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Sports

Champions League semifinal draw pits Real Madrid against Bayern Munich

The Champions League semifinal draw has pitted Real Madrid against reigning champions Bayern Munich. That leaves Chelsea to face Atletico in the other semifinal pairing.

Pep Guardiola returns to Spain to face one of his former foes in Real Madrid. The Bayern coach was involved in many explosive encounters when at Barcelona, normally, against current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho whom he could meet in the final.

The last side to knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League semifinals was Real Madrid.

On route to the final in 2012, where they faced Chelsea, Bayern defeated the Spanish side in the semifinal stage on penalties. The pair will face off in the first leg in Madrid on April 23.

In the second semifinal, Atletico Madrid will face Chelsea after defeating La Liga rivals Barcelona. Atletico have taken Europe by storm this season and remain in contention to become Spanish champions at the end of the season. Atletico will host Chelsea in the first leg in Madrid on April 22.

There is controversy, however, with Atletico's outstanding goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois currently on loan from the Blues. The two clubs agreed the Belgian would not feature against each other, but UEFA have indicated that agreements between clubs would not be valid for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, La Liga sides Valencia and Sevilla will go head-to-head in the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League. Both teams came from behind in the quarterfinals on Thursday to qualify.

The other semifinal is between Juventus and Benfica with the Italian side looking to participate in the final which will be played at the Juventus-Stadium in Turin on May 14.

rd/hc (Reuters, SID, dpa)