Paris Saint-Germain will play Real Madrid while Liverpool take on Inter Milan in two of the standout ties in the last 16 of the Champions League, after an embarrassed Uefa was forced to redo Monday’s (Dec 13) draw following a “technical problem”.
PSG had initially been paired together with Manchester United but the reworked draw sees them play Real while the Old Trafford side will face Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
The other redrawn clashes are Bayern Munich v RB Salzburg, Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon, Ajax Amsterdam v Benfica and Juventus v Villarreal.
One match was unchanged though – Chelsea v Lille.
The Blues appeared to benefit from the original, flawed process when they were paired with the French champions, probably their weakest potential opponent, after qualifying for the last 16 in second place in their group.
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.
The original draw three hours earlier was declared void due to a technical error and had to be “entirely redone” after an embarrassing glitch left clubs angry.
The problem was made evident when United’s name was drawn to face Villarreal, despite the fact the two clubs could not have played one another having been in the same group.
City were drawn to play the Spanish side, but the ball containing United’s name did not then appear to be replaced correctly and so they were not included as possible opponents for Atletico in the next tie.
United, meanwhile, were eventually drawn to play PSG, meaning the mouthwatering prospect of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo going up against each other again.
However, with the whole draw compromised, a red-faced Uefa was left with little choice but to start again from scratch.
The mess-up comes at a bad time for the European game’s governing body, at the end of a year in which relations with some of the continent’s biggest clubs were soured by the botched attempt at a breakaway 12-team Super League.
Champions League re-draw in full
RB Salzburg v Bayern Munich
Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City
Benfica v Ajax
Chelsea v Lille
Atletico Madrid v Manchester United
Villarreal v Juventus
Inter Milan v Liverpool
PSG v Real Madrid