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Teams React To Champions League Draw As Holders Bayern Face Manchester United

posted 21 Mar 2014, 08:40 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 08:41 ]

Bayern Munich are drawn Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League while Chelsea meet Paris St Germain while Barcelona will play Atletico Madrid whose city rivals Real take on Borussia Dortmund.

NYONSWITZERLAND (MARCH 21, 2014)(REUTERS) -  Bayern Munich are drawn Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions Leaguewhile Chelsea meet Paris St Germain while Barcelona will play Atletico Madrid whose city rivals Real take on Borussia Dortmund.

Titleholders Bayern Munich were drawn with Manchester United in the quarter-finals of this season'sChampions League on Friday (March 21).

It is a meeting that will inevitably spark memories of their 1999 final when United scored two goals at the death to win 2-1 however United have been well off the pace this season after David Moyes succeededAlex Ferguson as manager.

Bayern, who are on course of a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble for the second season in a row, promised they would not be taking United likely despite their domestic problems.

"I think it's the third English team in that championship (Champions League) season after Manchester City and Arsenal, so the third time," said Bayern Munich board member Andreas Jung.

"But you cannot be happy to have Manchester United, for sure not. It's like this, you can be happy in the quarter-final but I think independent from the ranking and the league, actually I think Manchester United is an international top team and it depends of the performance of the two matches."

Manchester United Club Secretary, John Alexander, said they were looking forward to welcoming the champions to Old Trafford.

"I think they were teams all round weren't they? All eight sides are of the highest quality and all doing terrifically well in their divisions but to pick out the champions, what a fantastic tie for Old Trafford," he said.

Alexander added that despite mounting pressure on Moyes, whose team are currently seventh in theEnglish Premier League, the club were behind him as they aim to return as domestic challengers next season.

"Every club wants to win every game; Manchester United are no different," Alexander said. "I mean we've had terrific success but what's good about the club it takes everything in its stride and while we've had great times in the past we're all desperately trying to make sure we have great times again quickly as possible in the future."

Paris St Germain face Chelsea in a match between the two big spenders and Chelsea's Chief ExecutiveRon Gourlay said he expected a tough encounter.

"The teams that were in the draw, it was always going to be a difficult tie," said Chelsea Chief ExecutiveRon Gourlay. "Paris is close to home so I think taking everything into account they've got some fantastic individual players, good team.

"We know a lot about them so it will be very, very tough but it was always going to be tough no matter who we draw."

Real Madrid were given a chance to avenge last season's Champions League semi-final defeat by Borussia Dortmund when the teams were paired together.

Dortmund, who won the first leg 4-1 on the way to a 4-3 aggregate victory, will visit the Bernabeu for the first leg on April 1/2 with the return a week later.

Forward Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals in Dortmund's 4-1 win over Real last season, will be suspended for the first match against the nine-times champions.

Real Madrid Insitutional Relations Director, Emilio Butragueno, said: "Well we're talking about quarter-finals. We played against them four times last season and we know they are very strong and I know that this season Bundesliga, the performance hasn't been so, so good but they're very competitive and we know it's going to be a very even tie and we'll have to play at our best if we want to qualify."

The remaining tie is an all-Spanish affair between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the teams' first-ever meeting in European competition.

Atletico General Manager, Clemente Villaverde, said: "First we are very happy to have the possibility to play the quarter-finals with these teams and in this case it's very important for us to play againstBarcelona. We are all friends, we have played a lot of matches in the last month in the Spanish competition, also in the Super Cup and I think that the match will be very open for both teams."

Barcelona Delegate for UEFA Matters, Amador Bernabeu, added: "Atletico Madrid, we know is one team, one of the Spanish teams; we know the characteristics of this team. It is not easy for us but I think the first match is at home. It is, for me I think it's good.

It's necessary in the first match to resolve (avoid) the elimination."

On Sunday, Barcelona play Real in a crucial match in the La Liga title race. Real are leading the table with 70 points, four ahead of Barca with 10 games remaining.

A victory for Real would put them in a very strong position to regain the title but Butragueno said it was still too soon to think about the title even if they win.

"Well after this game there will be nine games left so it's a long way to go so then we'll see," saidBarcelona delegate for UEFA Matters, Amador Bernabeu. "We have to play very much, yes, one at a time and then we'll see. So, first of all we have to totally focus on Barcelona, after that on Wednesday we are playing against Sevilla, so our fixture list is very tight and it's going to be very difficult but I think we are prepared, I think the team are doing very well and then we'll see. Football is unpredictable."


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