Chelsea are on track to meet reigning champions Barcelona in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals, which could mark a matchup of two outgoing managers hoping to leave a mark before they move to the United States.
The potential high-profile semifinal meeting is poised to be a major moment for both Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Barcelona’s Jonatan Giraldez, who will begin their respective new jobs at the U.S. women’s national team and the NWSL’s Washington Spirit upon the conclusion of the season. For Hayes in particular, this season is her last chance to win the one trophy that has eluded her during her illustrious career with Chelsea but Barcelona is considered the biggest hurdle for any team eyeing the prize.
Both sides will have to get through the quarterfinals first, though, when Chelsea are scheduled to play Ajax and Barcelona will take on Brann.
This year’s last eight learned their paths to the final through the quarterfinal and semifinal draw on Tuesday, which saw the favorites book favorable paths to the penultimate stage of the tournament. Eight-time Champions League winners Lyon will take on Benfica in the quarterfinals, which could set up a battle with fellow French side Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinals if they beat Hacken.
The two-legged quarterfinals are scheduled for March 19 and March 27, with the semifinals set to take place a month later. The final is on the calendar for May 25 at San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain.
See below for the Champions League knockout stage bracket.
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UEFA Women’s Champions League knockout stage bracket
- Ajax vs. Chelsea
- Brann vs. Barcelona
- Benfica vs. Lyon
- Hacken vs. PSG
- Chelsea vs. Ajax
- Barcelona vs. Brann
- Lyon vs. Benfica
- PSG vs. Hacken
- Barcelona or Brann vs. Chelsea or Ajax
- Lyon or Benfica vs. PSG or Hacken
- Chelsea or Ajax vs. Barcelona or Brann
- PSG or Hacken vs. Lyon or Benfica
- Winner of semifinal one vs. Winner of semifinal two