ZURICH. — Tottenham have been drawn against Manchester City in an all-English Champions League football quarter-final tie, while Manchester United will face Barcelona. In the other two ties, last season’s finalists Liverpool were drawn against Porto, while Real Madrid’s conquerors Ajax will face Juventus in a rematch of the 1973 and 1996 finals.
English hopes are high that this could be their year in Europe’s elite club competition after all four of their representatives made it through to the last eight.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United will have their work cut out if they are to go any further as they take on the Barcelona of Lionel Messi in the headline tie.
For Solskjaer, the second leg will bring back memories of the 1999 final, when the Norwegian came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner for United against Bayern Munich at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.
With City and United not allowed to play their home leg in the same week, United will entertain the leaders of La Liga at Old Trafford on April 9 or 10, with the return a week later.
UEFA said ahead of the draw: “Manchester City and Manchester United will not be able to play at home on the same night, nor on consecutive nights, following a decision made by the relevant local authorities.
“Therefore, should both clubs be drawn at home in the same week, the team having finished lower in the domestic league the previous season — in this case Manchester United — will be reversed in accordance with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told the club’s official website: “What can I say? It’s Porto and we’ve played there already and we know how good we had to be last year.
“The result in the end was a strange one; it was very good for us, of course, but it was a strange one. In the second leg, we saw the character of Porto and the quality they have.
“I could not be further away from thinking it’s the best draw because it isn’t – it is just the draw, it’s the opponent we have to prepare for and that’s all we will be thinking about from when we start preparing for the game.”
Champions League quarter-final draw
Ajax (NED) v Juventus (ITA)
Liverpool (ENG) v Porto (POR)
Totttenham Hotspur (ENG) v Manchester City (ENG)
Manchester United (ENG) v Barcelona (ESP)
First leg April 9-10, second leg April 16-17
Tottenham Hotspur/Manchester City v Ajax/Juventus
Manchester United/Barcelona v Liverpool/Porto
First leg April 30/May 1, second leg May 7-8
Final: June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid
Europa League quarter final draw
Napoli v Arsenal
Villarreal v Valencia
Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague v Chelsea
Napoli or Arsenal v Villarreal or Valencia
Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt vs Slavia Prague or Chelsea
Quarter-final: April 11 & 18
Semi-finals: May 2 & 9
Final: Wednesday May 29, Olympic Stadium, Baku. — AFP