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London rivals out to make history

Published: Wednesday 24 March 2004, 8.43CET
Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC are chasing a first semi-final and Fernando Morientes returns to Real Madrid CF.
Published: Wednesday 24 March 2004, 8.43CET

London rivals out to make history

Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC are chasing a first semi-final and Fernando Morientes returns to Real Madrid CF.

After AC Milan and FC Porto each took a step towards the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with home wins last night, the spotlight tonight turns to London and Madrid.

Premiership pair
The English Premiership's top two sides, Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC, meet in their quarter-final first leg at Stamford Bridge, while at the Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid CF will welcome AS Monaco FC.

Long wait
London will, for the first time since 1961/62 produce a European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finalist and form, at least, is on the side of Arsenal, who are unbeaten against Chelsea for six years and 16 matches - and have already beaten them three times this season.

Last time
The last time two English sides met in Europe's premier club competition was in 1978/79 when Nottingham Forest FC, that season's eventual winners, overcame holders Liverpool FC 2-0 on aggregate.

'Black week'
In Madrid, the Spanish champions face Didier Deschamps' Monaco hoping to put behind them a "black week" - the words of coach Carlos Queiroz - which brought defeats in the Spanish Cup final and the league.

Morientes heads home
Madrid's prospects are helped by the return of Ronaldo, and it should be an emotional occasion for Fernando Morientes, the Madrid striker who is spending this season on loan at Monaco. He has scored five goals in seven Champions League games already this term and is unlikely to let sentiment affect his scoring touch.

Comprehensive coverage
As ever uefa.com will bring you all the action live, with text and audio commentaries, and our comprehensive coverage also includes video highlights and complete full-match reruns.

Last updated: 25/03/04 12.46CET

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