PSG Gets Man Utd — No, Wait — Real Madrid After Massive UCL Draw Snafu
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Paris St Germain will face Real Madrid in a titanic clash in the last 16 of the Champions League while Manchester United take on Atletico Madrid after UEFA declared the original draw void due to a technical error in the process on Monday.
Earlier, United were mistakenly drawn with Villarreal, even though both teams had already faced each other in the group stage while the Premier League side's ball was not added to the bowl as a potential opponent for Atletico Madrid.
Round of 16 draw ✔️
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 13, 2021
United were eventually drawn with PSG while Atletico drew Bayern Munich before the draw was scrapped after the Spanish side complained and UEFA admitted the error.
PSG's initial draw with United was a highly anticipated battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi — the competition's two top goal scorers.
The pair have won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d'Or awards for player of the year — with Messi leading 7-5 after victory in 2021.
— FotMob (@FotMob) December 13, 2021
Instead, Messi will now face a familiar opponent in Real Madrid, against whom he has scored 26 times in all competitions when he was at Barcelona.
Real Madrid had also attempted to prise French forward Kylian Mbappe from PSG in the close season but ultimately failed after the Ligue 1 side rejected their bids.
United's Ronaldo, meanwhile, will relish a tie against Atletico having scored 25 goals against them for Real and Juventus.
'THEY HAD TO DO IT AGAIN'
Liverpool take on Inter Milan with another trip to the San Siro after Juergen Klopp's side beat AC Milan twice in the group stage.
"I had to wait 54 years to play at the San Siro for the first time... and now it'll be twice in three months, so that's good news," Klopp told the Liverpool website.
"Of course, it is a tough draw, definitely. They are the league leaders in Italy; a good team in a good moment."
Klopp added UEFA did the right thing in redoing the draw.
"I saw it live and I thought, 'You cannot let it stand like this, there's no chance.' Definitely, they had to do it again."
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola also agreed a redraw was the right course of action.
"I think it's fair," he said. "It was a mistake and these kind of things sometimes happen... (a redraw) makes sense so there are no suspicions."
Last year's runners-up City face Sporting Lisbon while Juventus, who topped their group above Chelsea, face Villarreal.
Holders Chelsea will face French champions Lille, just as they were drawn in the original draw, while six-times champions Bayern Munich will now face RB Salzburg -- the first Austrian side to qualify for the knockout stages.
Benfica, who initially drew Real Madrid, will now play high-flying Ajax Amsterdam who impressed in the group stage by winning all six matches.
UEFA also experienced technical issues while conducting the third-tier Conference League draw later.
2022 Champions League Round of 16 Draw
- Bayern Munich v RB Salzburg
- Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon
- Ajax Amsterdam v Benfica
- Lille v Chelsea
- Manchester United v Atletico Madrid
- Juventus v Villarreal
- Liverpool v Inter Milan
- Real Madrid v Paris St Germain
Seeded teams (named first) will play the second leg at home. The first legs are scheduled to take place on Feb. 15-16 and Feb. 22-23 while the second legs will be played on March 8-9 and March 15-16.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)