Man City draw PSG in Champions League

18 Mar

Manchester City players celebrate progress

Manchester City are in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time

Manchester City will face French champions Paris St-Germain in their first Champions League quarter-final.

City, the sole English club remaining in the competition, avoided incoming manager Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich and holders Barcelona, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons.

Barca face Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid, Bayern meet Benfica, while Real Madrid take on Wolfsburg.

The quarter-finals will take place on 5-6 April and 12-13 April.

Follow all the Champions League draw reaction here

Europe’s nouveau riche go head-to-head

PSG, who have won the Ligue 1 title with two months to spare, will welcome City to the French capital in the first leg on Wednesday, 6 April.

The return leg at Etihad Stadium will take place on Tuesday, 12 April.

The teams have met only once before – a goalless draw in Manchester in the 2008-09 Uefa Cup.

Both clubs are barely recognisable from that meeting, when City were still in the infancy of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership and PSG almost three years away from their Qatari takeover.

Laurent Blanc’s side have gone on to dominate the French game, winning four successive league titles.

But, like City, the Parisians have not managed to conquer the Champions League, losing in the quarter-finals in each of the past three seasons.

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City’s side in the previous meeting with PSG featured the likes of Benjani, Elano and a young Daniel Sturridge, although current stars Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany also played

Better to be away first – Pellegrini

City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who will be replaced in the summer by Guardiola after three seasons at the helm, said there would not have been an “easy” last-eight draw for his side.

“Maybe one team has less names than another team but they’re at this stage so they deserve to be there because they eliminated other teams,” said the 62-year-old Chilean, who led Malaga to the quarter-finals in 2013.

“It’s better to be away first – I prefer always to finish at home so you know always what you must do in your home stadium.

“In my opinion, Barcelona is the team that always make the difference but all the other teams are all the same.”

All-Spanish clash the pick of the rest

Barcelona, attempting to become the first side to win back-to-back Champions Leagues, face an Atletico side they have enjoyed playing in recent seasons.

The Spanish champions are eight points clear of second-placed Atletico in La Liga, having beaten them in both league matches this season.

The Catalans have been victorious in their past six meetings, although Diego Simeone’s team won 2-1 on aggregate in the 2013-14 Champions League quarter-finals on their way to finishing runners-up.

“I don’t think there was a tougher opponent. They are the side who defend better than anyone,” said Barcelona board member Javier Bordas.


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