Football

Champions League 2012/13: The final four

Barcelona set sights on Wembley. (©GettyImages)
Barcelona set sights on Wembley. (©GettyImages).

After another pulsating round of Champions League fixtures this week, we're one step closer to finding out who will be crowned winners of Europe's elite club competition in what looks like being a record-breaking year in 2012/13.

The European Cup will now be contested by the top two teams in Spain and Germany, as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund each confirmed their place in the semi-finals.

A Lionel Messi inspired comeback in a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou last night, saw Tito Vilanova's side edge past Paris Saint-Germain on away goals (3-3 on aggregate), booking Barca's spot in the last four for an unrivalled sixth consecutive season.

Meanwhile Bayern Munich's 2-0 victory over Juventus in Turin on Wednesday evening was not only memorable because it secured the progress of last year's finalists by a 4-0 aggregate scoreline, but for the fact it was the first time the Italian giants conceded two goals at home in a Champions League match since December 2009 - which was also against the recently crowned Bundesliga champions.

The previous evening saw Borussia Dortmund complete a dramatic turnaround at the Westfalenstadion, as Jurgen Klopp's players scored two injury-time goals to record a 3-2 victory over tournament debutants Malaga, meaning that two German sides will appear in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the same season for the first time.

And finally, Real Madrid's 3-2 loss against Galatasaray at the Turk Telecom Arena on Tuesday was enough to see them through 5-3 on aggregate, moving the Spanish giants nearer to their landmark 10th European crown, and edging Jose Mourinho closer to another piece of history.

Overseeing Real Madrid's progress to the last-four for a third consecutive season means Mourinho has already matched Sir Alex Ferguson's record of seven semi-final appearances, and he also has one eye on becoming the first manager in history to win the Champions League with three different clubs, having previously lifted the European Cup with Porto and Inter Milan.

Here, GiveMeFootball takes a closer look at each of the remaining clubs chances, before the first legs, set to be played on April 23-24. 

Borussia Dortmund - 13/2

Jurgen Klopp has guided Borussia Dortmund to their first semi-final appearance since 1998, and after conceding the Bundesliga title already this season, will be determined to deliver European glory.

As the only remaining undefeated team in this year's competition, the German giants must be respected, and in Robert Lewandowski - who has six goals in the Champions League this year - they have one of the most feared forwards in Europe at the moment.

Bayern Munich - 11/4

Bayern Munich will be looking to end their 12-year European Cup drought, and go one better than they did last year, with victory in 2012/13.

In fact, Jupp Heynckes's side have appeared in the final twice over the past three seasons, and will turn to talisman Thomas Muller to fire the Bundesliga champions to Wembley.

Real Madrid - 5/2

Real Madrid have been stuck on nine European Cup crowns for 13 years, having not appeared in the Champions League final since 2002.

It's the third consecutive season they've made it to the semi-finals, though, and with the competition's leading goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo having already netted 11 goals, the Spanish giants will fancy their chances this year - although they'll hope to avoid Borussia Dortmund, who they finished behind in the group stages.

Barcelona - 7/4

Barcelona will be looking to win their fourth Champions League crown since 2006, and fifth in the Catalan club's history overall.

The fitness of Lionel Messi - Barca's top scorer in the competition this season with eight goals - will be fundamental in their pursuit of glory at Wembley come May. And, with the Primera Division title all but sewn up, expect the Argentine to be given time to recuperate ahead of their next European clash.

Champions League semi-final draw:

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions League

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