Liverpool draws City, Real and Juve in Champions League final rematch

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NYON, Switzerland: Manchester City will face Liverpool in a mouthwatering all-English Champions League quarterfinals while Juventus have a chance to gain revenge on holders Real Madrid in a repeat of last year’s finals.

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona were paired with AS Roma in the draw made in Nyon on Friday, while Sevilla’s reward for defeating Manchester United in the last 16 is a quarter-final against five-time European champions Bayern Munich.

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi AFP PHOTO

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said City would not relish playing his free-scoring side.

“We take what we’ve got. Now it’s Manchester City, let’s go,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.


“We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league. I don’t think they thought before (that) the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be.”

The first leg will be played at Anfield on April 4 with the return at Eastlands on April 10.a

It will be the first meeting of two English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League since Manchester United overcame Chelsea at that stage in the 2010-2011 season on their way to the final.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We know each other very well, they are a very offensive team, the truth is it is going to be a great couple of games.”

Real Madrid thrashed Juventus 4-1 in last season’s final in Cardiff, but the Italians’ vice-president Pavel Nedved vowed there would be no repeat this time.

“We know that we’ll face the best team in the draw, the team that have won the last two Champions Leagues,” Nedved said.

“I don’t think the team will suffer like they did in Cardiff, this is a new start.”

Real and the Champions League all-time record scorer Cristiano Ronaldo will be happy to be playing the second leg at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium against Juventus after the Turin side’s European know-how proved lethal to Tottenham in the last 16.

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said it would be a “very special match”.

“Juventus played against Tottenham, which had extraordinary results and was superior, and yet, despite the difficulties, came through. They have a competitor’s mentality.”

‘Hard to forget’

Former Roma captain Francesco Totti meanwhile said his club were excited about the prospect of taking on Barcelona and Messi, who scored his 100th Champions League goal in the comfortable 3-0 defeat of Chelsea on Wednesday.

“Meeting Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League — that’s a match that will be hard to forget,” Totti told BeIN Sport.

Roma’s sporting director Monchi joked: “You can’t say we were very lucky with this draw.”

German giants Bayern face Sevilla, whose 2-1 defeat of Manchester United in the last round was one of the surprises of this year’s competition, but Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich said they were relieved to avoid one of their major rivals.

“There are harder draws. It’s doable, but Sevilla have shone in Europe and they have won three Europa Leagues,” Ulreich said.

“So we’ll be very focused when we go over there (for the first leg) and then we’ll do the business at home.”

Sevilla’s sporting director Oscar Arias said: “This is very difficult. We are facing one of the historic clubs of European football, a great club in this competition. But we are up for it.”

The first legs will be played on April 4-5 and the second legs are on April 10-11.

Kiev hosts this year’s final on May 26.

AFP

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