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UEFA Champions League: Semi-Final Draw; Live Thread

Live thread for the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final (and Final) draw.

Harold Cunningham

For the first time in Champions League history we have two countries, Spain and Germany, represented by two teams in the semi-finals. Spain are represented by their two giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Germany is represented by their two best teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

These clubs are the cream of the crop in their respective leagues, with Borussia and Real Madrid earning a place in the Champions League by being crowned domestic champions with Barcelona and Bayern finishing second. Interestingly, the fates appear to have changed this season with Bayern already clinching the Bundesliga, with Borussia currently second, and Barcelona look set to take the La Liga title, with Real Madrid in the runner-up position.

Let's take a look at how these four clubs got here, to the semi-final draw, in the first place.

Barcelona finished the group stage with four victories, a draw (Benfica) and a loss (Celtic). And as a reward for winning the group they were drawn with the always difficult AC Milan. It looked grim for Blaugrana after the first leg, but Barça overturned the two goal deficit in the second leg with a commanding performance to earn a place in the next round. There the Catalans met Paris Saint-Germain who put up an excellent fight, but after 180 minutes of football Barcelona advanced to their sixth consecutive semi-final, courtesy of the away goal rule.

Borussia and Real Madrid have actually already met in this edition of the Champions League, with the Germans registering a win at home, while the second game ended in a draw. Regardless of their head-to-head result both teams easily advanced from their group. In the Round of 16 Dortmund made quick work of Shakhtar Donetsk, advancing by a combined score of 5-2. However, Dortmund's campaign almost came to an end in the quarter-finals, when they needed two stoppage time goals to beat the Champions League rookie Malaga.

Real Madrid's path to the semi-finals also wasn't without scares. While they did exit the group stage with only one loss, they came close to elimination in the first knockout round against Manchester United. But two goals at Old Trafford were enough for the Galacticos to advance. In the next round Real were given, on paper, the easiest opponent, Galatasaray. After the first leg it appeared the second game would be merely a formality, but Gala put up a very good fight, however, their comeback fell short and Real Madrid advanced by the score of 5-3.

And last but not least, Bayern Munich. One of the early season favorites to win the prestigious title. Topping group F with thirteen points with four wins, a draw (Valencia) and a loss (BATE Borisov), Bayern looked well on their way to the quarters after the first Round of 16 leg against Arsenal. But the Gunners made things interesting in Munich, only to see the Germans advance because of the away goal rule. Bayern were then pitted against Juventus, but this time the they didn't allow any comeback in the second leg, winning both games by the score of 2-0.

There you have it. All four teams have gone through some very tough stretches and whoever gets drawn together it promises to be an excellent tie. Enjoy the draw, which starts at noon CET (11am GMT), as it's the last one this season.

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