Football

Tough draws for Man City and Chelsea, relief for Arsenal

Manchester City's tough luck in the Champions League draw continued with a second successive last-16 tie against Spanish giants Barcelona.

The three English teams in the knockout stages learnt their fate at the draw in Nyon, Switzerland, yesterday.

Chelsea were paired with French champions Paris St Germain in the first tie drawn, immediately followed by City against Barca - who knocked them out 4-1 on aggregate at this stage last season.

Arsenal will be happiest after being drawn against Arsene Wenger's former club Monaco, the exact opponents their manager said before the draw that he wanted.

Asked beforehand about the prospect of facing Monaco, whom he managed between 1987 and 1994 and who lie sixth in Ligue 1, Wenger said: "I'm not against it at all. It would be a visit to my first home. Of course, I would love to go there."

Chelsea's opponents PSG lie second in 
Ligue 1 this season, a point behind Marseille after both teams suffered defeats last Sunday, and were runners-up to Barca in Group F with their only defeat coming at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea faced PSG in last season's quarter-finals, winning the tie on away goals.

Man City scraped through a difficult Group E after winning a decisive final game against Roma, while Arsenal were second to Borussia Dortmund in Group D.

Holders Real Madrid face Schalke in the last 16, with city rivals and beaten finalists Atletico drawn against Bayer Leverkusen.

The third Bundesliga side in the draw, Dortmund, take on Juventus in a repeat of the 1996 final, while Basel face Porto.

Group winners will be away in the first legs, to be played on Feb 17 & 18 and 24 & 25, with the second legs on March 10 & 11 and 17 & 18.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was quick to respond to the draw, writing on Twitter: "Monaco! I'm sure our fans will enjoy the away trip... great place, great draw!"

Arsenal's club secretary David Miles added on Sky Sports: "We've picked some of the biggest teams in Europe over the last five years, but we're certainly not taking anything for granted. Monaco have earned the right to be here.

"It's the first time we've played Monaco in a competitive match, so I'm sure Arsene will be delighted at going back to one of his former teams."

The other two ties also bring connections and City's director of football Txiki Begiristain, a former Barca player and director, said: "I will take the time to visit family, friends, I have a lot of friends there at the club."

He labelled the draw itself "unbelievable", adding: "Every tie's the same, we had Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow in the group phase, and now we have to deal again with Barcelona.

"Beating Bayern Munich and then beating Roma away, we are confident and will arrive in a good moment to these games."

LUIZ FACES OLD CLUB

Chelsea secretary David Barnard said: "Obviously, PSG are known to us because we played them in the quarter-finals last year and they've got the added ingredient of David Luiz playing for them.

"Jose said before the draw that he'd have liked to see PSG for our supporters, for the travel and the logistics, and he was right."

Luiz transferred to PSG from Chelsea after the World Cup and PSG sporting director Olivier Letang said: "I think David will enjoy playing again in Stamford Bridge and the most important thing is that PSG win. We hope we will have revenge on Chelsea after last season."

Barcelona's sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre said of the City tie: "It is attractive, it is a good match to see. Manchester City are a very tough team, it will be a very hard match."

Looking to the other ties, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos tweeted a picture of himself and Germany teammates Benedikt Howedes - the Schalke defender - and Mario Goetze with the World Cup trophy.

Underneath, he wrote: "What a draw for the @ChampionsLeague! Looking forward to meet @BeneHoewedes and @s04 with @realmadrid."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummennigge told the club's official website: "Shakhtar Donetsk is a good draw, we are certainly favourites, but we will go with great respect in these two games.

"Shakhtar had very good games in the group stage. This is definitely a new experience for us."

Juventus director Pavel Nedved told uefa.com: "It could have been worse because there was still Bayern and Real when Borussia's name came out.

"It will be a very even tie. There are a few teams who are almost impossible to compete with, so we are happy to have a side against whom we have a chance." - PA Sport.


LAST-16 DRAW

  • Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea
  • Manchester City v Barcelona
  • Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus v 
Borussia Dortmund
  • Schalke v 
Real Madrid
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich
  • Arsenal v Monaco
  • FC Basel v Porto

* First-leg matches will be played on Feb 17 & 18 and 24 & 25, with return-leg games on March 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. The final will be in Berlin on June 6.

EUROPA LEAGUE LAST-32 DRAW

  • Young Boys v Everton
  • Torino v Athletic Bilbao
  • Sevilla v Borusssia Moenchengladbach
  • Wolfsburg v Sporting Lisbon
  • Ajax Amsterdam v Legia Warsaw
  • Aalborg v Club Brugges
  • Anderlecht v Dinamo Moscow
  • Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v Olympiakos
  • Trabzonspor v Napoli
  • Guingamp v Dynamo Kiev
  • Villarreal v Salzburg
  • AS Roma v Feyenoord
  • PSV Eindhoven v Zenit St Petersburg
  • Liverpool v Besiktas
  • Tottenham Hotspur v Fiorentina
  • Celtic v Inter Milan

* The first legs will be played on Feb 19, the second legs on Feb 26.

Champions Leaguemanchester cityarsenalCHELSEA (EPL)