Sports, Football

Real face Chelsea in UCL quarters, Man City meet Bayern

Published : 18 Mar 2023 08:50 PM

Holders Real Madrid will play Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second season running, while Manchester City were paired with Pep Guardiola's former side Bayern Munich in Friday's draw.

Serie A leaders Napoli take on AC Milan in an all-Italian showdown and Inter Milan face Portuguese league leaders Benfica.

The winners of Real's tie against Chelsea will go on to face either City or Bayern in the semi-finals, throwing open the possibility of an all-English last-four tie.

That also increases the chances of seeing an Italian team reach the final for the first time since Juventus in 2017, as Inter will play either Milan or Napoli in the last four should the Nerazzurri beat Benfica.

Real's path to what would be a 15th European Cup is starting to look remarkably like last season, when they beat Chelsea and City before defeating Liverpool in the final.

Carlo Ancelotti's team are fresh from beating Liverpool in the last 16, and will now hope for a repeat of a year ago when they eliminated Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, with Karim Benzema scoring a hat-trick in the first leg in London. The teams also met in the semi-finals in 2021, when the Stamford Bridge side won on their way to lifting the trophy for the second time. City's ongoing bid to win the Champions League for the first time faces a major obstacle in a Bayern side who knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the last round.

It will be the first encounter between the clubs since the 2014/15 group stage, when Guardiola was in charge of the German giants.

Guardiola left Bayern to join City in 2016, but is still chasing a first Champions League title as a coach since winning it with Barcelona for the second time in 2011.

"It will be a reunion with Pep Guardiola and ErlingHaaland, old acquaintances from the Bundesliga," said Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn.

"To win the Champions League you need to beat the best teams. That is the challenge and we accept it."