BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
A different version of the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League begins today as eight clubs gather in Portugal.
UEFA opted for a mini tournament as a way of concluding the season that was interrupted by the general lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played over a week with the final holding on 23 August in Lisbon.
It is the second time that Lisbon is hosting the final match in six years. When Lisbon hosted the final match of the 2014 edition, it was a Madrid derby as Atletico Madrid faced Real Madrid.
Like most football matches across the globe at this period, the mini tournament will be without cheering crowd.
The mini tournament opens today with Serie A side, Atalanta facing Paris St-Germain at the Estadio da Luz, in Lisbon.
The star match will however be the Friday clash of Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the same stadium.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES
12 August – Atalanta v Paris St-Germain (Estadio da Luz, Lisbon)
13 August – RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid (Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon)
14 August – Barcelona v Bayern Munich (Estadio da Luz, Lisbon)
15 August – Manchester City v Lyon (Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon)
18 August – Semi-final
19 August – Semi-final
23 August – Final