Manchester United will take on Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, while Paris St-Germain will face Real Madrid, after UEFA on Monday declared the original draw void due to a technical error in the process.
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.
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.
“Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League round of 16,” UEFA said on its website.
“As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 15:00 CET (14:00 GMT).”
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.
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 sign French forward Kylian Mbappe from PSG in the close season but ultimately failed after the Ligue 1 side rejected their bids.
Record 13-time European champions Real are unlikely to be happy with the new draw as they had initially been paired with Benfica in the very first tie before the problems occurred.
A clash with the PSG of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is, on paper, a far tougher tie.
United’s Ronaldo, meanwhile, will relish a tie against Atletico having scored 25 goals against them for Real and Juventus.
Revising the draw
Meanwhile, Liverpool will 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-time champions Bayern Munich will now face RB Salzburg – the first Austrian side to qualify for the knockout stages.
In an unprecedented turn of events, UEFA was forced to redo the Champions League Round of 16 draw after errors surfaced in the original procedure. That forced the European governing body to void the results and order a redraw three hours later.
That first draw came up with eight matchups that included a Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester United matchup that would have seen Lionel Messi facing Cristiano Ronaldo. But that dream matchup was scratched due to errors that UEFA blamed on third-party software.
Teams from the same group and country are not permitted to face one another according to tournament rules, but the software apparently failed to adhere to them.
The first error was seen on live TV when Manchester United came up in the draw as Villarreal’s opponent. Except Man United shouldn’t have been in the pot to begin with since the Red Devils played in the same group with Villarreal. When Man United’s name was drawn, the officials realized the error and quickly pulled up another name: Manchester City.
But that mistake led to another. When it came time to selecting the Atletico Madrid opponent for the Round of 16, Manchester United was not one of the balls in the pot and the Red Devils were mistakenly excluded because they were “already drawn.” But that was originally done in error.
The issues led Atletico Madrid to ask UEFA for an explanation “and a solution after the errors committed in the draw for the Champions League Round of 16.” The announcement of the re-draw came minutes later.
One report claimed that Villarreal were also petitioning to have the draw redone.
The teams contacting UEFA about the draw reportedly also included Real Madrid, which wanted its draw result against Benfica to stand. Los Merengues clearly liked their original draw, and now have to settle for a much tougher matchup against PSG.
“I apologize that we have had to gather again,” said UEFA Deputy General Secretary Giorgio Marchettin before the second draw took place. “There were issues caused by a malfunction that is run through an outside provider.
MORE: Why it was Real Madrid that was royally hosed by re-draw
“After the draw the external independent auditor informed UEFA that they could not guarantee that the problem with the IT system did not exist from the start. And as a result, the full draw needs to be redone. From now on, every suggestion made by the software will be checked in real time by UEFA officials to ensure accuracy. This may mean that the draw takes slightly longer, but I’m sure you will agree that it’s the right thing to do.”
Between the pressure from the clubs and the pressure from the media, the re-draw was the right thing to do, although there will be some teams that won’t be happy by the new opponents they’ve been dealt.
Manchester United’s players had Sunday off after Saturday evening’s 1-0 win over Norwich.
United secured another three points and yet another clean sheet in the league despite an unconvincing display.
The Reds looked poor in the final third and devoid of quality throughout most of the game. but Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down in the second half for a penalty and the forward duly obliged when smashing home into the left corner past Tim Krul.
Rangnick confirmed that ‘everything seemed ok’ with Victor Lindelof after he left the pitch in some discomfort.
Regarding transfers, it was claimed that Amad would leave United on loan in January. The youngster was set to join Feyenoord on loan in August before he sustained an injury and he is said to be ‘excited’ about the prospect of leaving United on a temporary basis.
United’s search for a new permanent manager will gather pace next year and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is being heavily linked with the role.
The Mirror claim Ten Hag is now a leading candidate for the role and that he ‘ticks all the boxes’ for United.
They claim his proven track record with nurturing young talent as well as his ability to make shrewd signings have seen him jump the queue to take the job at the end of the season.
Monday’s Champions League draw has been overshadowed by controversy after Manchester United appeared to be mistakenly excluded for a brief period.
Former Arsenal player Andriy Arshavin and UEFA head of club competitions Michael Heselschwerdt was tasked with picking the balls, and in a rare mistake saw United drawn against Villarreal, with whom they had already faced in the group stage.
As such, the tie was invalid and Arshavin was told to pick a fresh opponent for Villarreal, which happened to be Manchester City.
As the Champions League draw controversy continues there is still the matter of a match tomorrow.
You can pick your United side to face Brentford using the selector below.
Edinson Cavani is keen on leaving United next month, according to a report.
Mundo Deportivo state Cavani remains keen to join Barcelona in the upcoming January transfer window, despite the Catalan club dropping out of the Champions League.
The report claims Cavani dreams of playing for Barcelona even though they are going through recent turmoil.
We will welcome the Ligue 1 side to Stamford Bridge for the first leg on Tuesday, 22 February with the game kicking off at 8pm (UK time).
The return leg in northern France will be played on Wednesday, 16 March. That fixture will also kick-off at 8pm (UK time).
Ticket and hospitality details will be released in due course.
There is set to be a radical squad overhaul at Barcelona in 2022 and the club have now reportedly identified three Chelsea players as transfer targets.
Barca crashed out of the Champions League last week and boss Xavi Hernandez has pledged that the club will return to the level of Europe’s elite in a year from now and while that may sound optimistic, it piles the pressure on club president Joan Laporta to deliver.
The Catalan club’s well-documented financial problems ensure that any investment is likely to be difficult and the club will focus on players who are free agents or who may be tempted by loan deals.
The Blaugrana have already identified seven free agents as transfer targets going into next season, including former Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Xavi be able to lead Barcelona back to the elite level of European football? Let us know in the comments section below
Club president Laporta confirmed on Friday that the club are working to make additions to the squad in January and next summer, in a big hint that they are set for several busy transfer windows.
“The problem is that we have inherited very high contracts that do not give us the sufficient salary margin.
“We are looking for the formula to improve the team this winter.
“We are working to achieve it. And we will achieve it.
“Now I ask that we all row in the same direction right now for the good of the club.”
Catalan-based media outlet Mundo Deportivo have outlined that three Chelsea players are on Barca’s radar for next year.