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Domestic rivals kept apart

The big two from Spain and Germany have been kept apart in the draw for this year's Champions League semi-finals.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 10:13 Post Comment

Bayern Munich were paired with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund with Real Madrid when Friday's draw was made at UEFA headquarters.

And that leaves open the prospect of an El Clasico final or a meeting between the past two Bundesliga champions at Wembley next month.

Dortmund, the competition's last unbeaten side, beat Real 2-1 at home and drew 2-2 in Spain as both qualified for the knockout stages through Group D.

The first leg of their semi-final will take place in Germany on April 24 - 24 hours after Bayern host Barcelona in the first leg of their tie.

The return legs will take place the following week. Dortmund visiting the Bernabeu on April 30 and Barca taking on Bayern on May 1.

Bayern and Barca last met in the quarter-finals four years ago, the Catalans winning 5-1 on aggregate, and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is relishing the chance to take them on again.

"Barcelona are the benchmark for me in Europe. They have won the Champions League more than any other team in the recent years," Rummenigge told UEFA.com. "They are the best team in Europe at the moment, with fantastic attacking potential.

"We played them in 2009 and received a real thumping. I remember that game well and I don't really like to think about it, because it was quite painful to watch. However, it's a wonderful opportunity to show that we have improved a lot since then.

"I think we will see two very good games, played at the highest possible level. Furthermore, I think playing at home first is a slight advantage, contrary to the popular belief that it's a disadvantage.

"We saw that against Juventus, where people said that it might be a disadvantage. But we produced a great performance at home and that set the stage for the return leg and our progression into the semi-finals.

"I'm really excited that we will get to play the best team in Europe. I still feel Barcelona are the big favourites to win the Champions League."

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

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