Champions League 2016/17 semi-final draw: Real Madrid take on Atletico
There will not be a Madrid derby in the final this season while Juventus take on Monaco
What's the story?
The Champions League draw for the semi-finals was held at UEFA’s headquarters in the Swiss city of Nyon on Friday and it threw up some exciting clashes. This time, there will be no Madrid derby in the final as defending champions Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid in what will be a repeat of both the 2013/14 and 2015/16 finals.
2014/15 finalists Juventus will take on AS Monaco in the other fixture. The winners of the second semi-final will be considered as the home team in the final in Cardiff, i.e. the winner of Juventus vs Monaco.
Giorgio Marchetti was on hand, as usual, to conduct proceedings while Champions League final ambassador for this season – Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush – was on hand to pick the teams for the draw.
The teams that were picked first for each fixture will play the first leg at home – i.e. Real Madrid and Monaco.
The quarter-finals lived up to expectations and threw up some different fixtures compared to the norm every season. Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 over two legs to exact revenge following their 2015 final loss. Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 6-3 on aggregate as Cristiano Ronaldo notched up 101 goals in the Champions League – the first player to breach the 100-goal mark.
Elsewhere, AS Monaco convincingly defeated Borussia Dortmund in both legs. The German side were just not in the right frame of mind to play their matches following the attack on the team bus that injured defender Marc Bartra. Leicester City's fairytale dream run also came to an end at the hands of Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.
The heart of the matter
This is the first time in a decade that neither Barcelona nor Bayern Munich have made the semi-finals of the competition. This is Real Madrid's seventh consecutive semi-final – the first club to achieve that feat in the competition. It is also the seventh consecutive season where at least two La Liga clubs have reached the semi-finals.
Atletico Madrid have only beaten Real Madrid once in European competitions but they have never progressed against their derby rivals.
The first leg of the semi-finals will be played on 2 and 3 May. The return leg will take place on 9 and 10 May. The final two teams will play the final in Cardiff on 3 June.
The fact that there will not be a Madrid derby in the final for a third time in four years will be a relief for fans expecting something different this time round. Real and Atletico will be well rested knowing that they will not have to travel too far for their away games.
Juventus vs Monaco is also an intriguing fixture as the experience of the Serie A giants comes up against the exciting young talent of the Ligue 1 club that have taken everyone by surprise this season.
Bring on the semi-finals!