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UCL & UEL Draws Confirmed – City and Atlético Meet for the First Time Ever

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 19th Mar 2022

The draws for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League have concluded and the remaining eight teams in both competitions now know their opponents for the quarter finals and semi finals.

The ties will be played between the first week of April and the first week of May to determine which clubs will go on to the finals of both competitions.

Stade de France will be hosting the final of the Champions League while Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan will host the final of the Europa League.

Chelsea will be facing Real Madrid, who they beat in their run up to the Champions League title last season while last season’s Europa League winners, Villarreal, will be taking on the mighty Bayern Munich for the first time in their history.

How the UCL quarter finalists progressed past the round of 16

Current title holders Chelsea were drawn against LOSC Lille in a rematch of the 2019/20 group stage fixture and came out 4-1 aggregate winners from the tie. Goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the first leg set up a tense second leg. Burak Yilmaz opened the scoring from the spot in the second leg until Pulisic again extended the lead and Cesar Azpilicueta put it beyond doubt.

Their quarter final opponents, Real Madrid, came back to defeat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate after Kylian Mbappe’s lone goal from the first leg and opening goal from the second placed the aggregate scoreline at 2-0 in favour of the French club. A 17-minute hat-trick from Karim Benzema helped the 13-time champions progress past PSG to set up a rematch with Chelsea in the quarter final.

Benfica had to stave off pressure from Ajax Amsterdam to secure a 3-2 aggregate win to progress from the round of 16. Both sides played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg to set up a tense second leg, which was decided by a Darwin Nuñez header.

Their quarter final opponents, Liverpool, lost 1-0 at Anfield to their round of 16 opponents, Inter Milan, but it was not enough to keep them away from the quarter finals as they progressed on a 2-1 aggregate win thanks to first leg goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Bayern Munich utterly destroyed their round of 16 opponents, Red Bull Salzburg 8-2 on aggregate after raising eyebrows with their below par first leg which ended in a 1-1 draw. The second leg at the Allianz Arena brought out the beasts in Bayern as they ran riot to a 7-1 win against Salzburg.

Their opponents, Villarreal, provided the shock of the tournament this season after they dispatched Juventus 4-1 on aggregate. They held the Turin club to a 1-1 draw at El Madrigal and travelled to the Allianz Stadium to out three goals past Juventus in front of their own fans. It remains to be seen how much dark horse energy they still possess, with another European giant standing in their way in the quarter finals.

Manchester City also progressed as expected by thrashing Sporting Lisbon 5-0 on aggregate. The second leg of the fixture was underwhelming, but City’s romp in the first leg away at Sporting Lisbon was enough to seal their progression.

Their opponents, Atlético de Madrid, braved all odds to beat Manchester United 2-1 on aggregate, with an awe-inspiring 1-0 win at Old Trafford in the second leg being the highlight of the tie. One fact that Atlético will hold on to going into the tie with City is that Pep Guardiola, City’s manager, has never progressed past Atlético in cup competitions.

How the UEL quarter finalists progressed past the round of 16

Barcelona, playing in their first Europa League quarter final since the competition’s format was changed from the UEFA Cup, have moved from being a sleeping giant to a team no one in the tournament want to face. They dispatched Napoli in the round of 32 and were drawn against Galatasaray, whose fans are among Europe’s most passionate and whose grounds are among Europe’s most scary. It was at the Galatasaray stadium that they showed their quality, running out 2-1 victors on the night to progress to the quarter finals.

Their opponents, Eintracht Frankfurt, will feel some confidence after winning in Spain in their round of 16 tie against Real Betis. Their 2-1 victory from their trip to Spain helped them as Betis almost stole a win at their home stadium in the second leg, before a fortunate own goal sealed the win in extra time for the Eagles.

West Ham United defeated Sevilla, the most team in the Europa League, at the London stadium to run out 2-1 aggregate winners and progress to the quarter finals where they have been drawn against Olympique Lyonnais, who also defeated Porto on 2-1 aggregate.

Red Bull Leipzig had no opponents in the round of 16 as their original opponents, Spartak Moscow, were kicked out of the competition because they are a Russian club. They have been drawn to face Atalanta, who beat Bayer Leverkusen over two legs to secure a 4-2 aggregate victory. Alongside Barcelona, La Dea are the club to fear in the tournament currently.

Glasgow Rangers have progressed to the quarter finals for the first time in 14 years after convincingly dispatching of Red Star Belgrade over two legs. The Ibrox side lost the second leg in Serbia 2-1 but their 3-0 victory at home served as a propeller to the quarter finals, where they will be facing Sporting Braga. A 2-0 first leg victory at home over French club AS Monaco helped Braga to a 3-1 aggregate victory to set up what promises to be an interesting tie.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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