Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve done this. Not following the draw but actually writing about it on the blog. As it is, I have some time to kill and why not just post the draw again…hours after it concluded and with almost every other footballing site & blog having already posted it!
Here is the draw for the Quarter Finals stage of the UEFA Champions League 2014:
First legs of the quarter finals will be played on 1st & 2nd April with the return legs scheduled on 8th & 9th April.
Of course the stand out draw is Manchester United versus Bayern Munich. The team toiling in seventh position in the Premier League against the runaway leaders in the Bundesliga. A manager who has won just one Community Shield against a manager who has a grand total of 13 major honours in club football. A midfield of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini & Tom Cleverley against the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos & Mario Gotze. Fullbacks Rafael and Alex Buttner against the flying wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Only advantage as I see it – Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck & Robin Van Persie against Dante, David Alaba & Jerome Boateng.
Bring it on!
Mouth-watering. Clash of the Titans. Return of Cristiano Ronaldo. Sir Alex vs. Jose Mourinho.
These were some of the multitude of exclamations that were uttered when the draw for the Knockout Stages of UEFA Champions League 2012/13 was revealed earlier today.
For the standout tie of the round was Manchester United vs. Real Madrid. The two biggest football clubs in the world will do battle in the round of 16 come February and again in March 2013 to secure their passage into the last 8 of the competition. Full draw is as below:
Other tantalizing fixtures include Arsenal taking on Bayern Munich, Barcelona tussling with AC Milan and Juventus getting to battle Celtic. But those pale in comparison to the battle of the big two in club football!
One has to hark back to the 2002/03 season for United & Madrid’s last meeting at the European stage – Madrid running out eventual winners by 6-5. The stakes are much higher this time around. With their La Liga defense looking all but over, what with a 13 point deficit to Barcelona, and talks of Mourinho heading for the Bernabeu exit, the CL remains Madrid’s top priority.
For Sir Alex, another European triumph might only be second on his to-do list after wresting back the EPL crown from City but that doesn’t make it less wanted. Especially after those defeats to Barcelona and their disappointing campaign last season in the CL.
As I said in my post about the group stages’ draw – once gain, Le Jeu Commence!
The 2012-13 domestic football season has started off in earnest across across Europe over the past few weeks and it is just a matter of days before the continental championship kicks off as well. The draw for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League 2012/13 was held earlier today and the best of European clubs found out whom they will be facing come September
Holders Chelsea are grouped alongside Juventus whereas Arsenal have Schalke & Montpellier for company. Manchester United have an easy looking draw with Galatasaray, CFR Cluj & Braga being their opponents; but we all know what happened last season with a similar “easy looking” draw! The toughest group has to be Group D with Real Madrid, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund in there…and yeah, Manchester City round off that group…all four champions of their respective leagues!
The first legs of the round robin matches start on the 18th of September and the group stage will complete on the 5th of December. Le jeu commence.
This is how my bedroom looks like for tomorrow’s showdown: