Champions League final rematches come to quarterfinals

·2-min read

Nyon (Switzerland), Mar 19 (PTI) The Champions League quarterfinals will feature rematches from two of the past three finals.

Defending champion Bayern Munich was drawn Friday to face Paris Saint-Germain, the team it beat 1-0 in the final last August. The first leg is in Munich.

Real Madrid will play Liverpool, the team it beat 3-1 in the 2018 final to win a record-extending 13th European title. Liverpool, the 2019 champion, will travel to Madrid for the first leg.

Also, Manchester City was paired with Borussia Dortmund, putting the best defense in this season's competition against the top scorer, Erling Haaland.

City has kept clean sheets in seven straight games and has only conceded one goal — in the 14th-minute of its opening group game against Porto. Haaland, a 20-year-old forward from Norway, has scored 10 goals in the Champions League this season and is widely seen as a future transfer target for City.

Porto will face Chelsea, though it is unclear if neutral venues will be needed because of travel restrictions between Portugal and England amid the pandemic.

In the Europa League, Benfica played Arsenal in Italy and then Greece. Other travel issues in England forced Liverpool and Man City to play “home” Champions League games in Hungary this month.

The quarterfinal round is the first where teams from the same country could have played each other.

The first legs will be played on April 6 or 7, with the second legs set for April 13 or 14.

The Champions League quarterfinal lineup is the first without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since 2005. No Italian team is involved for the first time since 2016.

The draw includes six previous champions who have a combined 29 titles in the 65-year history of the European Cup and Champions League. Man City and PSG are chasing a first title.

Liverpool and Dortmund, who are sixth and fifth in their leagues, respectively, currently need to win the Champions League to qualify for the next one.

UEFA also made the pairings for the semifinals on Friday. The winner of Bayern-PSG will go on to have the first leg at home against either Man City or Dortmund. Madrid or Liverpool will host Porto or Chelsea first.

The semifinals will be played on April 27 and 28, and May 4 and 5. The final is scheduled for May 29 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. AP SSC SSC