The draw for both the major European club competitions’ semifinals, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, have concluded recently, and it is fair to say, the footballing nation is in for a treat like none other as these tournaments edge towards their finals.
Here are the results of the draw:
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
1. Monaco vs Juventus
France vs Italy. The Dark Horses vs the Giants. Attack vs Defence. The fixture has all the qualities to be exciting, intriguing, and worth waiting for.
The French club have been in fine form with their attackers, especially Kylian Mbappe, hunting down oppositions with fine goals and bringing fluency onto the pitch which is unmatched by anyone else so far, and possessing fearlessness and pace as their core strengths.
However, the toughest test an attack can possibly face is a rigid and stubborn defence, which coincidentally is a trademark their semifinal opponents Juventus proudly boast of.
With one of the best keepers in the world in the shape of Gianluigi Buffon in fine form, and reaching the last 4 on the back of knocking out Barcelona, The Old Lady is riding high on confidence, and will trust its squad’s experience, management, and hunger to overcome the threat of the underdogs of the competition.
The first leg will be held in France on the 3rd of May, 2017, at 00:15 IST, while the return leg takes place in the Italian side’s fortress on 10th May, 2017, at 00:15 IST.
2. Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
Revenge is in the air as the Madrid Derby is all set to be the second semifinal in this year’s Champions League, which will be played over two legs on 3rd and 10th May, with Santiago Bernabeu being the venue first, and the Vicente Calderon welcoming the teams during the return leg.
Atletico Madrid have been in two finals over the past 3 years, and have sadly lost both to none other than their current opponents and city rivals. While Diego Simeone will be looking to do one better this year and be third time lucky, Antoine Griezmann will be eyeing a personal revenge and battle against Cristiano Ronaldo – the man who took away 2016 and all its glory away from the Frenchman in every arena possible.
A true clash of the Titans, as tactics meet brilliance, and the world is in for a treat like none other.
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
1. Ajax vs Olympique Lyonnais
The Dutch team have entered the semifinals on the back of staging a dramatic 10-men comeback in the second leg against Schalke, while the French side had to go all the way through a penalty shootout to knock out Besiktas to be a part of the last 4 in the competition.
Ajax will be the home side in the first leg to be played on the 4th of May, with Lyon being the hosts on 11th May, a week later. Ajax have previously won the competition in 1992, and will be itching to repeat the feat after coming so close this time around.
2. Celta Vigo vs Manchester United
This will be the first ever time the two teams will be facing each other in a competitive fixture, and what bigger does it get than a semifinal stage of Europe’s major club competition.
The Premier League side are looking to claim this title for the first time ever in their glorious club history so far, and with the La Liga side currently placed 10th in Spain, it might be a tie that will help them take a step closer towards that dream.
Mourinho and his men travel to Spain on the 4th of May to play the first leg, and will welcome Celta Vigo to the Theatre of Dreams for the second fixture, which will be held on the 11th of May.
2 major competitions. 4 mega matches. 8 super teams. Let the semifinals begin!