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Manchester City given difficult path to Champions League final

(Image credit: Andy Hampson)

Manchester City will face Lyon or Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals if they overcome Real Madrid as Pep Guardiola’s men were given a tough-looking path to the final.

Play has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but continental action will return next month with the remaining last-16 ties and a final eight mini-tournament in Portugal.

The route to the Estadio da Luz final on August 23 was set out at an empty auditorium in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday, with City given a difficult road to the Lisbon showpiece.

If Guardiola’s men can progress past Real Madrid in their last-16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium, having won 2-1 at the Bernabeu in February, they will face French side Lyon or perennial Serie A champions Juventus in a one-off quarter-final.

The City boss refused to look that far ahead, though, saying: “We have to play against Madrid. If we think about the next step, the king of this competition – Real Madrid – will put us out.”

The semi-final draw was also made and City could face Chelsea, although the chances of an all-English encounter seems extremely unlikely as Frank Lampard’s Blues head to Bayern Munich for their last-16 second leg trailing 3-0.

Guardiola’s former clubs Bayern and Barcelona are more likely potential semi-final opponents, with Napoli the other possibility.

The other side of the draw will provide the home team for the final in Lisbon, with RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid facing Atalanta or Paris St Germain in the other semi-final.

All matches will take place behind closed doors in Lisbon, with Benfica’s Estadio da Luz and Sporting’s Estadio Jose Alvalade providing the venue for the behind-closed-doors ties.

The remaining round-of-16 fixtures will be decided on August 7 and 8 – City host Madrid on the Friday and Chelsea take on Bayern on the Saturday – with the mini-tournament in Portugal kicking off on August 12.