Several Champions League teams are pushing back against UEFA over the venues of the remaining Round of 16 matches in the competition, according to the Times.
Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus are all lobbying for the right to play the second legs in their home stadiums as was originally planned- unless government rules prevent them from being able to do so.
However, UEFA are keen for the matches to go ahead in Portugal like the rest of the tournament. They’ve reportedly already ‘pencilled in’ two potential venues in the country to host the matches- stadiums in Porto and Guimarães.
This includes City’s second-leg tie against Real Madrid, in which a clean sheet will be enough to see them into the next round.
The governing body feel that the venue change will make it easier to manage regulations surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the clubs are concerned about the integrity of the competition, as one could argue that an inherent disadvantage would be forced upon the team that is denied a home leg, even without the crowd present.
Manchester City have a 2-1 lead after the first leg in Madrid, when Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne turned the game on it’s head late on to take the advantage back to Manchester.
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