UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid face Bayern Munich, Dortmund battle PSG in semi-final

Real Madrid moved a step closer to a record-extending 15th title in the competition they have dominated after a 4-3 win Wednesday on penalties at Etihad Stadium.

But not before being pushed to the limit by defending champion City.

Victory for Madrid saw the Spanish giant advance to the semifinals for the fourth year in row — denying City the chance to emulate that feat.

“This was about survival,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “Madrid is a club based on always fighting to stay in situations where there seems to be no way out – but we always find a way. By the time the penalty shoot-out came, we were totally convinced we’d go through.”

Ancelotti has already won the Champions League a record four times as a coach — one more than Guardiola — and could extend that record by lifting the trophy for a third time with Madrid.

For Guardiola it is back to the drawing board after watching his team to relinquish the trophy it won for the first time last year and ending his own 12-year wait to triumph again in European club soccer’s most demanding competition.

“I have to say thank you to these players from deep in my heart because the way they played. But football is about winning and we didn’t do enough, yet we were exceptional,” he said.

This was the third straight season Madrid and City have clashed in the Champions League in what is becoming a classic rivalry. The winner of their meetings going on to win the competition in each of the past two years.

Meanwhile, Bayern kept alive their hopes of finishing the season with a trophy three days after Bayer Leverkusen ended Bayern’s 11-year reign as German champions.

Bayern and Arsenal have been drawn together five times in the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2005 and the German team has eliminated Arsenal on each occasion.

“For me they (Arsenal) are an elite team, nothing else. It was a very, very close result. Maybe what they miss a little bit is games like these, that they have (need) a bit more experience in these knockout stages. But it was so, so tight today,” said Thomas Tuchel, Bayern Munich head coach.

Bayern Munich will now face off Real Madrid in the semi-final while Paris Saint Germain will have a duel against Borussia Dortmund.

The semi-finals will be played beween April 30th and 1st of May.