Champions League last-16 draw: Arsenal to face Barcelona, Chelsea get PSG again
The draw for the Champions League first knockout round is out and current English Premier League leaders Arsenal will face defending champions Barcelona in the last 16
Nyon (Switzerland): Lionel Messi's Barcelona will go up against English Premier League leaders Arsenal in the Champions League Last 16 after they were thrown together in yesterday's draw. French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain were drawn against 2012 winners Chelsea for the third straight season, while Bayern Munich will meet last year's finalists Juventus.
The draw also saw record 10-time winners Real Madrid matched up against Roma, while Manchester City will meet Ukrainians Dynamo Kiev for a place in the quarter-finals.
Messi scored four times in a 4-1 drubbing of Arsenal in a 2010 Champions League quarter final and Barcelona will again start the tie against Arsene Wenger's side as favourites.
But Barcelona director Albert Soler said the title-holders had plenty of respect for the Gunners, who the Spaniards also beat 2-1 in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris. "As always, we have respect for the opponnent. Arsenal are a great team and I am sure we will have difficulties against them," Soler told BeIn Sports Spain.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi saw the French outfit extend their unbeaten start to the domestic season with a crushing 5-1 victory over Lyon on Sunday, but knows a stern test lays ahead — starting with Chelsea — on the club's path to their ultimate goal of European glory. "As I've already said, we must be able to win against any team and go as far as possible in this competition," said Al-Khelaifi.
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm admitted the Bundesliga leaders had stumbled upon a tricky Last 16 opponent in Juve but remained confident of progressing. "It's a European classic. Juve were runners-up last season which represents a major challenge, but we want to reach the quarters and will do everything we can."
Complete draw for the UEFA Champions League last 16 made on Monday:
- Gent (BEL) v VfL Wolfsburg (GER)
- AS Roma (ITA) v Real Madrid (ESP)
- Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) v Chelsea (ENG)
- Arsenal (ENG) v Barcelona (ESP)
- Juventus (ITA) v Bayern Munich (GER)
- PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Atletico Madrid (ESP)
- Benfica (POR) v Zenit St Petersburg (RUS)
- Dynamo Kiev (UKR) v Manchester City (ENG)
(Games between February 16 and March 16)