Champions League Semi Final Draw Not Kind to The British Clubs

The Champions League Semi Final draw has paired Britains best hopes Chelsea & Manchester United guaranteeing an English presence in the last 4, but probably dashing any hope of an al English final. The final 8 are comprised of 3 English Clubs, 2 Spanish, and one each from Italy, Germany and the Ukraine.

Looking at the ties objectively we expect the final four to comnprise Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid & Chelsea, although with teams of this quality anything can happen and some exciting football looks instore.

The Ties: 

Inter Milan v Schalke 04
Real Madrid v Tottenham
Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk
Chelsea v Man Utd

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Real Madrid & Chelsea both progress to the Champions League Quarter Finals

As expected Real Madrid and Chelsea both came through their second leg ties easy enough to complete the line up for the 2011 Champions League Quarter Finals.

Real Madrid had a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Lyon taking them to the quarter finals for the first time since 2004, and keeping alive Jose Mourinho’s dreams of winning the Champions League with a third team. They never looked in danger in the match and despite missing a host of chances early on, once they took the lead in nthe 37th minute the result was never in doubt. This was Real’s first ever win against Lyon having either lost or drawn in their previous 7 meetings.

The attendance was 76,489.

Chelsea had effectively won the tie in Copenhagen where they won 2-0 and despite creating 28 shots at goal they failed to add to their tally with the game ending 0-0. This will be Chelseas 6th appearance in the quarter finals in the last 8 seasons and they are just starting to find their form at the right time after going throug an indifferent spell by their standards.

The attendance was 36,454.

The final eight for 2011 are:

Barcelona

Real Madrid

Manchester United

Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur

Inter Milan

Shakhtar Donetsk

Schalke 04

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Real Madrid & Barcelona Set For Copa del Rey Clash

Copa del Rey Alfonso XIII in FC Barcelona's Museum
Image via Wikipedia

Barcelona & Real Madrid avoided each other in the semi final draw for the Spanish Copa del Rey setting up the prospect of a meeting in the final, with the winner potentially taking the Spanish Double of League & Cup.

Barcelona have the slightly easier task against La Liga strugglers Almeria who have probably over exceeded their expectations in reaching this stage, despite having had a fairly easy passage to this stage. Still they have been in entertaining matches having beaten Real Sociedad 5-3, Mallorca 8-6 and Deportivo 4-2 all on aggregate.

Real Madrid will play mid table Sevilla who are having a poor season by recent standards and the Cup probably is their only chance at Silverware this season and possibly of Europe too, so they will be fired up for this game. However it is hard to see them losing especially with the prospects of a Barca clash awaiting.

The first legs are scheduled for 26/01/11 and the second legs a week latter on 02/02/11.

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Champions League Draw Throws Up Some Tough Groups

Although there are no easy games at this level of the Champions League some of the seeded teams will be decidedly happier than others with the way the draw panned out.  Of the five remaining British representatives Manchester United and Chelsea will be quietly confident of progressing as group winners, while Arsenal barring a major form collapse should at least qualify. Sadly the same cant be said for both Spurs and Glasgow Rangers, both of whom would have been hoping for a kinder draw.

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Some Interesting Champions League Groups Possible

The draw for the Champions League group stages takes place today, and there are some big name teams in the lower tier pots which could make for some very interesting groups. The English clubs will not be drawn to play each other until the Quarter Final stages so they will avoid each other but Glasgow Rangers who are in Pot Three could face one of them.

As would be expected there are no easy teams at this stage, however no group will be pleased to see FC Twente or Auxerre or Partizan Belgrade as their supposed whipping boy.  The British clubs in Pot 3 will be hoping they avoid falling into Real Madrid or Benfica’s group, while Tottenham, Braga & Spartak Moscow look good enough to grab a qualifying spot in the right group. Scottish Champions Rangers will have their work cut out whichever group they end up in, however they are hard to beat at home and with a very kind draw and a bit of good fortune they to could pose a threat to the top seeds.

The draw is scheduled for 16.30 hours today.

The Pots For The Champions League draw:

Pot one: Inter Milan, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Lyon.

Pot two: Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Valencia, Marseille, Panathinaikos.

Pot three: Tottenham, Rangers, Ajax, Schalke, Basle, Braga, FC Copenhagen, Spartak Moscow.

Pot four: Hapoel Tel Aviv, FC Twente, Rubin Kazan, Auxerre, CFR Cluj, Partizan Belgrade, MSK Zilina, Bursaspor.

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Sixth Time Unlucky for Real Madrid

Real Madrid C.F.
Image via Wikipedia

For the Sixth season in a row Real Madrid have failed to qualify for the quarter final stage of the European Champions League after crashing out 2-1 on aggregate to French club Lyon.

Despite spending £200 on new players success still eludes the Madrid giants and it is looking increasingly likely they will end the season with no silverware this year.

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