Manchester United to face Barcelona in Champions League

Manchester United and Barcelona will meet in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will square off in an all-Premier League clash.

Liverpool’s reward for defeating Bayern Munich is a last-eight tie with Porto, while the other quarter-final from today’s draw in Nyon has pitted Ajax against Juventus in a repeat of the 1996 final.

United and Liverpool will meet in the semi-finals if they reach the last four, with Tottenham or Manchester City facing the winner of the quarter-final between Ajax and Juventus.

The draw had an unusual feel with neither Bayern Munich nor Real Madrid in the hat, the first time both European giants have failed to reach the last eight since 2005-06.

Barcelona, who are in the last eight for the 12th successive season, will be away in the first leg after UEFA switched the order to avoid United’s home match clashing with Manchester City, who host Spurs in their second leg.

Ajax, once a major European power who struggle to compete financially with clubs from bigger leagues, ousted Real Madrid in the last 16 and their tie against Juventus will be a repeat of the 1996 final, which the Serie A club won on penalties.

They also met in the final of the old European Cup in 1973 with the Dutch side winning 1-0.

“I’m neither happy nor sad. Ajax eliminated Madrid so they are no joke,” said Juventus director Pavel Nedved. “I liked them a lot against Madrid so we will have to be very careful. We will have to face Ajax with great commitment: I expect two great games.”

Remarkably, Juventus are unbeaten in their last ten meetings with Ajax, winning five of the last six.

The quarter-final first legs will take place on 9/10 April, with the return legs the following week.

The semi-finals will take place on 30 April/1 May and 7/8 April, with the final taking place at Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid on Saturday 1 June.

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