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Germany, Spain reign in CL semis
Apr 11, 2013 2:23 AM GMT
Germany and Spain dominate the latter stages of the Champions League this season.
Two clubs from two nations will make up the semi-finals for the first time in the tournament's history.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich progressed to the last four on Wednesday, joining Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at the penultimate hurdle of Europe's elite competition.
While this is the fourth consecutive year in which the Bundesliga and La Liga have provided one representative for the last four, never before have two countries provided all four semi-finalists in the same season.
And it is also a first for two German teams to have reached the Champions League semi-final at the same time.
Barcelona progressed to a record sixth consecutive semi-final at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, as a barely-fit Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire his side to a 1-1 draw with Carlo Ancelotti's men, seeing them progress on the away goals rule.
Bayern Munich's passage to this stage was arguably the smoothest of all the final four, as their 2-0 win over Juventus in Turin secured a 4-0 triumph on aggregate to send them through to their third semi-final in four years in supreme style.
Real Madrid effectively secured their place in the first leg after a 3-0 triumph over Galatasaray in Spain, although their 3-2 defeat in Istanbul left many with frayed nerves on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund pulled off the most memorable comeback the tournament has seen in recent seasons with two injury-time goals securing a 3-2 victory over a spirited Malaga.
The draw for the last four takes place on Friday, and while each of the sides involved have enjoyed a bumpy road thus far, there are few who would deny them their places.