Liga at the moment. But Alan Smith in the Telegraph says: "Barcelona are still in the top three best sides in Europe, and when Lionel Messi's in the kind of form he was in the second leg against Manchester City he can swing a match on his own. It will be close but Barcelona will get through." Smith of the Times agrees. "Barcelona will be slight favourites, but Atletico should not be underestimated," he says. "They are a side constructed in the image of their manager [Diego Simeone]. They do not lie down."
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund This tie should end with a second Spanish side in the last four say the pundits, who believe that Real will avenge their semi-final defeat in last year's competition. "Even though BVB have proved to be a bogey team for Real in the past, the likelihood of the Ruhr side progressing to the semi-finals is slim. [Jurgen] Klopp's team this year is operating at a level nowhere near that of last season, with player sales and injuries diminishing their depth and class," says Bleacher Report. "Real have arguably a stronger squad than last year and know what to expect from their opponents."