Friday, 21 September, 2018

Real to face familiar foe Atletico in Champions League semi-final

Viktor Kassai England vs Ukraine Real to face familiar foe Atletico in Champions League semi-final
Kristopher Love | 21 April, 2017, 18:03

The Ligue 1 leaders were paired against the Italian champions in Friday's semi-final draw in Nyon, in an intriguing tie that pits Monaco's huge attacking talent against the defensive strength of Juventus, who have conceded just twice in this season's competition.

The first leg will be at the Bernabeu with Atleti hosting the return at the Vicente Calderon, what promises to be the final European match staged at the their long-time home.

Real and Monaco will play the first legs at home, with one game on May 2 and another on May 3.

The semi-final ties will be played May 2-3 and 9-10, with the final taking place in Cardiff on June 3.

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Leonardo Jardim's side were eliminated by La Vecchia Signora at the quarter-final stage two seasons ago, but a lot has changed since then.

Real and Juventus are still undefeated in the competition.

The draw on Friday pitted Juventus and Monaco in the other semifinal.

Real Madrid have been Atletico Madrid's kryptonite in the UCL, as another Madrid derby is set for the semifinals.

Real Madrid's director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno has said past meetings will have no bearing on the Champions League semifinal against Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid beat Atletico in the final in 2014 and again in 2016 but playing the second leg away could favour their bitter rivals.

Vadim Vasilyev, the French side's vice-president, said they would be motivated by the bitter memories of being turfed out of the competition by the Italians in 2015 in the quarter-finals.

"They (Juventus) have re-inforced their squad in the last two years, but so have we", added Vasiliyev.

Massimiliano Allegri's men impressively defeated LaLiga's champions 3-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals this time, though, and remain on track for a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble. It won a record-extending 11th title last season.