Heavyweights to clash in Champions League QFs

first_imgNYON, Switzerland (AP):The road to a Champions League record for Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti will go through his old club – defending champions Real Madrid.When Ancelotti fulfilled Madrid’s quest for the “Decima” – a record-extending 10th European Cup title – in 2014, he joined a select group of five coaches to win the competition with two different clubs. He also coached AC Milan to two Champions League titles.Ancelotti’s new team will host his previous club in Munich in the first leg of the quarter-finals on April 12. The return match will be played in Madrid six days later.”Matches against Real are obviously special for me,” Ancelotti said. “It’ll be exciting for me to go back to Madrid.”Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant for the 2014 title, and won a Champions League of his own last May to cap his coaching debut season.”Our relationship is like that of a master and apprentice,” Zidane said.FINAL REMATCHAlso in yesterday’s draw, Barcelona will meet Juventus in another heavyweight clash – a rematch of the 2015 final, while Champions League newcomers Leicester will face Atletico Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund will take on Monaco.The first legs will be played on April 11-12, with the return matches on April 18-19.Madrid and Bayern have combined to win 16 European titles and both currently lead their national leagues. One club, however, will end its recent streak of reaching the Champions League semi-finals for five straight years.Former Madrid players now with Ancelotti include Xabi Alonso from the 2014 champions. One-time Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos now lines up alongside Madrid forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.Barcelona won their fifth European title two years, beating Juventus 3-1 in Berlin, in coach Luis Enrique’s first season with the club. A Champions League final on June 3 in Cardiff, Wales, would be Luis Enrique’s final match before leaving the club.Juventus did oust Barcelona in the quarter-finals in 2003, en route to one of their competition-record six losing finals – against a Milan team coached by Ancelotti 14 years ago.Leicester are making their debut in the competition, and are the only team in the draw which have never played in a Champions League final. But Leicester and Atletico have played before. The Spanish club eliminated Leicester in the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1997.THE DRAWJuventus vs BarcelonaBayern Munich vs Real MadridDortmund vs MonacoAtletico Madrid vs Leicester Citylast_img read more

Quick-fire City back in the groove, Llorente fires Spurs

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City’s midfielder Raheem Sterling (L) and Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match against Manchester United December 10, 2017LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 2 – Raheem Sterling scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season as leaders Manchester City got back on track with a 3-1 win against Watford on Tuesday, while Fernando Llorente put Tottenham on course for a 2-0 victory at his former club Swansea.Sterling struck after just 38 seconds before Christian Kabasele’s first-half own goal put Pep Guardiola’s side in control at Eastlands. Sergio Aguero made it three as City gave the perfect response after their 18-game winning run was ended in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday.Unbeaten City are 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester United as they continue to turn the title race into a lengthy coronation party.Guardiola had complained that the hectic festive fixture schedule was a “disaster” after City striker Gabriel Jesus suffered a knee ligament injury at Palace.But Guardiola was able to replace the Brazilian with Sergio Aguero, while David Silva returned from a two-game absence.City, playing their fourth match in 11 days, were ahead inside a minute as Sterling met Leroy Sane’s cross with a near-post finish for his 18th goal this season.Having won 6-0 at Watford in September, City looked on course for another rout in the 13th minute when Watford’s Kabasele sliced an attempted clearance into his own net from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.Yet they had to wait 50 minutes to score again as Argentine forward Aguero netted from close-range for his 16th goal of the season.Andre Gray’s 82nd minute goal for Watford came way too late to avoid a sixth defeat in their last seven league matches.With Harry Kane only fit enough for a place on the bench after illness, former Swansea striker Llorente made his first league start for Tottenham at the rain-lashed Liberty Stadium.Llorente marked the occasion with a 12th minute goal, the Spaniard powering home a header from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick despite Swansea’s appeals for offside.Puddles all over the pitch made it hard for Tottenham to establish their smooth-passing game and Kane, who finished 2017 with consecutive hat-tricks, was sent on for Llorente after 68 minutes.– Dramatic winner –Kane made his presence felt with a perfect pass to Dele Alli and the Tottenham midfielder finished at the second attempt to wrap up the points in the 89th minute.Tottenham move above Arsenal into fifth place and sit four points behind fourth placed Liverpool with a game in hand.Swansea remain bottom of the table as new boss Carlos Carvalhal was beaten for the first time in his second match since replacing the sacked Paul Clement.Andy Carroll’s stoppage-time strike sealed a vital 2-1 win for West Ham against second bottom West Bromwich Albion at the London Stadium.James McClean’s deflected shot from the edge of the area put Albion in front in the 30th minute.But Carroll equalised with a bullet header in the 59th minute.Carroll followed his first goal since April with a dramatic winner from close-range, lifting David Moyes’ side out of the bottom three.West Brom are winless in 20 top-flight fixtures — only three clubs have endured longer runs without a victory in the Premier League: Derby with 32, Sunderland with 26 and Norwich with 21.Crystal Palace came from behind to win 2-1 at Southampton thanks to Luka Milivojevic’s late goal.Palace fell behind in the 17th minute as Saints striker Shane Long scored for the first time since February last year.Long’s fine finish raced into the top corner from Jeremy Pied’s cross.But Palace equalised in the 69th minute when Scotland midfielder James McArthur volleyed home from Christian Benteke’s header.And Serbia midfielder Milivojevic redeemed himself for missing a last-minute penalty against Manchester City at the weekend as his long-range curler in the 80th minute lifted Palace away from the relegation zone.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more