SPORTS


Manchester City face European heavyweights Real Madrid, Liverpool take on Villarreal for spot in final

Baku, April 26, AZERTAC

Two epic battles – and four blockbuster football matches – are on the cards as the UEFA Champions League semifinals get underway on Tuesday, according to Anadolu Agency.

Manchester City and Real Madrid will get the ball rolling at the Etihad Stadium – a team with unmatched European pedigree taking on a side chasing that one coveted title that still eludes them.

Pep Guardiola’s men fought hard to earn their semifinal spot, just edging out Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0 on aggregate.

A resurgent Chelsea almost proved to be a hurdle too high for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the quarterfinals, but they showed their tenacity to earn a 5-4 aggregate win in extra time of a thrilling second leg at the Bernabeu.

The semifinal’s first leg will kick off at the Etihad Stadium at 1900GMT and will be officiated by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs.

The second semifinal will see high-flying Liverpool take on Spain’s Villarreal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were dominant for the most part of their 6-4 aggregate win over Benfica in the quarterfinals, and come into the semis in top form.

However, in Unai Emery, Villareal have a manager with a reputation of being a “cup king,” something he proved again as he masterminded a 2-1 aggregate win over German giants Bayern Munich to reach the semis.

The first leg will start at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium at 1900GMT on Wednesday and will be refereed by Poland’s Szymon Marciniak.

The return legs of the semifinals will be played next week on May 3 and 4, while the final is scheduled for May 28.

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