Chelsea draw Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals

 

Chelsea will have to overcome Benfica if they are to set up a possible Champions League semi-final with Barcelona and a chance to erase one of the most painful moments in the club's history.

Benfica, who drew home and away with Manchester United earlier this season as they topped their group, will be no pushovers but the enticing prospect of a Barcelona semi-final is hovering in the background.

Chelsea lost out to Barcelona in the semi-finals in 2009 when Andres Iniesta scored in injury time at Stamford Bridge to seize a place in the final for the Catalan side.

Roberto Di Matteo, the club's caretaker manager, refused to even contemplate such a meeting - pointing out that Barca have their hands full in the quarter-finals after being drawn against AC Milan.

In the other quarter-finals, Real Madrid were drawn against Cypriot side APOEL while Marseille will take on Bayern Munich.

The draw also means there is a good chance of the ultimate El Clasico happening - a mouthwatering all-Spanish final between Real and Barcelona.

Di Matteo said: "When you get down to the last eight teams, every draw is very difficult.

"I've seen Benfica many times. They were in Man United's group and they are a tough opponent for us.

"I think the fact that we play the first game away from home is good, a little bit like the Napoli game."

In response to a possible meeting with Barcelona, Di Matteo added: "Are you writing off AC Milan straight away, as easy as that - the leaders of Serie A?

"It's game by game. That's what I've learnt in my playing career and managing and coaching career."

Chelsea, England's last remaining club in Europe, have two former Benfica players in their squad - the Brazilians David Luiz and Ramires.

The Portuguese club are currently second in their domestic league, a point behind Porto, and overcame a 3-2 first-leg defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in the first knock-out stage, winning 2-0 at the Estadio da Luz to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

Chelsea's old guard came to the club's rescue against Napoli on Wednesday night with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba all scoring in a 4-1 win, and the club's chief executive Ron Gourlay said a blend of experience and youth was vital.

He told the club's website: "You need experience, you need youth and you need a little bit of luck.

"Any team that has won it will tell you this, hopefully we get that but let's worry about Benfica, give them the respect they deserve and take it from there.

"Robbie [Di Matteo] and everyone around him, the players, we all have to play our part.

"He has started well in three games and everybody knows the objectives until the end of the season. Everybody is clear on what we want to achieve and everybody is pulling in the same direction.

"The competition is very important to us, being in the Champions League is very important and we want to make sure we are in the competition next year."

AC Milan, however, matched Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the group stage drawing 2-2, although they lost at home 3-2, and the club's director Umberto Gandini insisted they were confident.

He said: "At least it will be easy to organise the away game as we have been there recently and we know the place.

"We faced them in the group stage and the aggregate score was 5-4 so I think it will be balanced.

"We drew 2-2 there and played well also at home despite losing 3-2, so we have confidence because I think we have also improved since then."

He added: "It's a game every player dreams to play, both teams will be very motivated and we will see the winner of Benfica-Chelsea in the semi-finals."

The draw:

QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

APOEL Nicosia v Real Madrid

Marseille v Bayern Munich

Benfica v Chelsea

AC Milan v Barcelona

First legs to be played on March 27/28. Second legs to be played on April 3/4.

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Marseille/Bayern Munich v APOEL Nicosia/Real Madrid

Benfica/Chelsea v AC Milan/Barcelona

First legs to be played on April 17/18. Second legs to be played on April 24/25.

PA

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice