UEFA yields to pressure from Pep and Madrid will go to Manchester

On Friday the Champions League draw will be held in Nyon and UEFA will formally announce that the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 will not be played on neutral ground, as the organization wanted, but in the corresponding stages before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Real Madrid will have to try the comeback (1-2 at the Bernabéu) in Manchester against City and Barça will host Naples at the Camp Nou after 1-1 at San Paolo. Juve will try to turn Lyon 1-0 and Bayern will defend a comfortable lead after beating Chelsea 0-3 in London.

Until the last minute, UEFA has tried to make the four Champions League matches that are missing to close the round of 16 be in Portugal, the country where the rest of the competition (quarterfinals, semi-finals and final) will be played in a single game and behind closed doors. . But it has been impossible. City and Barça have put a lot of pressure to play in their stadiums … and for Madrid not to do it on neutral ground. UEFA had already designated the stadiums of Porto and Guimaraes to play the four remaining games of the round of 16.

Manchester City's pressure was a consequence of the insistence of their coach, Guardiola, to play at the Etihad stadium. Pep has verified the strength of Real Madrid in this final stretch of the season and does not want to give any advantage, although the schedule of the European leagues will be favorable to the English team, which will arrive more shot in the match against Madrid.

The big affected are the Spanish teams. Atleti, already classified for quarters, will have a break of between 24 and 27 days between the end of LaLiga and the quarterfinals of the Champions, which will be between August 12 and 15. Madrid and Barça will not compete three weeks, those that go between July 19 and August 8, date of the return of the knockout stages of the Champions League. A great disadvantage for the Spanish teams compared to those of England (the Premier will end on July 26, two weeks after the return of the European Cup) and especially of the Italian clubs, which will finish Series A on August 2 .

The remaining matches of the second round of the second leg will be played on August 7 and 8. The quarterfinals of the Champions will be played between August 12 and 15, daily, the semifinals on days 18 and 19 and lThe final will be played at the Da Luz stadium, in Lisbon, on August 23. All Champions League games will start at 9:00 pm and will be behind closed doors.