The UEFA Champions League semi-final draw produced two mouth-watering clashes. Defending champions Bayern Munich were paired against Real Madrid and Chelsea were drawn against tournament surprises Atletico Madrid. And the question now is, who will triumph and who will perish?
Bayern captain Phillip Lahm reacted to their clash with the ‘Los Blancos’ “it’s a fantastic semi-final, two big clubs with a lot of tradition, Bayern vs. Real it cannot get any bigger in European football at the moment” said Lahm. First leg matches are schedule for the 22/23 of April.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti also reacted to this classical meeting. He first hailed Bayern coach Pep Guardiola as “one of the best coaches in the world, and they have a great team” but warned them that his Madrid side will present a stern opposition in this semi-final clash.
The other semi-final involves another Madrid side-Atletico against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. The Blues defender David Luiz is wary of the treat posed by Atletico “you cannot choose who you play, all four side are great, that why they are in the semi-finals, Atletico are a top team, they beat Barcelona, they are top of their league and they have a great manager”. Both Madrid sides will play home first.
Another talking point about this clash is Atletico on-loan goalkeeper from Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois. According to their contract stipulations, he shouldn’t face his parent club-Chelsea but UEFA issued a statement saying he is clear to face Chelsea, the contract clause is “null, void and unenforceable” according to UEFA rules. Surely we haven’t heard the last of this issue.