Chelsea will once more square up against Champions League champion Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.
The two European powerhouses were drawn together for the third time in a row on Friday. They previously played each other in a thrilling last-eight matchup in which Chelsea came agonizingly close to staging a historic comeback at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema’s hat-trick in the first leg at Stamford Bridge appeared to have Madrid cruising, but that lead was sensationally erased by three Chelsea goals in Spain before Rodrygo’s attempt and then a 96th-minute Benzema header sealed a heart-pounding 5-4 aggregate triumph for Real.
In the 2020–21 semifinals, Chelsea defeated Los Blancos, winning 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away, before going on to defeat Manchester City in Porto and winning the trophy for a second time.
14-time European champions Real Madrid destroyed Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate to cement their place in the last eight this time around, while Chelsea overcame Borussia Dortmund in a huge result that has helped to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Graham Potter and spark a promising turnaround in domestic fortunes also.
The opening leg of this season’s match will be at the Bernabeu, before traveling back to west London for the return fixture.
In this year’s quarterfinals, City manager Pep Guardiola will face off against his previous club, the Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich, while the all-Italian matchup between Napoli and AC Milan pits the defending Serie A champions against one other.
Meanwhile, Benfica of Portugal has been paired up against Milan’s cross-city rivals Inter.
The semi-final paths were also determined immediately following the quarter-final draw at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday. If Chelsea and City win their respective heavyweight quarter-final matches, they will square off for a spot in the Istanbul showpiece on June 10.
The victors of AC Milan vs. Napoli and Benfica vs. Inter, a match that has been reversed, will also face off in the semifinals, with the intriguing possibility of a Milan derby at the last-four stage.
Champions League quarter-final draw in full
Real Madrid vs Chelsea
Benfica vs Inter Milan
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich
AC Milan vs Napoli
Champions League semi-final draw
Real Madrid/Chelsea vs Manchester City/Bayern Munich
Benfica/Inter Milan vs AC Milan/Napoli
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