Champions League quarter-final draw pits Madrid clubs against Premier League sides
Nyon, Switzerland - Friday's Champions League quarter-finals draw set up a clash between Chelsea and its former coach Carlo Ancelotti as the Blues will face record winners Real Madrid.
Atlético Madrid, meanwhile, return to Manchester to face last year's finalists City, after eliminating Man Utd in the last 16.
The winners of those April 5/6 and 12/13 ties will then meet in the semi-finals April 26/27 and May 3/4 which could lead to a repeat of the 2021 final or a Madrid derby.
Six-time winners Liverpool and Bayern Munich were drawn to play away first, at Benfica and Europa League champions Villarreal, respectively.
The two winners make up the other semi-final en route to the May 28 final at the Stade de France, in a move of location as St Petersburg was stripped of the game after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea have never lost against 13-time champs Real Madrid in Europe, winning three matches and drawing the other two, and beating them 3-1 on aggregate in last year's semi-finals.
Ancelotti coached the Blues from 2009 to 2011 and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and often injured Eden Hazard are two former Chelsea players now within Real's ranks.
Outsiders eying upsets
Bayern board member sport Hasan Salihamidzic said they would not underestimate Villarreal, who advanced with an impressive 3-0 win at Juventus in mid-week.
"I played at Juventus and know how difficult it is to get a 3-0 victory there. We are up against a good team and should not underestimate this challenge," he said.
A Bayern vs. Liverpool semi could be on the cards, but the Reds can not afford to underestimate Benfica who eliminated them in their last meeting in 2005-06.
"It was a difficult draw, challenging for us," Benfica director Luisão told uefa.com.
"In 2006 we faced Liverpool and they were the holders, and we went through. Liverpool are a very strong team. They have high-level players, also in defense, but where they are strongest is really the attack."
Atlético captain Koke meanwhile said that Pep Guardiola's City are a big task but was confident that his coach Diego Simeone "will come up with a strong plan to get us through the tie."
"They’re one of the favorites. Last season, they came very close to winning the Champions League. They have a great coach and players, and play great football, but we like that sort of challenge," Koke said.
Cover photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto