Created on 16-03-2012 at 00:00 AM
Bayern face a challenging but manageable task in the Champions League quarter-finals after the in-form Bavarians were paired with French Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille in Friday’s draw. The tie, the first meeting between the clubs in Europe, is a trip down memory lane for Bayern stars Franck Ribery and Daniel van Buyten, both former crowd heroes in the south of France.
The quarter-final first leg at Stade Velodrome will be played on Wednesday 28 March, with the decisive return at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday 3 April. Friday’s draw was made by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, assisted by former FCB star Paul Breitner in his capacity as ambassador for the Allianz Arena, venue for this season’s final.
“It won’t be easy. But I think we can fundamentally be satisfied with the draw when you see that Milan are playing Barcelona, for example,” said FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a first reaction to the draw. Olympique are currently eighth in the Ligue 1 standings, but Rummenigge insisted FCB must not underestimate Didier Deschamps’ side: “They knocked out Inter Milan, so we’ve been warned. We’ll try and come away from Marseille with a good result. It would be nice if we could go there and push the door open just a little bit.”
Should Jupp Heynckes’ team overcome the French outfit, they would face the winners of the quarter-final between minnows APOEL Nicosia and old foes Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with Munich at home in the first leg this time.
More news and reaction follows shortly!
Champions League quarter-finals:
APOEL Nicosia v Real Madrid
Olympique Marseille v Bayern Munich
Benfica v Chelsea
AC Milan v Barcelona
Champions League semi-finals:
Olympique Marseille or Bayern Munich v APOEL Nicosia or Real Madrid
Benfica or Chelsea v AC Milan or Barcelona
(To be played 17 or 18 April and 24 or 25 April)