Champions League 2017 Draw: Semi-Final Fixture Schedule and Dates Released

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2017

The UEFA Champion's league trophy is displayed ahead of the draw for the football competition's semi-finals, on April 21, 2017 in Nyon.  / AFP PHOTO / Richard Juilliart        (Photo credit should read RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid will face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, while Juventus take on AS Monaco.

The draw was held on Friday at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. 

Here is confirmation of the complete draw, with the team drawn first in each tie set to play the first leg at home:

UEFA Champions League 2016-17 Semi-Final Draw
Home First Legvs.Home Second Leg
Real Madridvs.Atletico Madrid

The first legs of the semi-finals will take place on May 2 and 3, with the return legs coming on May 9 and 10.


Real and Atletico in Pursuit of 3rd Final in 4 Years

Real, who beat Atletico in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals, are bidding to win their 12th European Cup.

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Los Blancos beat Bayern Munich 6-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, albeit with the help of some controversial officiating in the second leg that saw Arturo Vidal harshly sent off and an offside Cristiano Ronaldo goal allowed to stand.

This marks the fourth year in a row the two Madrid sides have faced one another in Europe's elite competition, and Los Rojiblancos' record does not make good reading for manager Diego Simeone, with Atletico losing both finals and in the quarter-finals in 2015.

Football writer Colin Millar noted the added significance of this tie:

In La Liga this season, their meetings ended in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu and a 3-0 victory for Real at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico went through to the final four courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate victory over Champions League debutants Leicester City in the quarter-finals.

While the Foxes were able to cause them some problems in the second leg, the two matches showcased Atletico's exceptional resilience and defensive prowess—qualities that make them difficult opponents for any side.

SB Nation's Lucas Navarrete believes Real must show their own ability to defend if they're to progress:

Meanwhile, Monaco dispatched Borussia Dortmund 6-3 over two legs in the last round and have caught the eye this season as one of the most prolific attacking sides in Europe.

The Ligue 1 outfit have racked up 140 goals in all competitions this season and boast five players on double figures, including the revitalised Radamel Falcao and 18-year-old superstar Kylian Mbappe, who are on 27 and 22 goals respectively.

This year's semi-final is the furthest Monaco have progressed since reaching the final of the Champions League in 2004, which they lost 3-0 to Jose Mourinho's FC Porto.

Claude Paris/Associated Press

After losing the 2015 final to Barcelona, Juventus will undoubtedly have their sights trained on going a step further this time around.

The Bianconeri avenged that defeat by beating the Blaugrana to reach the final four, as they followed up a 3-0 win in Turin with a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Midfielder Sami Khedira reacted to the draw:

Of the teams remaining in the competition, Juve are arguably the most balanced in terms of attacking and defending.

The Italian champions are robust at the back thanks to Gianluigi Buffon and centre-backs Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, and while they're not as prolific as Monaco or Real, they still pack plenty of creativity and firepower going forward.

Tom Williams of AFP believes it could be a case of attack vs. defence:

Monaco were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Juventus in 2015, but the squad has changed and improved since then.

Nevertheless, Ligue 1 writer Andrew Gibney believes Monaco have drawn the worst opponents possible:

How they fare this time around—particularly against the Bianconeri's airtight defence—will be a fascinating watch.


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