By Adam Hicks.
Manchester United will face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Champions league and could face defending champions Inter Milan or Schalke if they progress to the semi-finals.
Man United’s quarter-final first leg will be played on the 6th of April and is a repeat of the 2008 Champions League final which United won on penalties. However, three time winners United do have the advantage of playing at home in the second leg which is scheduled for the 12thApril.
The other English side in the draw, Tottenham Hotspur were drawn against Real Madrid and will play the first leg at the Bernabeu, before hosting the nine time winners at White Hart Lane for the second leg. As alluded to earlier, defending champions Inter Milan will face Schalke and favourites Barcelona will play Shakhtar Donetsk in the other two quarter-final ties.
The draw also plotted team’s route to the final, to be played on the 28th May at Wembley, as team’s learned their potential opponents in the semi-final. Either Inter Milan or Schalke will play Chelsea or Manchester United in the first semi-final while it will be Real Madrid or Tottenham versus Barcelona or Shakhtar in the other.
United earned their place in the draw after defeating Marseille 2-1 in the last 16 on Tuesday night after a tense tie at Old Trafford following a goalless draw in France two weeks earlier.
Javier Hernandez gave United the lead after five minutes side-footing home a Wayne Rooney cross before the Mexican converted in similar fashion to double their lead with fifteen minutes to go.
Having looked dangerous from set pieces all night, Marseille pulled one goal back after Wes Brown converted Lucho Gonzalez’s corner into his own net. But United held on to progress to the quarter finals for a fifth successive season.
Of the teams left in the competition United have scored the fewest goals, 9, with Hernandez responsible for a third of that total. But they are the best team defensively having conceded just two goals so far and remain one of two unbeaten sides in this year’s competition along with Real Madrid.
United have a stellar record against English sides in Europe, having won all of their four previous encounters.
Chelsea and United have already met once this season at Stamford Bridge in fiercely contested game which the home side won 2-1. Although a similar scoreline next month wouldn’t be a disaster as away goals are crucial in two-legged European ties.
Quarter-final draw – games to be played on 5th/6th and 12th/13th April
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Inter Milan vs. Schalke
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