UCL Semi-Finals Draw: Holders Real Madrid to face rivals Atletico, Monaco to meet Juventus

It will be a repeat of last year’s final in the Champions League semi-finals, as holders Real Madrid must defeat local rivals Atletico Madrid to keep hopes of a 12th European Cup alive.

It will be the fourth season running that Atletico face Real Madrid in the Champions League, as Atletico look to bounce back from three previous defeats in the competition against their rivals and deny them becoming a first team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era.

Real Madrid have beaten Atletico in three of their last four Champions League meetings
image: espnfc.co.uk

In 2014, a last-minute header from Sergio Ramos denied Atletico their first Champions League win to force extra time, in which goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid lift a tenth European Cup in a 4-1 win.

They met in the quarter-finals in 2015 as former Man United striker Javier Hernandez scored the only goal over the two legs to give Real Madrid a 1-0 home victory in the second leg to send Los Merengues through.

Last season, the two La Liga giants met in the final for the second time in three seasons and this time it was Atletico coming from behind to force the game to penalties, where Juanfran’s miss saw Real Madrid lift the Champions League once again.

The two sides will now meet once again but this time in the semi-finals, as Real Madrid hope to follow-up on their stunning 4-2 extra time over Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and a Marco Asensio strike helped Zinedine Zidane’s side come from 2-1 down, to win 4-2 after extra time over ten-man Bayern to scrape trough to a sixth consecutive semi-final.

Atletico’s first leg advantage helped them past Leicester to reach their third semi-final in four seasons, after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Leicester in the second leg.

The other semi-final will see two of the best teams in the Champions League this season go head-to-head, as French side Monaco take on Italian champions Juventus.

The Serie A leaders ousted Barcelona in the quarter-finals as they held the Catalans to a scoreless draw at the Nou Camp, after a brace from Paulo Dybala in the first leg helped them a to 3-0 victory over the 2015 winners.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side have conceded just two goals in the campaign this season and that will be put to the test in the final four against Monaco, who are the highest scorers in the competition.

The French side have been the revelation of the competition, with 18-year-old striker Kylian M’Bappe proving why he is one of the brightest stars for the future.

After coming from behind to dump out Man City with a 3-1 home victory in the round of 16, the Ligue 1 leaders marched into the semi-finals by beating Borussia Dortmund both home and away to reach the final four for the first time in 2004.

Monaco must beat Juventus to reach just a second Champions League final
image: skysports.com

Monaco came up short against Porto in the final that year as they look to upset Juventus to lift their first Champions League, while the Italians will be hungry on ending a 21 year wait to get their hands back on the European Cup.

The first legs of the semi-finals with take place on the 2/3 May, with the return legs a week later on the 9/10 May. The two winners will meet in the final on 3 June, which takes place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Full Draw

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Monaco v Juventus

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