November 7 – The draw for the last-16 of the Champions League threw up two mouth-watering heavyweight ties today, along with a veiled dig by UEFA at those still hoping to set up a rival breakaway Super League.
In a repeat of last season’s final, holders and 14-time champions Real Madrid will face Liverpool in what promises to be a momentous tie.
Big-spending Paris St. Germain, chasing their first ever Champions League crown, paid the price for missing out on top spot in their group by being paired with Bayern Munich.
It will be the third successive time the clubs have met. Bayern beat PSG in the 2020 final while the French champions gained revenge on away goals in the quarter-finals the following season.
Elsewhere, Manchester City, like PSG aiming for a maiden Champions League trophy, were handed one of the less arduous ties against RB Leipzig. Chelsea also have German opposition in Borussia Dortmund while Tottenham Hotspur play Italian giants AC Milan.
Just before the draw was made, Uefa Deputy General Secretary of UEFA, Giorgio Marchetti, took a veiled swipe at the remaining Super League rebels who have taken their case to the European Court of Justice.
Noting there are seven countries who have clubs represented in the last 16 of the Champions League, Marchetti told a live global tv audience: “This confirms how vitally competitive European football is,” adding that the competition’s “doors are open only at a sporting level.”
The last-16 first legs will take place on 14-15 and 21-22 February, with the second legs on 7-8 and 14-15 March.
Full last-16 draw:
RB Leipzig v Manchester City
Club Bruges v Benfica
Liverpool v Real Madrid
AC Milan v Tottenham
Frankfurt v Napoli
Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea
Inter Milan v Porto
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