Liverpool and Leverkusen kept on track to meet in Europa League final after quarterfinal draw made

Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen were kept apart in the quarterfinal draw for the Europa League on Friday and can only meet if they reach the final.

Liverpool was paired with Atalanta in the quarterfinals, with the first leg at Anfield on April 11. The return to Bergamo is one week later.

Bundesliga leader Leverkusen — coached by former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso and still unbeaten in all competitions in a stunning season — is still facing a trip to England after being drawn against West Ham with the first leg in London.

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A meeting between Liverpool and Leverkusen would take on added meeting after coach Jurgen Klopp announced in January that he would leave the English club at the end of the season. Alonso is widely seen as a leading candidate to replace Klopp at the club, which he helped win the Champions League in 2005.

Also Friday, AC Milan was paired with Roma in an all-Italian clash, and Benfica was drawn to face Marseille in a meeting with the former European champion.

In the semifinals, Benfica or Marseille will host the first leg against Liverpool or Atlanta.

Milan or Roma will be at home first against Leverkusen or West Ham.

The Europa League lineup features four former European champions and the winners of the two Europa Conference League titles — Roma and West Ham — since the third-tier competition was launched in 2021.

The final is on May 22 in Dublin.

The draw for the Europa Conference League was being held later.

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