The 2018 Champions League semifinal draw is complete, and at long last, after dozens of qualifiers and 120 matches in the competition proper, the final stage of the road to Kiev has crystalized. The draw took place Friday afternoon at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and offered up two intriguing matchups: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, and Liverpool vs. Roma.
Manchester City and Liverpool will be participating in next season’s Champions League. Most notably, Arsenal will not be in the competition for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Man City pummelled Watford 5-0, while Liverpool coasted past Middlesbrough 3-0 to secure third and fourth place in the Premier League table, respectively. Ten-man Arsenal defeated Everton 3-1, but came up one point short of the top four. It’s the first time Arsenal has missed out on the top four in 21 seasons.
Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite a 3-1 win over Everton on the final day of the Premier League. The Gunners began the day a point behind fourth-place Liverpool and were on course to displace the Reds when they took an eighth-minute lead. But Liverpool, needing a win to ensure fourth, broke Middlesbrough resistance just before the break, and won 3-0.
The Champions League looks set for a repeat of the 1998 final after Juventus took charge of its semifinal against Monaco with a 2-0 victory in the principality a day after Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid seized a 3-0 lead after the home leg of its semifinal against Atletico Madrid. Monaco never hit its stride at home, failing to score in a league or Champions League game for only the third time this season (running Juventus's shutout streak in the competition to 621 minutes), and it was undone by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain, both of them set up by Dani Alves.
UEFA is considering a highly controversial move.