Champions League draw reactions: Man Utd vs. Barcelona, Spurs vs. Man City
Lionel Messi is heading to Old Trafford and Hugo Lloris says Tottenham are ‘ready to compete’ against City
An all-English tie will feature in the Champions League quarter-finals after Tottenham Hotspur were drawn to play Manchester City in the last eight.
Liverpool have been drawn against Portuguese club Porto while Manchester United face Barcelona and Lionel Messi. The other last-eight tie will see Dutch side Ajax take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.
Here we look at the reactions from the quarter-final draw and the potential semi-final line-ups.
Champions League quarter-final first legs
- 9 April: Liverpool (England) vs. Porto (Portugal)
- 9 April: Tottenham Hotspur (England) vs. Manchester City (England)
- 10 April: Ajax (Holland) vs. Juventus (Italy)
- 10 April: Manchester United (England) vs. Barcelona (Spain)
Champions League quarter-final second legs
- 16 April: Juventus vs. Ajax
- 16 April: Barcelona vs. Manchester United
- 17 April: Porto vs. Liverpool
- 17 April: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Champions League semi-final draw
The semi-final first legs will be on 30 April and 1 May, and the second legs are on 7/8 May.
- Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City vs. Ajax or Juventus
- Manchester United or Barcelona vs. Liverpool or Porto
Final ‘home team’
Uefa’s draw has also confirmed which team will be at “home” for the final on Saturday 1 June. The 2018-19 Champions League final will be played at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain. Should Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Ajax or Juventus progress to the final they would be the home team.
Tottenham vs. Man City: Lloris seeks a ‘little luck’
Spurs are set to host Man City at their new stadium in the quarter-final first leg on 9 April. The second leg will be played at the Etihad on 17 April.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes that with a “little luck” the north London side could progress to the semi-finals, where they would play Ajax or Juventus.
Lloris said: “Everything is possible if you believe and have the right mentality. We have already proved last season against Real Madrid and Dortmund, this season against Inter or Barça away, that we are ready to compete. Then you need a little luck and team spirit.”
Man City are still in the hunt for a quadruple this season and director of football Txiki Begiristain says they are “confident” of taking on Spurs.
Begiristain said: “We are doing well, we are having a good season and we are in a good place now in the sense of the football that we are playing. So, we are confident, but we know Tottenham will create problems. I am also very happy that we will get to play in the new stadium [Tottenham’s new ground].
“We played last season [in the quarter-finals] against Liverpool and did not go through. I hope this time we have better luck.”
Pep Guardiola, the City manager, says his team must be wary of Spurs attacking trio Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen. Guardiola said: “We are two incredible clubs, players and stadiums. They will be two fascinating games.
“We know how good they are upfront with Kane and Son and how good they are at set-pieces because of Eriksen. But it would be the same if you took on any team in the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Man City right-back Kyle Walker is looking forward to facing his old club. The England international tweeted: “This will be fun.”
Liverpool vs. Porto: Klopp ignores previous results
Last season Liverpool thrashed Porto 5-0 on aggregate in the last-16 before going on to reach the final where they lost against Real Madrid.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said last year’s result won’t affect his side’s preparations. “What can I say?” said Klopp. “It’s Porto, we’ve played there already and we know how good we had to be last year. We saw the character and quality Porto have.”
Porto midfielder Jesús Corona is looking for revenge. He said: “We have to keep dreaming and believe we can go further.”
Ajax vs. Juventus: De Jong excited to face Ronaldo
After knocking out holders Real Madrid in the last-16 Ajax now face the challenge of Juventus in the quarter-finals.
Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong said: “Juventus will be favourites, but that was the case against Real Madrid too. I reckon we have a chance.”
When asked about taking on Juve and their star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, De Jong added: “I saw their 3-0 win over Altético and they played very well. When I was around 10 or 12 years old, Ronaldo already was one of the best players in the world. So it is nice that I will now face him for real.”
Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus defender, said: “We heard the news of the draw when we finished training. We know we will face a team in great form, a dynamic team and we are ready for two games with great intensity. We know we can give our fans more magic nights like the one against Atlético.”
Juventus director Pavel Nedved was “neither happy nor sad” with the draw against the Dutch side. Nedved said: “Ajax eliminated Madrid so they are no joke. I liked them a lot against Madrid so we will have to be very careful. We will have to face Ajax with great commitment: I expect two great games.”
Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Messi is on his way to Old Trafford
Barcelona and their brilliant No.10 Lionel Messi are what Man Utd have to beat if the Red Devils are to progress to the semi-finals.
Barca have beat United in two previous Champions League finals (2009 and 2011) and Messi was on target in both matches.
In the last round United came back to knock out Paris Saint-Germain and defender Chris Smalling believes his side have the character to “hurt” Barcelona.
Smalling said: “In the last five or six weeks, from the teams we have come up against, whether it is Chelsea, Tottenham or Paris - all sorts - we know that we can go to teams and hurt them.”
United have happy memories of Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium. In the 1999 Champions League final they beat Bayern Munich there and the scorer of the winning goal was United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ronaldo vs. Messi in the Madrid final?
The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals have set up a potential Champions League final clash between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - the two all-time leading goalscorers in the competition.
Both star strikers inspired their teams to victory in the last-16. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for Juventus against Atletico Madrid while Messi netted two in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Lyon.
For a Ronaldo vs. Messi final to happen, Ronaldo’s Juventus need to beat Ajax in the last eight then knock out Tottenham or Man City in the semi-final. Messi’s Barcelona will need to beat Man Utd in the quarter-finals then progress past Liverpool or Porto in the semi-finals.
The Champions League final will be played on 1 June at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain.