WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Real Madrid to face Bayern Munich, Liverpool gets Roma in Champions League semis

Former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko was part of the Champions League semifinal draw in Nyon, Switzerl...

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 2:00 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 2:00 PM

Former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko was part of the Champions League semifinal draw in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.

It was only fitting, since football heavyweights Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were paired together in the last four of Europe's top club competition while Mo Salah makes an emotional return to former side Roma as Liverpool landed the Italian side that stunned Barcelona in the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid faces Bayern Munich again in Champions League semis

Will be fourth meeting in knockout phase since 2012

Mo Salah returns to Roma as Liverpool get Italian side

Real Madrid appearing in eighth straight semifinal

Real and Bayern have faced off three times in the knockout phase already since 2012, with the La Liga outfit triumphing twice including 6-3 on aggregate in last season's quarterfinal that necessitated extra time.

Both are familiar with being at this stage of the event -- Real are appearing in the semis for an eighth straight season and Bayern have been in the final four in four of the past five.

Just how Bayern -- the only team in the semis leading its domestic league; the other three are well behind in theirs -- will stop Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the key questions.

The prolific Portuguese tormented Bayern with five goals last season. And this season he has scored in a record 11 straight Champions League games, keeping his cool Wednesday when netting a penalty deep in injury time to eliminate Juventus in the tense battle of last year's finalists.

The record 12-time competition winners so nearly paid the price for sitting back at the Bernabeu nursing a 3-0 first-leg lead, with the "Old Lady" of Italian football mounting a comeback to level the tie at 3-3 prior to the late penalty drama.

READ: Incensed Buffon sees red

Ramos return

But if Ronaldo figures to be in the spotlight once again, don't forget the potential return of Real influential central defender Sergio Ramos. The Real captain sat out the the second leg against Juventus due to a suspension and would normally be expected to resume his duties against Bayern.

According to reports though, Ramos could miss at least the first leg of the semis for coming down from the stands Wednesday to join in the celebrations.

Bayern cruised to the semifinals in overcoming Sevilla 2-1 on aggregate and in Jupp Heynckes has the man who led the German powerhouse to the treble in 2013, highlighted by a fifth title in the Champions League or European Cup.

Heynckes -- who formerly coached Real -- is expected to retire at the end of the season and Bayern named his replacement Friday in Eintracht Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac.

The 46-year-old Kovac, who spent most of his playing career as a central midfielder in Germany, was a Croatian international and formerly guided the Croatian national team. He'll no doubt be keeping an eye on his future team.

Roma president Jim Pallotta jumped into one of Rome's famous fountains in joy after his team stunned Barcelona and said he didn't mind who the Giallorossi got next.

READ: Messi, Barcelona exit

But truth be told, Liverpool and Roma were probably chuffed to draw each other. The clash is a rematch of the 1984 final Liverpool won, with that season also marking the last occasion Roma advanced to the semifinals.

Roma completely shut down Lionel Messi in the second leg Tuesday and their task now will be to foil Salah, another diminutive left-footer who can dribble and finish with aplomb.

Apart from leading the Premier League in scoring, Salah is tied for second in the Champions League this term -- behind Ronaldo of course -- alongside hard-working teammate Roberto Firmino on eight goals and Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder.

Salah a fan favorite in Rome

Salah was a firm fan favorite in Rome but according to Football Italia, facing financial difficulties and dealing with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations, Roma were essentially forced to sell the Egyptian striker.

READ: Salah on special Liverpool

He turned out to be a bargain buy, purchased by Liverpool for -38 million ($54 million) a month before Brazil's Neymar went for 222 million euros ($273 million) to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona.

Visit our football page for more football stories

Salah and Firmino were on target as Liverpool upset runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinals. The Reds are England's most successful team in the European Cup or Champions League -- matching Bayern's five titles -- but last appeared in the semifinals in 2008.

The first legs of the semifinals take place April 24 and 25 with the return legs on May 1 and 2.

The final is scheduled for May 26 in Kiev, where Klitschko is now the mayor.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 75°
Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather