Spartak drawn against Porto in Europa League

The only Russian team remaining in the Europa League, Spartak Moscow, will play Portuguese side Porto in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

­The draw of both Champions League and Europa League quarterfinals took place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.

There were no seeded teams at this stage of the tournament, which left the possibility of the teams from the same national league facing each other.

It was important for Portugal as three of the country’s teams – Porto, Benfica and Braga – have made it that far, and the Netherlands represented by PSV and Twente.

Porto beat another Russian side – CSKA Moscow – in the Round of 16, with the Muscovites’ coach, Leonid Slutsky, calling the Portuguese side the favorites to claim the title this year.

Spartak had only one wish before the draw, which was not matching up against their Ukrainian neighbors from Dynamo Kiev, and it came true in the end.

“No, we shouldn’t be drawn against Kiev because games with Dynamo are not football, but politics,” Andrey Tikhonov, Spartak’s playing coach, told  

The Portuguese teams avoided facing each other, with Benfica and Braga taking on PSV and Dynamo Kiev, respectively.  

Spanish side Villarreal and Twente formed the last quarterfinal pair.

The quarterfinals will take place on a home-and-away basis on April 7 and 14, with the semis then scheduled for April 5 and 28.

Europa League Quarterfinal draw

FC Porto – Spartak Moscow
Benfica – PSV Eindhoven
Villarreal – Twente
Braga – Dynamo Kiev

In the UEFA Champions League, all eyes will be on the all-English duel in the quarterfinals, in which Chelsea FC will take on arch-rivals Manchester United.

The teams clashed in the Champions League final in Moscow three years ago, with United taking the upper hand in penalty shoot-out.  

Defending champions Inter Milan will put German outfits Schalke 04 to the ultimate test, while nine-time winners Real Madrid match up against Tottenham Hotspur FC.

The only CIS side, Shakhtar Donetsk, came into the two match duel against Barcelona as huge underdogs.     

Champions League Quarterfinal draw:

Real Madrid – Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea – Manchester United
FC Barcelona – Shakhtar Donetsk
Inter Milan – FC Schalke 04

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