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Chelsea Faces United in Champions League; Real Plays Spurs

Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United will meet in the quarterfinals of soccer’s Champions League, while Tottenham takes on Real Madrid.

Defending champion Inter Milan faces Schalke and Barcelona plays Shakhtar Donetsk after today’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland. The first round of matches will be played April 5 and 6, with the second games April 12 and 13.

The pairing of Chelsea and Manchester United is a rematch of the 2008 final won by the Red Devils in a penalty shootout. The Blues will host the first game, with the second match at Old Trafford.

“Playing anyone at this point in the world’s top club competition is always a challenge,” Chelsea executive Ron Gourlay said on the club’s website. “If we want to succeed in getting to the final at Wembley and winning this trophy then we have to beat the best Europe has to offer.”

Chelsea has never won Europe’s top club competition, while United has captured three titles. United won the shootout 6-5 in the final three years ago after the teams drew 1-1.

Tottenham’s reward for beating seven-time champion A.C. Milan in the last round is a meeting with Real Madrid, the record nine-time winner.

‘Great Days’

Spurs have reached the final eight in their first appearance in the Champions League. Real, led by manager Jose Mourinho, are into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004.

“What a game to look forward to against one of the greatest clubs in world football,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said on the club’s website. “These are the great days in your life and great days in Tottenham’s history.”

Barcelona, the favorite with U.K. bookmakers to lift the trophy for a fourth time, will take on Shakhtar Donetsk. The teams met in the group stage two seasons ago, with the away team winning each game.

Inter Milan will face its second straight German club team after beating Bayern Munich in a rematch of last year’s final. Schalke fired manager Felix Magath two days ago and named Ralf Rangnick as his replacement.

“We have to show respect for Schalke because it will be a tough game like all the others,” Inter’s Javier Zanetti told the club’s website. “We must be careful because nobody reaches the quarterfinals through luck.”

The semifinal draw was also held with the Inter-Schalke winner set to face Chelsea or Manchester United and Real Madrid or Tottenham taking on the Barcelona-Shakhtar winner. Those matches will be played April 26-27 and May 3-4. The final will be at London’s Wembley Stadium on May 28.

Quarterfinal First Leg, April 5-6
Real Madrid vs Tottenham
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Inter Milan vs Schalke

Quarterfinal Second Leg, April 12-13
Tottenham vs Real Madrid
Manchester United vs Chelsea
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Barcelona
Schalke vs Inter Milan

Semifinal First Leg, April 26-27
Inter Milan or Schalke vs Chelsea or Manchester United
Real Madrid or Tottenham vs Barcelona or Shakhtar Donetsk

Semifinal Second Leg, May 3-4
Chelsea or Manchester United vs Inter Milan or Schalke
Barcelona or Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid or Tottenham

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