Sports

Champions League: Real Draw Atleti, Monaco Host Juve in the Semifinals

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Defending champions Real Madrid will take on neighbours Atletico Madrid, while Monaco have been drawn against Juventus in the Champions League semifinals,

Following Friday’s draw, eleven-time champions Real Madrid will first play host to their bitter rivals Atleti at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Monaco welcoming two-time winners Juve to the Stade Louis II on 2-3 May respectively, before the return legs a week later.

Atletico Madrid will be on a revenge mission having twice lost in the finals to Real in 2014 and 2016, including a quarterfinal defeat in 2015.

Zinedine Zidane’s men are looking to make Europe’s flagship competition their own with a third win in four years, albeit their run to this stage was aided by controversial refereeing in the quarterfinal win over Bayern Munich.

Juventus are facing familiar foes in Monaco having edged the Principality outfit in the last eight of the 2014-15 competition en route to their final defeat at the hands of Barcelona.

But the Old Lady (Juve) were mighty impressive in their 3-0 aggregate win over Spanish giants Barcelona in the last eight, and are looking good for a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.

Boasting the likes of teenage wonder Kylian Mbappe and a resurgent Radamel Falcao, Monaco are easily the most exciting side in the competition and can beat anyone on their day as illustrated in successive wins over Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

Leonardo Jardim has said his side would continue to attack, and it won’t be a surprise if the dark horses emerge victorious in the June 3 final in Cardiff.

 

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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