As reported earlier in the week, Bayern Munich fell to Real Madrid in the Champions League Tuesday. As painful as the circumstances surrounding that defeat were, the week continued to get worse for the Bundesliga clubs that were remaining in Europe.
On Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund failed to overturn a 3-2 deficit to AS Monaco, losing the second leg as well.
After that, all German hopes rested on Europa League side Schalke 04. They were the only Bundesliga team that had the advantage of playing its European quarterfinal second leg at home. On the other hand, they had a 2-0 deficit to overcome against Ajax Amsterdam.
The Royal Blues won their game 2-0 in regulation on Thursday, which meant that extra time was needed to determine who advanced. Schalke was the better team going into the added period, scoring their third goal on the evening. However, Ajax was able to pull back two goals in the end, winning 4-3 overall.
This means that for the first time in 12 years, there will not be a single German team in the semifinals of either of the two major European club competitions.
Granted, Bayern’s 2013 Champions League triumph was the only continental title a Bundesliga team actually won in this period, but this record still shows that the league’s top teams are able to hold their own consistently at the highest level of the game.
In any case, Friday marked the draws for the semifinals of both the Champions League and the Europa League.
They came out as follows, Champions League: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco vs. Juventus Turin.
Europa League: Ajax Amsterdam vs. Olympique Lyon and Celta Vigo vs. Manchester United.
In all cases, will the team listed first play at home first. The games are sure to provide drama and excitement.