SPORTING ALERT – Manchester City have been drawn alongside Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League while Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich will battle in the other.
English Premier League side Manchester City booked a place in the last four of the competition for the first time in club history, after beating French champions Paris Saint-Germain over the two-legged tie.
After leaving Paris with two away goals, following the teams’ 2-2 draw in the first leg, Manchester City tagged PSG 1-0 in front of a packed home crowd at the Etihad Stadium, with Belgian forward Kevin De Bruyne netting the curler in the second half.
The Citizens took the quarter-final tie 3-2 on aggregate.
Their reward for that win, however, is now an appetizing date with Real Madrid, after the Spanish La Liga giants, inspired by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, erased a two-goal deficit against Wolfsburg to win their quarter-final 3-2 on aggregate as well.
Manchester City will play host to Real Madrid in the first leg of the semis at the Etihad on 26 April before heading to the Bernabeu a week later for the return leg.
City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain is expecting a very difficult tie for the Premier League representatives.
“We know how many times Real Madrid have won the Champions League and been in numerous semi-finals so it is going to be very difficult,” Begiristain said on www.mcfc.com.
“We saw how they came back in the quarter-finals against Wolfsburg, recovering from 2-0 down to win the second leg 3-0.
“Probably the worst thing for us is playing the second leg at the Bernabéu which is a huge stadium with a lot of history in this competition.
“We have been doing good things in the previous rounds, particularly in the Round of 16 and quarter-final where we have been solid and defended well and we know with the players we have in the final third that we can create a lot of chances.
“We are confident and we will aim to make it very difficult for Real Madrid over the two legs; we want to get to the final in Milan and we know we can do this.”
Meanwhile, after shockingly knocking out defending champions Barcelona in their quarter-final clash, La Liga title chasers Atletico Madrid will be full of confidence when they take on Bayern Munich in the other semi-final.
Atletico Madrid secured a 2-0 victory in the second leg of their quarter-final to dump the Lionel Messi-led favourites, Barcelona from the competition.
Bayern Munich earned their place after getting the better of Benfica.
Bayern are managed by Pep Guardiola, who will take over as boss of Manchester City next season.
UEFA Champions League semi-final draw
1 Manchester City (ENG) v Real Madrid (ESP) – 26 April/4 May
2 Atlético Madrid (ESP) v Bayern München (GER) – 27 April/3 May
UEFA Champions League final draw
Winners of semi-final 1 v Winners of semi-final 2 (28 May, Milan)