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The Real Madrid and the Chelsea of Enzo Fernández they will meet again like the past seasons in the Champions LeagueMeanwhile he Manchester City by Julián Álvarez and Bayern Munich They will face each other in the toughest duel of the quarterfinals that were drawn this Friday. On the other side of the key Milan and Naples will star in an Italian tie and Nicolás Otamendi’s Benfica and Lautaro Martínez’s Inter They will solve the other crossing.
If you pass this phase, Real Madrid will continue the title defense against winner City-Bayern in the semi-finalsin which, as in the quarterfinals and unlike last year, he will have to play the second leg away from the Santiago Bernabéu, a determining factor in the conquest of the fourteenth in Paris 2022.
The hands of the Turkish-German Hamit Altintop and the Dutchman Patrick Kluivert, former player of the Merengue first and of clubs like Barcelona and Valencia the second, matched in the UEFA draw in Nyon again to Real Madrid and Chelsea, a crossover that occurred last season and also the previous one, when the English became the last team to defeat the people of Madrid and they won their second title after defeating Josep Guardiola’s City.
Last year Real Madrid removed that thorn and in one of the magical nights at the Bernabéu He came back from a game in which he wasted the two-goal advantage he brought from London but was able to qualify for the semifinals after extra time with a goal from his great hero, Karim Benzema.
Now, and with the best version that they show in the Champions League, Ancelotti’s men reach the quarterfinals after leaving Liverpool outin the reunion of both teams after the last final, with the resounding 2-5 at Anfield and the minimal 1-0 victory two days ago in Spain.
Chelsea, champion in 2011-12 and 2020-21clings to the Champions League in a season in which he seemed discarded: he is 10th in the Premier League and has changed coaches several times. But now, qualified for the quarterfinals thanks to the 2-0 win over Dortmund in the round of 16 round played in London (2-1 on aggregate), he dreams big.
Much of that illusion is deposited in the world champion Enzo Fernández, who with only eight games at the club has already taken over the team. The exRiver and Defensa y Justicia started the series against the Germans after playing the group stage for Benfica, from where he was bought for a whopping 120 million euros.
Manchester City and Bayern Munich: Goliath against Goliath
The quarterfinals, which will be played on April 11, 12, 18 and 19, will have a stellar duel between Manchester City and Bayern Munichprobably the two clubs that everyone else wanted to avoid and that are chasing a title that the English have never won, compared to the six times the Germans have, the last in 2020.
The five goals that the Norwegian Erling Haaland He put Leipzig three days ago (7-0 and 8-1 on aggregate), to certify their pass to the quarterfinals, they increased the respect that Guardiola’s team commands this season. A year after being one step away from playing in his second final, when he was eliminated by Real Madrid, he has accumulated five victories and three draws in this edition of the Champions League.
Haaland is the youngest player and the fastest to reach 30 goals in the Champions League and challenges Julian Nagelsmann’s Bavarians, who have just overwhelmed PSG (3-0 overall), a year after saying goodbye in the quarterfinals against Villarreal.
Italy pushes for Napoli, Inter and Milan
Milan and Napoli will play an Italian duel, which will be able to repeat nationality in the semifinals if Inter beat Portuguese Benfica in the other tie. Stefano Pioli’s Milanese return to the quarterfinals eleven years later, after capitalizing on the 1-0 victory they achieved at their stadium against Tottenham in the first leg of the round of 16 and the 0-0 win in London. Second in the group stage, in which they coincided with Chelsea, they are now overcoming the disappointment of a year ago, when the Rossoneri they were last in their zone.
Napoli, for their part, wants to extend their historic season. From the top of the Italian league and their almost certain Serie A title, they will play in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time after knocking out German Frankfurt (5-0 overall), winner of the last Europa League, and finishing first in the group stage, ahead of Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers. The Maradonian team arrives as a “covered” but with an attack at a superlative level, with the Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen and the Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, nicknamed Kvaradona for his magic.
The rooms will be completed with Benfica-Inter, the only crossing that altered the order of the bolillero so that Inter and Milan do not coincide at home. It is worth remembering that Italy has not put a European champion since 2010, with Inter led by Diego Milito, Zanetti, Samuel and Cambiasso.
Lautaro Martínez’s men had not reached this stage since 2011 and they do so after beating Porto in a matched tie and resolved with the goal that the Belgian Romelu Lukaku scored in the first leg at his stadium. So far they have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven Champions League games under Cameroonian Andre Onana.
Benfica led by the German Roger Schmidt got rid of Belgian Bruges in the round of 16, with a 7-1 aggregate and after a brilliant group stage in which they beat PSG, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa. Otamendi’s team is undefeated with six wins and two draws.