Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws

Guardiola led Barcelona to two Champions League titles Guardiola led Barcelona to two Champions League titles
Frederick Owens | 15 March, 2019, 13:37

A potentially tricky fixture with Burnley in the Premier League last Sunday was taken care of without too much bother and then a brilliant away performance in Munich saw the Reds through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

There are a quartet of English teams in the hat for the last eight - the first such situation since 2009 - with the Fab Four of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham all qualifying.

The biggest result was Ajax seeing off defending champions Real Madrid in incredible fashion at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Everything inevitably comes to an end at some point but if an English team is to win the Champions League this season, they are likely to have to beat a team containing Messi or Ronaldo, or defeat both, in order to claim the trophy. "Without any kind of preference", said the former Man Utd boss on his RT show, "On the Touchline with Jose Mourinho".

It was also a display of muscle-flexing by City, Liverpool and Spurs that will have been noted by the likes of Barcelona and Juventus, the two continental heavyweights most likely to stand in the way of an English triumph in the final in Madrid on June 1.

Guardiola won three Bundesliga titles but could not guide Bayern to the Champions League
Guardiola won three Bundesliga titles but could not guide Bayern to the Champions League

"If the draw gives something like Manchester City against Manchester United, or Tottenham against Liverpool, for example, it would be fantastic matches". The following season the Reds overcame Arsenal, which included a thrilling 4-2 second-leg at Anfield, however Chelsea squeaked through in extra-time during the semi-final second-leg.

"Because that would mean one of them reaches the semi-final, and I think they are doing so, so well in the competition, it would be fantastic for one of them and their countries".

"I wouldn't like Juventus against Barcelona because I think it would be something really special".

"I wouldn't waste it on a quarterfinal", he added.

"It will be a little bit like the World Cup in that players will finish at different times, so we'll have to have some preparation here, in terms of the pre-camps", said Southgate, who unveiled his England squad on Wednesday ahead of a pair of March friendlies.

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