Chelsea have made an official complaint to UEFA over the “brutal” treatment they say their supporters received at the hands of police and stewards during last month’s Champions League loss away to Barcelona.
The London club said an “unprecedented response” from fans to an appeal for information regarding the alleged incidents had led them to take their case to UEFA, European football’s governing body.
“We issued a plea for information to those fans who may have been involved in these incidents,” said a statement on Chelsea’s website issued on Friday.
“This resulted in an unprecedented response, with a large number of individuals coming forward to complain in relation to poor organisation, lack of crowd control, brutality on the part of stewards and police and exposure to generally unsafe conditions.
Chelsea Football Club has today submitted a formal complaint to UEFA in relation to several serious incidents involving our supporters prior to and following our Champions League game at Barcelona in March… https://t.co/oYBqHntWGt
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 13, 2018
“Chelsea takes the safety of our fans, both at home and away, extremely seriously, and this not what we expect when attending events organised by UEFA or its member clubs.
“We thank those supporters who shared their experiences to help form our report and will now await a response from UEFA.”
At the time, UEFA said they too were looking into the alleged incidents, with fans posting videos on social media around Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat.
The Champions League’s final four includes three traditional heavyweights and a team that has never lifted the fable trophy before in AS Roma.
Familiar foes Bayern Munich head to Real Madrid in the first leg looking to avenge last year’s extra-time quarter-finals defeat and send manager Jupp Heynckes off into the sunset – once again – with European’s ultimate prize in tow.
Real, of course, are aiming for an unprecedented hat-trick but showed enough weakness in their last-gasp victory over Juventus to give every other team hope.
Below, our writers pick through the storylines – and attempt to come up with a winner.
Chris Bailey, head of content
It’s difficult to remember a year in which three of the semi-finalists are so closely matched, both in strength and fallibility. Real Madrid are a disaster at the back if they can’t control the game and may be without Sergio Ramos for their first leg against Bayern, who must fancy their chances of an away goal. The Germans could approach the game undercooked after sleepwalking to their sixth Bundesliga success in a row and these semis. Liverpool are a Virgil van Dijk injury away from defensive chaos, no matter how potent their attack. And Roma are the clear outsiders – though that Barcelona win was no fluke.
I’ll take the team that has conceded just eight goals in eight UCL games this season. Bayern, quietly step up to the podium.
Brendon Netto, reporter
Liverpool fans would’ve rejoiced when they drew Roma and I do think that if they get past the Italians, they have the tools to hurt Madrid or Bayern in a one-off game.
But the Romans have more about them than they’re given credit for despite proving their mettle in that remarkable comeback against Barcelona and I fancy them to go through over two legs.
Madrid were hardly convincing in the second leg against Juventus but Cristiano Ronaldo is unstoppable in this competition and I expect him to make the difference.
That may set up a cagey final with Roma who won’t be run over but Madrid’s experience and sheer confidence should see them secure their third Champions League trophy on the bounce (what?!).
Matt Jones, reporter
Liverpool supporters might get mercilessly mocked because they believe next year is always ‘our year’ in terms of grasping an elusive top-flight English league title – but when it comes to continental success, it might just be their time.
The Champions League gods have smiled on the Scousers. Although Roma are not to be taken lightly in the semi-finals, the Reds will rightly fancy their chances. And in a one-off game against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, Liverpool are a match for either.
Whoever emerges from the clash of the Spanish and German giants will still be favourites, but that won’t rattle the Reds who won’t be such massive underdogs as they were in Istanbul 13 years ago.
Alex Broun, reporter
Many would say this is a dream draw for Liverpool – and for that matter Roma – but for Reds fans to be truly confident they would have preferred the second leg at fortress Anfield.
However, Roma have climbed their mountain now and won’t have much left when Mohamed Salah returns to the Italian capital (and it will be interesting to see how the I Giallorossi welcome back the Egyptian King).
You have to feel sorry for Real Madrid who have had a horror draw – PSG, Juve and now Bayern – but I fully expect them to sneak through against the German giants.
Then in the final over 90-minutes, it’s anyone’s game, but Liverpool should just have enough pace, skill (and/or luck) to win their sixth Champions League crown.
Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich will face holders Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.
Real needed a dramatic stoppage-time penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to see off Juventus after the Italian outfit had come back from 3-0 down in the first leg to level the tie.
In the other semi-final, Liverpool have been drawn against Roma.
The Reds came through an all-Premier League quarter-final against Manchester City, winning the first leg 3-0 at Anfield and the second 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
Serie A side Roma produced a remarkable comeback to knock out Barcelona. The Italian team lost the first leg 4-1 in Spain, but progressed on away goals following a 3-0 home victory.
The first legs will be played on April 24/25, with the second legs on May 1/2.