Manchester City drawn against Real Madrid in Champions League quarter-finals

Manchester City face a Champions League quarter-final blockbuster against 14-time European champions Real Madrid.

The teams have met at the semi-final stage in the last two seasons, with City hammering Real 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium last season on their way to winning their first Champions League title.

Arsenal have been drawn against six-time European champions Bayern Munich, whose star striker Harry Kane is the former talisman of their bitter north London rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners have lost each of their last three meetings with Bayern 5-1, so will be hoping for much better this time around.

Bayern forward Thomas Muller said on X: “And it’s Arsenal. Kai Havertz, my friend, I am waiting for you. It is a nice draw. Two very good teams, two very good stadiums, two very good cities. It will be tough, but I am always positive. See you Gunners.”

City and Arsenal will meet in the semi-finals if they can negotiate their tricky quarter-final ties.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain is relishing the clash with Real and said: “We have been playing them a while now in the last few seasons. We all remember when we beat them in the semi-final last year – it was amazing. Last season when we played them at home in the second leg we played a top, top game.

“We know how strong they are – they are top of the league. They have good players, play good football and they have one of the best players in the world.”

Asked if City could retain their title, Begiristain said: “Yes, why not? We are doing very well in this competition and winning the games. Mentally, we are strong and top in confidence.

“We are going to need it to beat Real Madrid. We are confident – in the last years we’ve been fighting for this competition and last year we won it. We hope we can keep the winning run going.”

Paris St Germain and Barcelona will go head to head in the last eight, as will Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

City will be away to Real on April 9, with Arsenal at home to Bayern on the same evening. The return legs will be played on April 17. The semi-finals take place on April 30 and May 1, with the return legs on May 7 and 8. Wembley will host the final on Saturday, June 1.

Liverpool were drawn against Italian side Atalanta in the last eight of the Europa League.

The sides’ only previous encounters were in the Champions League group stage in 2020-21, with the Reds beating Atalanta 5-0 in Bergamo but then losing 2-0 to them at Anfield.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: “Tricky but Atalanta we played there (in 2020) – not that I watched them since then 500 times, but still the same manager, pretty sure a similar structure so it means uncomfortable to play against, very well organised,” he said.

Liverpool and their manager Jurgen Klopp will face Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals
Liverpool and their manager Jurgen Klopp will face Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It is a quarter-final – I didn’t expect any easy opponent. I have a lot of respect for what Atalanta is doing in the last years, very consistent.”

West Ham face a tough challenge against Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in 37 matches in all competitions this season under their highly-rated coach Xabi Alonso.

Liverpool and West Ham cannot meet until the final in Dublin after the semi-final draw also kept the Premier League teams apart.

The last-eight ties will be played on April 11 and 18, with the final scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.

Aston Villa will go up against French side Lille in the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

Villa booked their place in the last eight with a 4-0 win over Dutch giants Ajax on Thursday night. The final will be held in Athens on Wednesday, May 29.