Lukaku racially abused during Inter Milan’s Coppa Italia clash at Juve

Juventus are working with police to “identify those responsible” after Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku was racially abused during Tuesday night’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

The Belgium forward was shown a second yellow card for his celebrations in front of the home fans after converting a stoppage-time penalty to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in Turin, with Lukaku then subjected to abuse from the stands.

A chaotic end to the Allianz Stadium encounter ensued as scuffles broke out between both sets of players, resulting in Inter captain Samir Handanovic and Juve midfielder Juan Cuadrado being sent off after the final whistle.

A statement from the Turin club on Wednesday read: “Juventus Football Club, as always, are collaborating with the police to identify those responsible for the racist gestures and chants which took place last night.”

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku is issued a red card during the Italian cup semi final first leg soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan, at the Allianz Stadium, in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)
Lukaku was shown a second yellow card for his celebrations in front of the Juve home fans

In a statement released late on Tuesday, US based sports agency Roc Nation – which represents Lukaku – demanded Juventus apologise to the striker.

“Tonight’s racist remarks made towards Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted,” Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark said.

“Before, during, and after the penalty, he was subjected to hostile and disgusting racist abuse. Romelu celebrated in the same manner he has previously celebrated goals. The referee’s response was to award a yellow card to Romelu.

“The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse.”

Lukaku, on loan at Inter from Chelsea, was also the target of offensive chants in 2019, which he condemned in a social media post at the time.

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku, center, reacts following the Italian cup semi final first leg soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan, at the Allianz Stadium, in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
Lukaku has scored five goals in 20 Inter appearances this season

“History repeats… Been through it in 2019.. and 2023 again..,” Lukaku said in a post on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I hope the league really take actions for real this time because this beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone…”

Inter also reiterated their stance against racism and expressed their support for Lukaku.

“We want to firmly reiterate that we stand united against racism and all forms of discrimination,” a statement read.

“Football and sport must not only be a place for emotion but also for clear and shared values, and what we saw last night in the final minutes of the Juventus vs Inter Coppa Italia semi-final in Turin has no place in our sport.

“This is why we reiterate our support, affection and solidarity to Romelu Lukaku, just as the world of football is doing from all over since the incident.

“Stay strong Rom, we stand with you!”

Racism has been a long-running problem in Italian football and authorities have been criticised for not taking strong enough action.

On Wednesday, Serie A put out a statement condemning racism, adding, “Clubs, as they have always done, will identify the guilty individuals and ban them from their respective facilities for life.”

The league did not name Lukaku in their statement.

Potter’s Chelsea to face Real Madrid, Pep’s City drawn with Bayern

Graham Potter’s Chelsea have been paired with Champions League holders Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, while Pep Guardiola faces a reunion with former club Bayern Munich for Manchester City.

Both Premier League sides will meet each other in the semi-final, should both Chelsea and City advance through their last-eight ties.

Meanwhile, there will be an all-Italian derby in the quarter-finals as Serie A champions AC Milan face current leaders Napoli, while Inter Milan will take on Benfica.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full:

First legs on April 11 or April 12, second legs April 18 or April 19

Real Madrid vs Chelsea

Benfica vs Inter Milan

Manchester City vs Bayern Munich

AC Milan vs Napoli

Champions League semi-final draw in full:

First legs on May 9 or May 10, second legs May 16 or May 17

AC Milan or Napoli vs Benfica or Inter Milan

Real Madrid or Chelsea vs Manchester City or Bayern Munich

Chelsea played Real Madrid in the Champions League last season
Chelsea played Real Madrid in the Champions League last season

The first legs of the quarter-finals will take place on April 11 and 12, with the return fixtures on April 18 and 19.

Meanwhile, the semi-final first-legs are due to happen on May 9 and May 10, with the return legs on May 16 and May 17.

Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate in their last-16 tie, but now face a major task to reach the last four against holders Real.

The Blues exited last season’s Champions League to Real at the same stage – losing the first-leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge before putting in a valiant outing at the Santiago Bernabeu,

Chelsea, then managed by Thomas Tuchel, went 3-0 up to lead the tie but goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema – the latter strike coming in extra-time – saw the Blues crash out 5-4 on aggregate.

Meanwhile, Man City manager Guardiola will face a familiar foe in former side Bayern – the club he won seven major titles with between 2013 and 2016, including three Bundesliga titles.

City and Bayern also have a connection through Joao Cancelo, who will be able to play against his parent club after moving on loan to the German side, with an option to make the deal permanent for around £60m.

Medhi Benatia (left) clashes with Pep Guardiola during Bayern Munich's Bundesliga match against Borussia Dortmund on March 5, 2016
Pep Guardiola managed Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2016

Should Chelsea and City go on to meet each other in the Champions League last four, it will lead to six meetings between the two clubs in this season alone.

Both Premier League clubs were paired against each other in the third rounds of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup earlier this season.

Potter excited by Madrid test but focused on Everton

Chelsea boss Graham Potter is excited by the prospect of facing reigning champions Real Madrid in the last eight but insists his focus is firmly on this weekend’s Premier League clash with Everton.

The Blues were drawn against the reigning champions in Friday’s draw, with the winners facing Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the semis.

It follows footage of Potter earlier this week drawing cheers from Chelsea supporters at a fan event by saying they would try to “win the ******* Champions League”.

“Well, I said we would try to win the Champions League and that’s the same I’m sure for the other seven clubs as well,” he said at his press conference.

“The other clubs will say you can lose in the quarter-final, because that’s the nature of the Champions League.

“We’ll focus on Real Madrid when we get there but at the moment it’s Everton.

“The feeling is excited but as I said, I’d rather speak about Everton because that game is tomorrow and the other stuff is a long way away.”

Can Cancelo face Man City?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (left) and Joao Cancelo, who has played down suggestions a rift with Guardiola prompted his surprise deadline-day loan move to Bayern Munich.
Joao Cancelo left Guardiola’s Man City to join Bayern Munich on loan in Janua

Manchester City have confirmed that Cancelo is eligible to face them.

Cancelo joined Bayern Munich on loan in January after becoming dissatisfied with his number of minutes at City.

Since moving to the Allianz Arena, the Portuguese international has started four out of Bayern’s six Bundesliga matches – but only played 49 minutes of their two-legged victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16.

Opta stats on Chelsea and Man City draws

  • Chelsea have only lost one of their seven games against Real Madrid in European competition – indeed, they have the lowest percentage of losses against Real Madrid (14%) of any side to have played them 5+ times in Europe.
  • Chelsea’s only defeat in seven matches against Real Madrid in Europe came in their most recent one at Stamford Bridge, losing 1-3 in the 2021-22 quarter-final first leg.
  • Real Madrid have won their last four UEFA Champions League ties against English sides, beating Chelsea in last season’s quarter-final, Manchester City in last season’s semi-finals and Liverpool in last season’s final and this season’s round of 16.
  • All six previous meetings between Man City and Bayern Munich came in the UEFA Champions League group stages (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15), with each side winning three times.
  • This will be Pep Guardiola’s first meeting with Bayern Munich since leaving the club. His only managerial games against them came in the 2008-09 Champions League quarter-finals, knocking them out with Barcelona en route to lifting the trophy.
  • Man City have progressed from all four of their previous UEFA Champions League knockout ties against German clubs, including one quarter-final (2020-21 v Borussia Dortmund).

Inter reach CL quarter-finals with 0-0 draw at Porto

Report from the Champions League last-16 second leg between Porto and Inter Milan at Estadio do Dragao; Inter reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in more than a decade after 0-0 draw, which took them through 1-0 on aggregate.

All you need to know about Friday’s CL quarter-final and semi-final draws

With Chelsea guaranteed a Champions League quarter-final spot, and with Manchester City and Liverpool still battling to make it through, find out when the draw for the last eight and the semi-finals will take place, and who will be involved.

Chelsea are the only English side through to the quarter-finals so far after overcoming Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate in the last 16.

Manchester City and Liverpool are the other Premier League teams who can still reach the quarters, with both teams playing their second legs this week.

Chelsea's Raheem Sterling, left, shoots to score his sides first goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Chelsea FC and Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge, London, Tuesday March 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Chelsea defeated Borussia Dortmund in the last 16

City face RB Leipzig on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium after Pep Guardiola’s side were held to a 1-1 draw in Germany in the first leg.

Liverpool, meanwhile, face a Herculean task in their bid to overturn a 5-2 first-leg deficit against defending champions Real Madrid, with the second leg taking place on Wednesday at the Bernabeu.

But Tottenham will not be involved in the draw after limping out to AC Milan 1-0 on aggregate.

Brahim Diaz of AC Milan celebrates with team-mate Theo Hernandez (R) after scoring vs Spurs
AC Milan knocked out Tottenham to reach the quarter-finals

Bayern Munich and Benfica are also through, with Inter Milan or Porto and Eintracht Frankfurt or Napoli hoping to join them in the last eight.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the quarter-final and semi-final draws…

When are the quarter-final and semi-final draws?

The draws take place at 11am UK time on Friday, March 17 in Nyon, Switzerland at UEFA’s headquarters.

You can follow the draw with Sky Sports’ live blog, so you can keep across everything right here.

How do the draws work?

The Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws take place on Friday at 11am

The eight last-16 winners are involved in an open quarter-final and semi-final draw.

There are no seedings and no country protection, so clubs can face opposition from the same country. They can also draw teams they previously played in the group stage.

A final draw will also take place to determine the ‘home’ side for administrative reasons for the showpiece event in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10.

Who will be in the quarter-final and semi-final draws?

  • AC Milan
  • Bayern Munich
  • Benfica
  • Chelsea
  • Manchester City or RB Leipzig (1-1 after first leg)
  • Napoli or Eintracht Frankfurt (2-0 after first leg)
  • Porto or Inter Milan (0-1 after first leg)
  • Real Madrid or Liverpool (5-2 after first leg)

When are the quarter-finals?

The first legs of the quarter-finals will be played Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12.

The second legs will be played Tuesday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 19.

When are the semi-finals?

The first legs of the semi-finals will be held on May 9 and 10, and the second legs on May 16 and 17.

When is the final?

The final takes place on June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

Late Lukaku goal gives Inter first-leg lead as Otavio sees red for Porto

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The Belgium international struck with four minutes remaining to secure victory at San Siro after the visitors had seen midfielder Otavio sent off for a second bookable offence.

In a tight first half, Inter striker Lautaro Martinez might have done better with an early header and Porto ‘keeper Diogo Costa had to tip over Hakan Calhanoglu’s audacious attempt from an improbable angle.

However, the visitors grew into the game and threatened when Marko Grujic forced a 37th-minute save from goalkeeper Andre Onana before Galeno headed the rebound wide, leaving the sides locked together at the break.

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku, second form right, scores during the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Inter Milan and Porto, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Lukaku scored the winner in the 86th minute

Nicolo Barella went close to the opening goal for the home side when he volleyed just wide after running on to Milan Skriniar’s raking 52nd-minute pass, but Onana had to save from Mehdi Taremi twice and Zaidu as the Portuguese side

Barella only just missed the target once again with 21 minutes remaining, before Otavio was shown a second yellow 12 minutes from time.

Substitute Lukaku finally made the breakthrough to give Inter a slim advantage to defend in Portugal.

What’s next?

Inter Milan return to Serie A action on Sunday with a trip to Bologna on Sunday; kick-off 11.30am. The Italian side then host Lecce on Sunday March 5; kick-off 5pm.

Porto are back in Primeira Liga action on Sunday at home to Gil Vicente; kick-off 8.30pm. The Portuguese side then travel to Chaves on Sunday March 5; kick-off time to be confirmed.

Inter win derby | Barca beat Sevilla but Real slip up away at Mallorca

World Cup winner Lautaro Martinez continued his roaring start to the year as he set Inter Milan on the way to a 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina

Martinez has been in fantastic form since helping Argentina win the World Cup in December and he netted his seventh goal in his last eight matches as Inter consolidated second spot in Serie A with a second win over its fierce rival in less than three weeks.

It was Martinez’s 12th league goal of the season, putting him four behind leading Serie A goalscorer Victor Osimhen, who scored another two on Sunday to help runaway leader Napoli win 3-0 at lowly Spezia.

Inter are 13 points behind Napoli and three points above third-placed Roma. Inter are five points above Lazio, Atalanta and Milan, who have slipped to sixth after a woeful start to the year. Milan’s winless run extended to seven matches.

Inter almost took the lead in the 10th minute but Martnez headed just wide of the right upright. Martinez did better in the 34th minute as he got away from Simon Kjaer at the near post to get his head to a corner and it took a deflection off the Milan defender on the way in.

Romelu Lukaku thought he had scored his first league goal since August, late on, but the whistle had already gone for a foul by him on Malick Thiaw. Martinez later had a goal ruled out for offside.

Barca thrash Sevilla to extend LaLiga lead

Barcelona extended their LaLiga lead to eight points thanks to second-half goals by Jordi Alba, Gavi and Raphinha that gave them a 3-0 home win against Sevilla.

The locals were in control from the beginning but managed to score only after the break when substitute Franck Kessie set up Alba inside the box to slot in a first-touch strike to the goalkeeper’s left.

Raphinha got down the right and delivered a perfect low cross to Gavi who tapped in to make it 2-0 a little over 10 minutes later.

Raphinha got the third goal in the 79th minute with a point-blank strike from an Alba cross.

Barca top the table on 53 points, eight ahead of second-placed Real and 14 above third-placed Real Sociedad. Sevilla, who have won only five of their 20 LaLiga games this season, are 16th on 21 points, two above the relegation zone.

Champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Mallorca earlier on Sunday after a bizarre own goal by defender Nacho early in the first half.

Nacho left his team-mates stunned as he tried to clear a cross in the 13th minute and headed the ball high over his own goalkeeper and into the net.

Real dominated the match but missed several chances and wasted a golden opportunity to equalise in the 59th minute when Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic saved a poor penalty from Marco Asensio.

Bayern hold on despite Kimmich red card

Bayern Munich held on despite Joshua Kimmich’s sending off to beat Wolfsburg 4-2 and return to the top of the Bundesliga.

Kimmich was sent off with his second yellow card in the 54th minute but Wolfsburg were unable to make their dominance count as the visitors delivered a lesson in efficiency.

Kingsley Coman scored twice and Thomas Muller and Jamal Musiala added two more while Bayern also needed goalkeeper Yann Sommer at his best to secure the teams first Bundesliga win of the year.

“The result was important, the victory matters above all else,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

“We were too careless after the third goal, not concentrated enough and we allowed a bit too much. But we can be positive looking ahead with these three points.”

Earlier on Sunday, second-half goals from Jens Stage and Marvin Ducksch earned Werder Bremen a 2-0 win at Stuttgart for the visitors’ second consecutive victory.

It lifted promoted Bremen to eighth while Stuttgart dropped back into the relegation zone. Stuttgart have not won a game since mid-November.

Liverpool jump above Man Utd in Money League as Man City stay top

Liverpool have climbed four places to third in the Deloitte Football Money League for 2021/22, putting them above Manchester United for the first time in the publication’s 26-year history.

Manchester City retain their place at the top of the Money League, which ranks the 20 highest revenue-generating clubs in world football, with Real Madrid (2nd), Manchester United (4th) and Paris Saint-Germain (5th) making up the rest of the top five.

Liverpool are the biggest movers in this year’s edition thanks to a revenue increase of almost 22 per cent, from £487.4m in 2020/21 to £594.3m in 2021/22.

Deloitte put Liverpool’s rise down to additional broadcast revenue generated by their run to the 2022 Champions League final and a particularly significant increase in matchday revenue.

Transfer fees not included

The Deloitte Football Money League factors revenue from matchday, broadcast and commercial sources and excludes player transfer fees.

This year’s Money League highlights the financial might of the Premier League, with Premier League clubs making up more than half of the 20 included, including two new entries in Leeds United (18th) and Newcastle United (20th).

Arsenal (10th) become the first new club to enter the Money League’s top 10 since 2018/19, rising from 11th thanks to a revenue increase of 13 per cent from £324.5m to £367.1m, but they remain behind Chelsea (8th), who made £481.3m and Tottenham (9th) whose total of £442.8m represents a huge 23 per cent increase on 2020/21.

West Ham (15th) are the next-highest Premier League club, their year-on-year revenue increase of 30 per cent, from £196.1m in 2020/21 to £255.1m in 2021/22, the largest of any club in the Money League.

The Money League’s new Premier League representatives, Leeds and Newcastle, meanwhile, climb into the top 20 having generated revenues of £189.2m and £179.8m respectively in 2021/22.

Leicester City (17th) and Everton (19th) are the only Premier League clubs in the Money League whose revenues have fallen, by roughly six per cent each, to £213.6m and £181m respectively, seeing them drop two places in Leicester’s case and one place in Everton’s.

The picture was less bright for clubs from Europe’s other major leagues.

Bayern Munich (6th) and Barcelona’s (7th) revenues rose slightly, by two per cent and five per cent respectively, to £553.5m and £540.5m, but that modest growth saw them drop three places each in the Money League.

Atletico Madrid (12th) and AC Milan (16th) fared better, revenue increases of 13 per cent and 17 per cent, to £333.6m and £224.4m, seeing them climb a place each, but Juventus (11th) and Inter Milan’s (14th) revenues dropped by roughly 12 and 11 per cent, while Borussia Dortmund’s (13th) only increased fractionally.

Premier League dominance explained

“For the first time, Premier League clubs fill the lion’s share of positions in Deloitte’s Football Money League,” said Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

“The question now is whether other leagues can close the gap, likely by driving the value of future international media rights, or if the Premier League will be virtually untouchable, in revenue terms.

Manchester City's Phil Foden, left, celebrates with Manchester City's Erling Haaland after scores a disallowed goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester City’s Phil Foden celebrates with Erling Haaland against Liverpool

“The Premier League was the only one of the big five European leagues to experience an increase in its media rights value during its most recent rights sale process.

“It continues to appeal to millions of global followers and its member clubs have a greater revenue advantage over international rivals.

“Commercial partner, fan and investor interest in the Premier League appears higher than ever before. While this suggests optimism for further growth, continued calls for greater distribution of the financial wealth of English clubs across the football system and the impact of a cost-of-living crisis makes it all the more important for the game’s stakeholders to keep a clear focus on their responsibility as stewards of leading clubs.”

Sam Boor, director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, added: “The Premier League’s financial superiority is unlikely to be challenged in the coming seasons.

“This is particularly apparent at a time when these clubs continue to attract international investment which often, in the best examples, encourages a focus on profitability, as well as on-pitch success.”

Man Utd second among women’s teams

Manchester United players celebrate Maya Le Tissier's goal
Manchester United’s women’s team ranks second for revenue generated

For the first time, the Money League also reported revenues generated from the women’s teams of the Money League clubs.

Manchester United ranked second behind Barcelona, their women’s side generating £5.1m, followed by Manchester City (£4.3m), Paris Saint-Germain (£3m), Arsenal (£1.9m) and Tottenham (£1.8m).

Bridge added: “The women’s professional game is still near the start of its journey and revenues reported by top clubs at this early stage hint at the significant value women’s sides will generate in future seasons.

“Coupled with long-term and growth-focused decision making, we expect that the development of industry data analysing women’s sport will also support success in the women’s game.

“This will enable clubs and leagues to clearly demonstrate the value of their women’s sides and the fanbase that they’re attracting.”

Euro round-up: Mourinho rages as Roma draw | Atletico lose again

Tammy Abraham scored his first Serie A goal since September as he waits to discover if he will travel to the World Cup with England – but he could not help Roma to a win over Sassuolo as the sides played out a 1-1 draw at Mapei Stadium.

Abraham – who will be eagerly awaiting Gareth Southgate’s announcement of his 26-strong squad on Thursday at 2pm – thought he had sealed three points for Jose Mourinho’s team when he leaped amid three defenders to head in a cross from Gianluca Mancini in the 80th minute.

However, Andrea Pinamonti equalised for Sassuolo with a swift counter-attack five minutes later.

After the match, Mourinho took aim at an unnamed player, saying: “It disappoints me because the effort the squad made was betrayed by one player because of an unprofessional attitude. He betrayed the effort everyone else made.

“I have already told him in the changing room, something I don’t often do because normally after games I don’t speak in the changing room. I had 16 players out there tonight and I was happy with the attitude of 15 of them.

Dzeko at the double as Inter thrash Bologna

Inter Milan's Federico Dimarco, right, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Bologna at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Nov.9, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Federico Dimarco celebrates the first of his two goals for Inter Milan

Inter Milan came from a goal down to ease to a crushing 6-1 home win over Bologna, despite the visitors taking the lead in bizarre fashion when Riccardo Orsolini bounced a shot off the back of team-mate Charalampos Lykogiannis and into the net.

The visitors’ joy was short-lived, however, as Edin Dzeko, Federico Dimarco and Lautaro Martinez struck to give Inter a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Dimarco and Dzeko scored their second goals of the game – either side of a Hakan Calhanoglu penalty – in the second half as Inter cruised to victory.

Meanwhile, Atalanta slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Lecce to record their second consecutive defeat.

Lecce had not won at home all season while Atalanta had not lost away, but Federico Baschirotto and Federico Di Francesco scored two minutes apart to flip the script for the hosts.

Duvan Zapata pulled one back for Atalanta before half time but the visitors were unable to get back on level terms.

The result leaves Atalanta fifth, one place behind Inter and one above Roma.

Slumping Atletico lose again

Diego Simeone sits on the bench at Porto
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have just one win in their last seven games

Atletico Madrid slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca to continue their poor form, with Diego Simeone’s side now having won only one of their last seven games in all competitions.

Vedat Muriqi scored Mallorca’s winner after Antonio Sanchez fired a long-range shot that Jan Oblak palmed to Jaume Costa, who set up the Kosovo striker to tap into an empty net.

Atletico, who were eliminated from European competition last week, fell from third to sixth in La Liga and are now 13 adrift of leaders Barcelona.

Real Sociedad were one of the sides to move above Atletico as they won 2-1 at Sevilla, who are 17th.

Alexander Sorloth and Brais Mendez scored for the visitors either side of Ivan Rakitic and Tanguy Nianzou red cards as Sevilla were reduced to nine men before half-time.

Jorge Sampaoli’s side rallied impressively to reduce the deficit through Rafa Mir just before half-time but were unable to salvage what would have been a remarkable point.

Elsewhere, Villarreal won their first match since Unai Emery departed for Aston Villa by claiming a 1-0 victory at Espanyol.

Quique Setien’s first victory as Villarreal boss – and the team’s first win in five matches – came courtesy of Benjamin Lecomte’s own goal and moved them into eighth in the La Liga table.

Liverpool face Real Madrid in CL last 16 | Chelsea draw Dortmund

Liverpool will face Real Madrid in their Champions League last-16 tie in a repeat of the 2022 final, while Chelsea were drawn against Borussia Dortmund.

Vinicius Junior’s winner saw Real Madrid lift their 14th European title in May’s final, following on from Real’s 3-1 victory against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv.

But Liverpool will now get an early opportunity to exact some revenge for that loss as they bid to reach the quarter-finals in this season’s competition. Their first leg will be played at Anfield on Tuesday February 21 before the return leg on Wednesday March 15 at the Bernabeu

Reacting to the draw, former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock told Sky Sports News: “It’s a very difficult tie for Liverpool. Finishing second in their group, they don’t get the opportunity to play at home in the second leg.

“However, Jurgen Klopp’s side will want to avenge the final defeat last year, even though it doesn’t win you the competition. It does give you something to put right, though.”

Liverpool and Real Madrid met just five months ago in the 2022 Champions League final
Liverpool and Real Madrid met just five months ago in the 2022 Champions League final

Graham Potter’s Chelsea will take on Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic facing their former club. The first leg will be on Wednesday February 15 before the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday March 7.

Chelsea’s February & March schedule

  • Chelsea vs Fulham – February 4
  • West Ham vs Chelsea – February 11
  • Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea – February 15
  • Chelsea vs Southampton – February 18
  • Tottenham vs Chelsea – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Chelsea vs Leeds – March 4
  • Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund – March 7
  • Leicester City vs Chelsea – March 11
  • Chelsea vs Everton – March 18

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic said of the draw: “We have a top team waiting for us. In Aubameyang and Pulisic we’re meeting old friends. We’re looking forward to seeing you again and of course, we want to make it through to the next round.”

Tottenham were drawn against AC Milan, and there will be an added incentive for Spurs boss Antonio Conte who previously managed Milan’s fierce city rivals Inter between 2019 and 2021.

Conte will return to the San Siro with Spurs for the first leg on Tuesday February 14 before the return match on Wednesday March 8 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Manchester City face a tie against RB Leipzig as they harbour ambitions of reaching a second Champions League final. Pep Guardiola’s side have lost only one of their last 17 matches against German sides in the Champions League (W14 D2) – although that defeat came away at RB Leipzig in December 2021.

Man City will travel to Germany for the first leg on Wednesday February 22 before playing the second leg at the Etihad on Tuesday March 14.

Manchester City’s February & March schedule

  • Tottenham vs Manchester City – February 4
  • Manchester City vs Aston Villa – February 11
  • Nottingham Forest vs Manchester City – February 18
  • RB Leipzig vs Manchester City – February 22
  • Bournemouth vs Manchester City – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Manchester City vs Newcastle – March 4
  • Crystal Palace vs Manchester City – March 11
  • Manchester City vs RB Leipzig – March 14
  • Manchester City vs West Ham – March 18

Elsewhere, in another replay of a recent final, PSG have been drawn against Bayern Munich in another stand-out last-16 tie. Bayern were 1-0 winners in the 2020 final against the Ligue 1 side, winning their sixth European title.

How do the last-16 fixtures affect the Premier League?

Champions League 2022/23 knockout stage
All four Premier League teams still in the Champions League have matches to be rescheduled

The timing of the Champions League last-16 matches does pose an issue for the Premier League amid an already-congested fixture list.

One-and-a-half rounds of fixtures from The Queen’s passing – including Chelsea vs Liverpool and Man City vs Spurs – are yet to be rescheduled.

However, the two above fixtures are unlikely to be played on any of the Champions League last 16 midweeks – four in total – as each of the Premier League teams involved are playing their ties on alternating weeks.

There is also a March international break on the weeks commencing March 20 and 27, narrowing further the dates for the fixtures to be rescheduled.

Champions League last-16 draw in full

  • RB Leipzig vs Man City – First leg on Wednesday February 22; Second leg on Tuesday March 14
  • Club Brugge vs Benfica – First leg on Wednesday February 15; Second leg on Tuesday March 7
  • Liverpool vs Real Madrid – First leg on Tuesday February 21; Second leg on Wednesday March 15
  • AC Milan vs Tottenham – First leg on Tuesday February 14; Second leg on Wednesday March 8
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli – First leg on Tuesday February 21; Second leg on Wednesday March 15
  • Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea – First leg on Wednesday February 15; Second leg on Tuesday March 7
  • Inter Milan vs Porto – First leg on Wednesday February 22; Second leg on Tuesday March 14
  • PSG vs Bayern Munich – First leg on Tuesday February 14; Second leg on Wednesday March 8

‘Last-16 timing good for Liverpool’

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News:

“If the games were to happen now, I think it would be a real challenge for Liverpool.

“But, given the timing of the games in February, I think it is a good moment for Liverpool to try to correct what is going on at the moment and to put themselves in a better position.

Liverpool’s February & March schedule

  • Wolves vs Liverpool – February 4
  • Liverpool vs Everton – February 11
  • Newcastle vs Liverpool – February 18
  • Liverpool vs Real Madrid – February 21
  • Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Liverpool vs Manchester United – March 4
  • Bournemouth vs Liverpool – March 11
  • Real Madrid vs Liverpool – March 15
  • Liverpool vs Fulham – March 18

“Potentially, they could maybe even try to sign some players in January.

“It’s a great game. You’ve got to beat the best teams and that’s what you’ve got in Real Madrid. They are the defending champions and you want to go to their backyard in the second leg, cause a problem and hopefully win the game.”

‘Spurs shouldn’t fear AC Milan’

Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's second goal against Eintracht Frankfurt
Tottenham should not fear AC Milan, says Stephen Warnock

Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News:

“At any point in the competition now you have got to fancy your chances. You have got to believe you are capable of winning games.

Tottenham’s February & March schedule

  • Tottenham vs Manchester City – February 4
  • Leicester City vs Tottenham – February 11
  • AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur – February 14
  • Tottenham vs West Ham – February 18
  • Tottenham vs Chelsea – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Wolves vs Tottenham – March 4
  • Tottenham vs AC Milan – March 8
  • Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest – March 11
  • Southampton vs Tottenham – March 18

“When you look at all the draws of the English sides I think Liverpool have arguably got the hardest draw, but you look at the rest and they should progress out of those games.

“For Spurs, I don’t look at AC Milan and fear them. I know they are Serie A champions, but I don’t think you’d fear them.

“I’d rather not play Napoli.”

When will the games be played?

The first legs of the last-16 games will be played on the midweeks of February 14-15, and February 21-22 2023.

The second legs will be played across March 7-8 and March 14-15.

Beyond the last 16…

For those sides lucky enough to reach the quarter-finals, it’s a free for all from then on – with no restrictions on who can draw one another.

The draw for the last eight and the semi-finals will be held on March 17, with the quarter-final first legs held on April 11-12 and the second legs on April 18-19.

The first legs of the semi-finals will be held on May 9-10, and the second legs on May 16-17. The Champions League final will then be held in Istanbul on June 10.

CL round-up: Barcelona and Atletico crash out at group stage

Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League before kicking a ball on Wednesday as Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Viktoria Plzen left them with only a Europa League place.

Ex-Premier League players Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Dzeko scored first-half goals to set Inter on their way at the San Siro, before former Manchester City man Dzeko struck again in the second half.

Romelu Lukaku rounded off the victory late on, meaning Barcelona can only finish third in Group C.

Inter Milan's Edin Dzeko, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal
Inter Milan’s Edin Dzeko, left, celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side’s second goal

It’s the second straight season Barcelona have exited the Champions League at the group stage, having gone 17 consecutive seasons making the knockouts.

There was still time for the Spanish side’s night to get even worse, though, when Bayern Munich cruised to a 3-0 win at the Nou Camp to secure first place in Group C.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring after just 10 minutes when he latched onto a sumptuous Serge Gnabry pass, before former Stoke forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting doubled Bayern’s lead in the 31st minute.

Benjamin Pavard then added insult to Barcelona’s injury with a third goal in second-half stoppage time

Atletico crash out after stoppage-time penalty miss

Teams' players argue during the group B Champions League soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Civitas Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernaandez)
Axel Witsel (left) clashes with Jonathan Tah as Atletico Madrid slip out of the Champions League

Atletico Madrid made it a miserable night for Spanish sides by also crashing out of the Champions League thanks to a 2-2 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen in which they missed a stoppage-time penalty.

Lukas Hradecky saved Yannick Carrasco’s spot kick before Saul Niguez’s follow-up hit the crossbar, meaning Diego Simeone’s side will exit at the group stage for just the second time in the last 10 years.

Leverkusen took the lead in the ninth minute through Moussa Diaby but Atletico levelled midway through the opening period thanks to Carrasco.

Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen then took the lead again through Callum Hudson-Odoi, who scored his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Chelsea.

Atletico equalised early in the second half through Rodrigo De Paul but will now have to settle for scrapping with Leverkusen for a spot in the Europa League on matchday six.

Porto joined Club Brugge in the last 16 with a convincing 4-0 victory away to the Belgian side earlier on Wednesday.

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Porto celebrated progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League on the plane home from Bruges after Atletico Madrid missed a last-minute penalty against Bayer Leverkusen

Mehdi Taremi put Porto into a first-half lead before goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved two penalties to deny the Belgian hosts a way back into the game early in the second half.

Evanilson, Stephen Eustaquio and Taremi then added three more goals in quick succession to give Porto revenge after they lost 4-0 at home to Club Brugge last month.

Frankfurt see off Marseille to leave Group D in flux

Frankfurt's Sebastian Rode, right, and Frankfurt's Daichi Kamada, left, celebrates with the club eagle behind after winning the Champions League Group D soccer match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Olympique de Marseille in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Frankfurt’s Sebastian Rode (right) and Daichi Kamada celebrate their win with the club eagle

Frankfurt earned a 2-1 win at home to Marseille to leave Group D wide open and boost their chances of advancing on the final matchday next week.

The win lifted the reigning Europa League champions to seven points, one ahead of Marseille and level with second-placed Sporting Lisbon. Tottenham are top on eight after drawing 1-1 against the Portuguese side.

Daichi Kamada completed a superb passing move to put the hosts in front after three minutes with their first goal in a home game in the competition this season.

Marseille drew level with a Matteo Guendouzi close-range volley in the 22nd minute but their joy lasted only five minutes, as the former Arsenal midfielder turned from hero to villain by losing possession and allowing Mario Gotze to play a perfect one-two with Randal Kolo Muani, who slotted in the winner.

The winner of Frankfurt’s trip to Sporting next week will qualify for the round of 16, while a draw will also do for the Portuguese side.