In Brief

Man City face Real Madrid, Liverpool draw Villarreal in semi-finals

Two remaining English clubs face Spanish opposition in the last four of the Champions and Europa leagues

Cristiano Ronaldo will be heading back to the north-west after Manchester City were drawn against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

While City avoided a clash with Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich, they could be up against their manager-in-waiting in the final if they can overcome the Spanish giants.

The tie will also give current boss Manuel Pellegrini the chance to get one over on his old club. The Chilean was in charge at the Bernabeu between 2009 and 2010, before being replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Both City and Real will feel as though they have got "the best possible draw", says the Daily Telegraph. Los Merengues would have been pleased to avoid their neighbours, Atletico Madrid, who knocked out Barcelona, while Guardiola has a track record against them.

City will also be pleased to have avoided Atleti, who are the form team in the competition.

But the tie will still be a blockbuster, says the Daily Mail. "Ronaldo and fellow former Premier League star Gareth Bale will return to England what is likely to be a sensational two-legged affair," it claims.

However, the prospect of playing the second leg in Spain could put the Premier League team at a disadvantage.

In the Europa League, Liverpool will play the second leg of their tie with Villarreal at Anfield, after overcoming Borussia Dortmund in a thriller.

They will also be happy with their draw, avoiding the title-holders, Sevilla, and a gruelling trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool have never met Villarreal in European competition, although the two clubs have a connection as the Spanish side take their nickname, the Yellow Submarine, from a Beatles' song.

It will still be a tough test for Jurgen Klopp's team, notes The Guardian: "Villarreal are fourth in La Liga and were emphatic conquerors of Sparta Prague in the quarter-finals. They knocked out Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen in the earlier rounds and have beaten Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid this season."

There is an added incentive for both clubs to do well in Europe, says the Telegraph, which notes that if they both win their competitions, Manchester United may be denied a place in the Champions League next season as only the Premier League's top three.

Champions League semi finals:

Manchester City vs Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich

Europa League:

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sevilla

Villarreal vs Liverpool

Recommended

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial
Diego Maradona pictured in 2019
Why we’re talking about . . .

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 
England captain Harry Kane reacts after Hungary’s third goal at Molineux 
View from the terraces

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?
Gareth Southgate reacts to England’s 4-0 defeat to Hungary in the Uefa Nations League
View from the terraces

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?

A guide to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022
The Fifa World Cup trophy on display at the draw for Qatar 2022
The big match

A guide to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

Popular articles

The Mediterranean cities preparing for a tsunami
A tsunami in 2011 in Japan
Fact file

The Mediterranean cities preparing for a tsunami

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande film review
Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
In Review

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande film review

The Week Footer Banner