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By Sam Lyon
1245: And that, ladies and gentlemen, was your Champions League and Europa League draws. Bish bash bosh. Needless to say Chelsea, Man Utd and, particularly, Tottenham fans have sent our SMS module and
into meltdown, which tells me you're all a touch excited. Roll on early April when the actual football kicks off again, huh? Thanks for all your company today - I'm back all Saturday and Sunday for a crackerjack weekend of Premier League and lower league football, kicked off by
Tottenham v West Ham
tomorrow morning. No time for dreams of Real Madrid, then. See ya!
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Q/F DRAW Real Madrid v TOTTENHAM CHELSEA v MAN UTD Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk Inter Milan v Schalke 04 Ties to be played on 5/6 and 12/13 April.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE S/F DRAW Inter Milan/Schalke 04 v CHELSEA/MAN UTD Real Madrid/TOTTENHAM v Barcelona/Shakhtar Donetsk Ties to be played on 26/27 April and 3/4 May.
1232: Inter Milan director Luis Figo: "We are happy for the draw because we don't play the big teams but we have the same respect as if we were playing Manchester United or Chelsea. You have to try to achieve the final and be one of the teams that have the chance to win the competition twice in a row. We know it is difficult but right now we have the chance to fight for it. We have to pass Schalke and then see if we can beat Chelsea or Manchester United."
1227: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho: "I'm happy. Not because it is easy, but because I love to play in England." Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno: "We are very happy because over the last few seasons we have been unable to get to this round. This competition is the most prestigious in Europe. It is going to be a fantastic tie and Tottenham have great great players, offensive players and are very competitive. I'm sure it's going to be very difficult for us. I'm hopeful our team will rise to the occasion. Rafael van der Vaart is a fantastic player and a great person and professional and I'm happy he's been very successful. I'm sure he'll strive to do a great game and help his team qualify for the semi-finals. We have to focus on Tottenham - I insist it is going to be a very difficult opponent and the second leg is in London. If we qualify then we will have time to think of the semi-final opponent."
Fantonidy on Twitter:
"Looking forward to seeing who wins the battle of the English clubs eliminator. Braga v Dynamo Kiev."
Anon via text: "RE: 1203 - For reference, how does one measure the frequency of under-usage of a word (eg razzmatazz) to determine that it is 'oft under-used'?" Erm... it's a tricky combination of word usage and the decency of the word. Any less than five annual uses of the word razzmatazz = under-use. Any more than 14 = over-use. I think.
1221: Darren Eales, Tottenham director of football administration: "It really is a dream tie for us. They've won this competition more than anyone else, while as a club we've grown throughout the competition. As each game has gone on we've been more comfortable and it's a game of football so anything can happen. They have had a run of losing in the last 16 and it's important the second leg is at White Hart Lane. You never know, there will be great atmosphere. An all-England final would be wonderful. It's extra special being at Wembley but it's a long way away. We'll concentrate on Madrid but for the club it is brilliant to have achieved what we have. It's been a great season so far, we hope it continues."
1220: Anyway, anyone wondering what Spurs made of their draw? Well I do aim to please...
RealSamRobson on Twitter:
"Argh, I'm going to be in Melbourne for both legs! Their idea of football is picking the ball up and smashing into each other!"
1219: And that concludes the draw for the Europa League. Rip-roarer wasn't it? The semi-finals will be played on the 28th April and 5th May, with the final in Dublin scheduled for 18th May.
1218: FC Porto/Spartak Moscow v Villarreal/FC Twente
1217: Braga/Dynamo Kiev v Benfica/PSV Eindhoven
1216: That's the quarter-final draw - again, the teams drawn out first play the first leg at home. The legs of the last-eight ties are on the 7th April and the 14th April. Now the semi-final draw...
1215: Braga v Dynamo Kiev
1214: Villarreal v FC Twente
1214: Benfica v PSV Eindhoven
1213: FC Porto v Spartak Moscow
1212: Here we go with the Europa League draw, then, hold on to your hats people...
Jonny, North London via text: "What's all this talk of omens? Nothing gets close to this, Tottenham have won trophies in 1901, '21, '51, '61, '71, '81 and '91. 2011 would be triffic wouldn't it 'Arry..."
1208: Why is there no British club in the last eight of the Europa League? Well last night put paid to a trio of club's hopes, with Man City
coming up short against Dynamo Kiev,
undone by Braga
beaten by PSV Eindhoven.
All of which means the last eight teams in the competition are: Dynamo Kiev, Benfica, Spartak Moscow, FC Twente, Porto, Villarreal, PSV Eindhoven and Braga.
1204: RE: 1200 - well done to all who spotted Zenit St Petersburg aren't in the Europa League draw. I was just checking you're all still awake. Ahem.
1203: A Barcelona spokesman: "This is a solid team and is not going to be an easy game. We have played them in the past and they've had success against us. It was a very very tough game and they are a difficult team to play. They are well coached and very compact. They have a lot of Brazilian players and the crowd are very good. All the teams at this stage are very good. We're trying to build a great historic team and we know we are only in March - we have to remain focused and if we play to the best of our ability we'll do well."
Thelonius via text: "I don't agree with John Alexander (below). The Chelsea-Man Utd tie will add extra razzmatazz to the season." Razzmatazz - an oft under-used word if you ask me. Good work.
1200: Anyway, enough contemplation of the warm-up draw - coming up is the one you've all been waiting for... the Europa League draw! I mean, yes, there's no British club participation, sadly, but who doesn't want to know who the likes of Spartak Moscow and Braga will get! Anyone? No? Ahem. Well let me remind you, then, that you can Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text me via 81111 (UK) Plenty more Champions League reaction to come, I promise...
JP in Aberystwyth via text: "Tottenham, Shakhtar, Man Utd and Inter to go through. Shakhtar are unbelievable at home and won't give Barca any time on the ball. You heard it here first!"
1157: Oh, I didn't mention, the winner of the Real Madrid/ TOTTENHAM/Barcelona/Shakhtar semi-final will be the HOME team in the final. Which, by my calculations, means... absolutely nothing.
1154: Man Utd secretary John Alexander: "It's a shame the English clubs were paired together. We have a good record against domestic clubs in Europe and I'm sure Sir Alex [Ferguson] will be prepared. Both teams have chances of winning the Champions League and the league. We're big clubs and we like to have big games. It's a great chance for whoever comes through to make it to Wembley. Most teams wanted to avoid a clash with Barcelona."
Cooperman9 on Twitter:
"Immense! Potentially four 'el classicos' in space of 19 days! And if they're anything like the first one... Wowzers!"
Simon via text: "Chelsea have avoided the Spanish till the final.this could be our year.Torres to hit form."
1150: Chelsea secretary David Barnard: "I always thought Gary Lineker was a decent chap until he paired us [with Man Utd]! We have a great rivalry domestically but the Champions League is something different. We're looking forward to it, people will bring up Moscow and revenge but we know each other well enough. Most of that team that experienced Moscow are still here so it'll be a great motivation. We've been the bridesmaid many times. That's the semi-final we'd have picked ourselves providing we get through."
petermblackburn on Twitter:
"This draw is an absolute cracker. Inter Milan, Man Utd, Tottenham and Barcelona to go through. Real there for the taking."
Kellsborojack via text: "When Spurs lost to Real in 84/85 it was the club's first ever home defeat in a European competition. Revenge is a dish best served cold!"
"RE: 1131 - the 2002 final Real Madrid won was in the UK as well! Big omen!"
1141: I'm still awaiting reaction from any of the clubs... so let's look at the draw again shall we? I think it goes down as a barn-stormer... CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Q/F DRAW Real Madrid v TOTTENHAM CHELSEA v MAN UTD Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk Inter Milan v Schalke 04 Ties to be played on 5/6 and 12/13 April.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE S/F DRAW Inter Milan/Schalke 04 v CHELSEA/MAN UTD Real Madrid/TOTTENHAM v Barcelona/Shakhtar Donetsk Ties to be played on 26/27 April and 3/4 May.
1135: The dates for the first-leg ties have been confirmed. Tues, 5 April: Real Madrid v Tottenham Weds, 6 April: Chelsea v Man Utd Stick those dates in your diaries, stock the fridge, lock the doors, and settle in for two nights of monster football. Jubbly.
1131: Fans of Barcelona or Real Madrid - and omens - may like to be reminded that the last time Real Madrid won it, in 2002, they beat Barcelona on the way. And in the semi-finals, too. Inter Milan v Schalke, by the way, is a repeat of the 1997 Uefa Cup final. As if you didn't remember that anyway.
Peter, Leeds via text: "My mouth is watering at the propsect of an 'el clasico' semi final!"
BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson on Twitter:
"Spurs and Real Madrid played in the 1984/85 Uefa Cup, quarter-final. Real won the 1st leg 1-0 in London, the 2nd leg was a goalless draw." And Real Madrid went on to win the trophy...
1125: I'll say this for Tottenham, at least the second leg is at home... right?
1123: Caught your breath yet? Chelsea v Man Utd is
a repeat of the 2008 final,
of course, and - I would wager - the draw neither club particularly wanted? As for Tottenham, if they're going to win it they're going to have to do it the hard way. Having seen off Inter Milan and AC Milan, they're now scheduled to play Real Madrid and then Barcelona. Any optimists out there?
1118: We cannot, therefore, have an all-Spanish final. We can, however, have an all-English final. And an all-London final at Wembley no less. Hhmmm.
1117: Real Madrid/TOTTENHAM v Barcelona/Shakhtar Donetsk
1117: Inter Milan/Schalke 04 v CHELSEA/MAN UTD
1116: And now the semi-final draw...
1116: Unbelievable. An all-English quarter-final draw and Tottenham paired with Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid. Wowzers. The club drawn first, remember, plays the first leg at home.
1115: Inter Milan v Schalke 04
1114: Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk
1114: CHELSEA v MAN UTD
1113: Real Madrid v TOTTENHAM
1113: Here we go...
1113: Your teams... Barcelona, CHELSEA, Inter Milan, MAN UTD, Real Madrid, Schalke, Shakhtar and TOTTENHAM.
1112: Right then, pre-amble over folks! The draw is coming!
1111: Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "It is not good tactics to go into how good Barcelona are and show a trepidation or apprehension about it. I don't think that is our way. You have to face every hurdle as it comes along. Anyone who has got themselves into this position must have qualities; either certain players, or a good home record. [But] Barcelona are the team you don't want to play. They made a side like Arsenal, who in our league pass teams to death, almost look out of their depth."
jambofever on Twitter:
"No-one will fancy a head to head with Spurs after their two Italian jobs. Chelsea brittle & Man U defensively light though."
Anthony Collins via text: "The dream draw has got to be Man U v Barca, Mourinho and Real Madrid against his old team Chelsea. Spurs v the other Milan and then Schalke v Shakhtar as the leftovers!"
1109: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "I don't want to say anything about who we might get and whether it is an English team or not doesn't matter. We are calm. We are quiet. The draw will decide which team we have to play. Barcelona are the most dangerous team, but if we have to play against them, we will play. I think we have a squad that's strong enough to win it. All the players are fit. The team is strong enough. If we play at 100%, we have a possibility to get to the final stages of the Champions League. The feeling is good. I said before - we slept for two months and now obviously we are fresh and in good condition."
joeparsons89 on Twitter:
"At this stage of the competition every game will be extremely difficult, just some more than others."
1106: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "We're in the last eight and we're looking forward to the next round. You can't pick who you draw - we were in the toughest group but we won that. They'll be two fantastic games, whoever we draw. I do believe, though, that anyone could win it. Jose (Mourinho) won it with Porto (in 2004) when they weren't expected to. The favourites are the two Spanish clubs (Barca and Real Madrid), there are two fantastic English clubs with Manchester United and Chelsea but we're in there, let's see where it takes us - it's been a great adventure and we want more of it, we want to see if we can go all the way."
1104: As Gianni Infantino does the mandatory introductions, let's have a look at what the English managers had to say ahead of the draw shall we?
Dave via text: "Do wish people would stop texting predictions, keep thinking its the actual draw!"
jackbarrett10 on Twitter:
"Even though Inter scraped through the last round, I think all the English team should be fearful of them."
1101: Nooooo... I've sold you all a dummy! It's not David Taylor, but his joint-Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino. That's going to be a hit to David Taylor's bid to be more well known in his own household, that.
1058: And if you now give this page a refresh my good people, a link to BBC Radio 5 Live's audio commentary will magically* appear on the right hand side. Which is nice. * Not actually magic.
Sven via text: "Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Chelsea vs Man United. Tottenham vs Inter Milan. Schalke vs Shaktar. How tasty would that be!"
1054: How did the English teams get to this stage, then, I hear precisely none of you ask. Well, as far as the last-16 ties were concerned... Man Utdstumbled past Marseille
over two legs they dominated and yet could somehow still have lost. Chelsea overcame FC Copenhagen
despite their inabilty in the second leg to hit a barn door with a banjo in front of goal. And Tottenham dumped Serie A giants AC Milan
out with a performance based more on defence and attack, especially in the case of near-Gattuso-victim Joe Jordan.
James_ODonoghue on Twitter:
"This is the strongest Champions League QF draw for some time. Shalke the only team I'd fancy playing as a United fan."
Sam, Worcester, via text: "As an Arsenal fan, I was getting bored of these draws anyway. Hang on, these grapes taste a bit off..."
AdamBusby_ on Twitter:
"Tottenham vs Schalke, Man Utd vs Barca, Chelsea vs Shaktar then Inter vs Real would be a good draw!!!"
1048: Oh, and another reminder, there are no restrictions in today's draw - so the possibility of an all-English quarter/semi-final is a very real one. Whatever the draw, the quarter-finals (two-legged) will take place on 5/6 and 12/13 April, with the semis on 26/27 April and 3/4 May. The final - at, dun dun dun, Wembley - is on 28 May. Aces.
1044: I can tell you, by the way, that in the draw rehearsal this morning (is it so difficult to pull balls out of a bowl that these people need to rehearse it?) Tottenham were paired with Man Utd and Chelsea with Shakhtar Donetsk. Any of you believe in omens?
calumfield on Twitter:
"There's not many things in life which are more tense than the CL draw. No matter how many times we've been here."
1041: Right, a spot of house-keeping. The Champions League draw - which, I remind you, is for the semi-finals as well as the quarter-finals - takes place at around 1100 GMT. That will be followed by the Europa League draw - sadly not involving any British clubs - at 1200. And amongst all that, all your chat about who you fancy being paired in the draw, your thoughts on the draws once they've happened, and your tips to win either and both competitions. Happy days.
Dan, Cardiff via text: "Bet you say the words 'battle of Britain' in the next half hour!"
rrengland3 on Twitter:
"I just want all English teams to miss each other so that we can have an all English final."
1037: So before we get cracking on the facts, figures and the blissfully redundant task of trying to guess a random draw before it actually happens, here's how to get involved. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text me via 81111 (UK). A half-drunk bottle of cola to the first person to point out that Barcelona might be this year's team to avoid. Not.
1034: Oh yes, and I'll talk you through the Europa League draw after the main event, too. I know you're all on tenterhooks for that one.
1033: Yep, welcome one and all to the Champions League quarter-finals (and semi-finals) draw. Here are your runners and riders: Barcelona, CHELSEA, Inter Milan, MAN UTD, Real Madrid, Schalke, Shakhtar and TOTTENHAM. A handful of big-hitters and a couple of surprise packages - all the makings of a top last eight.
1030: Some of you good people have been here before. Manchester United fans, this is your fifth year in succession in the Champions League quarter-finals. Chelsea supporters, the sixth year in eight. For you lot, today might be somewhat routine, mundane even. For you lot, Uefa secretary general David Taylor, a man barely known even within his own family, is a household name. But for Tottenham - oh Tottenham - this is as fresh and new as a mountain stream. Excited?
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