Take two: Messi & PSG handed tough assignment in repeated Champions League draw

Defending champions Chelsea were again handed a meeting with French team Lille in a re-run of the Champions League last 16 draw in Switzerland, which also produced a clash between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

The ceremony had initially taken place earlier on Monday but an error involving Manchester United meant that UEFA ordered the draw to be repeated.

READ MORE: UEFA to repeat Champions League draw after shocking error (VIDEO)

The second time around, defending champions Chelsea were placed with French team Lille – exactly the same tie as they had been given in the voided first draw.

Elsewhere, Manchester United, who had originally been paired with Paris Saint-Germain, were given a tie against Atletico Madrid in the repeated draw.

PSG and Lionel Messi were given a blockbuster meeting with record 13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid.  

FULL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST 16 DRAW

  • FC Salzburg (Austria) vs Bayern Munich (Germany)
  • Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) vs Manchester City (England)
  • Benfica (Portugal) vs Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Chelsea (England) vs Lille (France)
  • Atletico Madrid (Spain) vs Manchester United (England)  
  • Villarreal (Spain) vs Juventus (Italy)
  • Inter Milan (Italy) vs Liverpool (England)
  • Paris Saint-Germain (France) vs Real Madrid

The ties will take place across two legs, the first of which will be spread across February 15, 16, 22 and 23. The return legs will be played on March 8, 9, 15 and 16.

The seeded teams (all group winners) will be away for the first legs and play the second legs at home.

A rule change for the knockout stages means that the away-goals rule is no longer in force. Any ties that are level after 180 minutes across two legs will go to extra-time and then potentially penalties.  

This season’s Champions League final will be held in St. Petersburg on May 28 at the 68,000-seater Gazprom Arena, which is home to Russian champions Zenit.

Gazprom Arena will be the venue for the final. © AFP



Having initially been paired with Benfica in the first draw on Monday, Real Madrid will likely be the most aggrieved with the revised version as they will now play a star-studded PSG containing former Barcelona nemesis Messi.

Instead of having to contend with Messi and Co, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United teammates will play Diego Simeone’s Atletico.

Elsewhere, last season’s beaten finalists Manchester City will be favored to overcome Sporting Lisbon, while German giants Bayern will also be strongly fancied to steamroll Austrian rivals Salzburg. 

Six-time winners Liverpool emerged from their group stage campaign with six wins from six, and will be tipped to overcome Serie A champions Inter Milan.  

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST DRAW? 

In remarkable scenes earlier on Monday at UEFA HQ in Nyon, football bosses had declared the first draw of the day null and void.

The controversy surrounding the placement of Manchester United for their tie. 

The Old Trafford club were initially placed with Spanish team Villarreal.

However, as the two had already met in the group stage, they were not eligible to face each other in the last 16.

Manchester City were then drawn to play Villarreal instead, with Atletico Madrid next appearing. 

The problem was that Manchester United had not been returned to the pot of eligible teams to play Atletico, when in reality they should have been. 

Instead, United only came up in the last tie of the draw against French giants PSG.

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Andrey Arshavin found himself at the center of the storm. © Reuters
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Explaining the error, UEFA later laid the blame at the door of an external software provider.

“Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16,” said the governing body.

Monday’s re-run will leave some teams happier with their lot, but others – most notably Real Madrid – appear to be much worse off than they were. 

There were reports that Real had tried to convince UEFA to keep their original draw with Benfica intact before the re-run, as the mistake with Manchester United had only come afterwards. 

In the end, the Bernabeu giants were included in the repeated draw and appear to have a much trickier assignment on their hands against Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG come February and March. 

  

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