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Liverpool vs Chelsea, United gets Porto again

HOLDER Manchester United will face 2004 winner Porto in the Champions League quarterfinals after yesterday's draw at UEFA headquarters.

Liverpool and Chelsea will meet for the fifth successive season in the competition.

The English Premier League clubs have met three times in semifinals in the last four years and also in the group phase.

Liverpool prevailed in 2005 and 2007 but the Londoners finally overcame their bogey team in extra-time last season before losing to United in the final. Barcelona meets Bayern Munich while Villarreal will play Arsenal in the other last-eight ties. Arsene Wenger's team beat the Spaniards in the 2006 last four before losing to Barca in the final.

The quarterfinal first legs will be played on April 7 or 8 with the return matches the following week. In semifinals, United or Porto will play Villarreal or Arsenal and Barcelona or Bayern will meet Liverpool or Chelsea.

United lost to Porto in 2004 when Jose Mourinho was the coach of the Portuguese side.

The semifinals take place on April 28 and 29 and May 5 and 6.

Liverpool, buoyed by Benitez's contract renewal and its drubbings of Real Madrid and Manchester United, will play its second leg at Stamford Bridge on April 14, so avoiding having to play on April 15 - the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

"There's nothing we don't know about them, we probably know the inside leg measurement of Rafa's trousers," Chelsea secretary David Barnard said of the clash that will make it 24 meetings all competitions in five seasons between the English rivals.

"In theory having the second leg at home should help us," he said. "It worked last year while in the previous two years Liverpool were at home second and got through."

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said he hoped for less tension than when Arsenal got past Villarreal in 2006 after Jens Lehmann's last-minute penalty save.

"We just squeezed by on a 1-0 aggregate then, I hope it's not quite so dramatic this time," he said.

"We respect Villarreal and they are here on merit."

In the UEFA Cup, Hamburg SV will play Manchester City in the quarterfinals and could meet Bundesliga rival Werder Bremen in the last four.

Shakhtar Donetsk will play Olympique Marseille and Dynamo Kiev faces Paris St Germain.

No Ukrainian side had ever previously made it to the UEFA Cup last eight.

Hamburg SV stunned Galatasaray to deny the Istanbul side the chance of a May final in its home city.

Galatasaray appeared to be heading through after taking a 2-0 lead at its Ali Sami Yen stadium following a 1-1 draw in Hamburg.

However, the Bundesliga side roared back with three second-half goals to put out the 2000 winners and end its dreams of reaching the final to be staged at the home of its fierce rival Fenerbahce.

Werder will be at home first against Italy's last European contenders Udinese in its quarterfinal tie.

City, the world's richest club following its takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group last year, needed penalties to beat Denmark's Aalborg in the last round on Thursday.

UEFA Cup holder Zenit St Petersburg was knocked out on Thursday.


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