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Champions League

Holders face old foes United in last eight

Bayern have been handed a tough but enticing tie against a long-standing continental rival in the Champions League quarter-finals, as the treble winners and current holders of Europe’s elite club trophy were paired with English Premier League giants Manchester United in the draw for this season’s last eight. In a welcome bonus, FCB will play the first leg in the north-west of England with the return in Munich a week later.

The draw ceremony was held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland from midday CET on Friday and was conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti, and former Portugal superstar Luis Figo.

“It’s an extremely attractive draw. In the Round of 16 second leg United showed they’re capable of great things,” commented FCB board director for sport Matthias Sammer. The Red Devils slumped to a 2-0 first leg defeat away to Olympiakos Piraeus but won 3-0 at home to qualify for the quarter-finals. “They’re extremely dangerous on good days, so we can’t allow them to have two good days. I regard the draw as manageable but dangerous,“ declared Sammer.

FCB skipper Philipp Lahm is already fired up for the prestige head-to-head: “It’s a superb draw. It's a wonderful stadium with a terrific atmosphere and a history of great clashes. We can look forward to it.“

The eight-team line-up for Friday’s draw, comprising all the group winners from the first stage of the competition for the first time ever, included three teams from Spain, two each from Germany and England, and one from France. The eight boast a total of 39 final appearances between them.

FCB and United have faced off nine times in the past with honours practically even: the Bavarians won three, lost two and drew four of the previous meetings, scoring 12 goals and conceding 11. Bayern play the first leg of the last eight tie away from home at Old Trafford on 1 April, with the decisive second leg at the Allianz Arena just a week later on 9 April. This year’s final takes place at Benfica’s Estádio do Sport stadium in Lisbon on 24 May.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full:
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
Paris St Germain v Chelsea
Manchester United v Bayern Munich