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Champions League

Bayern v Barça in semi-finals!

In the quest for a second Champions League triumph in three years Bayern face a tough but thrilling challenge in this season’s semi-finals after Pep Guardiola’s men were drawn to play the coach’s former club Barcelona. Just as in the previous round, the Reds have been handed the slight advantage of playing the decisive second leg at their home Allianz Arena.

Bayern and FC Barcelona have met eight times in European competition to date, with the record clearly favouring the men from Munich: FCB have won five and Barça only one, with two draws. Philipp Lahm and Co harbour only fond memories of the most recent duel between the teams, as Munich stunningly won 4-0 at home and 3-0 away in the 2013 semi-finals before going on to lift the trophy at Wembley.

The showdown is especially significant for Thiago and Guardiola as they face a first reunion with their former club. Guardiola guided Barça to Champions League glory in 2009 and 2011, and won it as a player there in 1992. Thiago was on the Catalans’ books from 2005 until joining Munich in 2013. Lionel Messi and his team-mates currently lead Spain’s La Liga ahead of Real Madrid, and are in fine form, as evidenced by comfortable 3-1 and 2-0 Champions League quarter-final victories over Paris St. Germain.

Friday’s draw at the Swiss headquarters of European football’s governing body in Nyon was made by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and former Dortmund star Karl-Heinz Riedle, ambassador for final venue Berlin. Bayern were represented by veteran superstar Paul Breitner.

In the semi-finals, Bayern take on the La Liga club at the legendary Camp Nou on Wednesday 6 May, before the return at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday 12 May. In the second semi-final, Juventus are at home to Real Madrid in the first leg. This year’s final takes place at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 6 June, where FCB would nominally be the away team should they overcome Barcelona.

Champions League 2014/15 semi-final draw in full:

Barcelona v Bayern Munich
Juventus v Real Madrid
(To be played 5/6 May and 12/13 May)

More news and reaction follows shortly!