Monday, December 15, 2014 1:55 pm
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were drawn on Monday against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City tackle Barcelona in two blockbuster Champions League last 16 ties.
Chelsea’s ‘reward’ for sailing into the knockout stages unbeaten was a testing match-up against the Qatari-backed French champions who they beat on away goals in last season’s quarter-finals.
Chelsea secretary David Barnard told Sky Sports News: “PSG are known to us as we played them in the quarters last year and they’ve got David Luiz playing for them too.
“It’s a good draw logistically too for our supporters.
“Both sides have very different squads from last year, so if it was PSG or anyone else, it would’ve been the same situation.”
Like PSG, English champions City will be out for revenge after being brushed aside 4-1 on aggregate by Barca at this stage in the last Champions League campaign.
City’s director of football, former Barcelona player Txiki Begiristain, said: “We have plenty of confidence with the way we qualified beating Bayern Munich at home and Roma away, so the players will be working hard to get fit and arrive in confidence for those games.
“We have improved our squad from last season and we have some real quality up front.”
Barcelona representative Andoni Zubizarreta said: “It is the same draw we had a year ago, it was a very difficult game and we are going to look forward to it.
“Manchester City have an outstanding squad with a very good coach, a very good team and are very competitive.”
The last 16 draw staged at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, gave holders Real Madrid a palatable pairing against German side Schalke 04, coached by Roberto Di Matteo, who was in charge of Chelsea when they were crowned kings of Europe.
Real met Schalke in last season’s last 16, easing through 9-2 on aggregate, en route to their tenth title.
“The balls come out as they come out, of course, we are the outsiders, but there is always the old football saying; “form beats class”,” said Schalke board member Peter Peters optimistically
Last year’s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid come up against Bayer Leverkusen.
Arsenal, finalists in 2006, face their coach Arsene Wenger’s old club Monaco, Italian champions Juventus will have to overcome Borussia Dortmund, and German giants Bayern Munich, who beat Borussia in the 2013 final, play Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Our goal is to reach the next round, but in Adriano, they (Shakhtar) have the best goal scorer in the group stages.
“You can’t underestimate this team in any case,” said Bayern’s marketing director Andreas Jung.
Arsenal are appearing in the knockout stages for the 17th successive season, and club secretary David Miles reflected on their favourable draw.
“As the draw came out, it was evident a lot of the big teams had gone, so we’re pleased to have avoided them.
“We’re certainly not taking anything for granted though against Monaco. It’s the first time we’ve played them in a competitive match, so Arsene Wenger will be delighted to go back to one of his former clubs.”
Swiss outfit Basel’s reward for knocking out Liverpool at the group stage was a match-up with two-time winners Porto.
The last 16 first leg games are scheduled for 17/18 and 24/25 February, with the second legs on 10/11 and 17/18 March.
The final for Europe’s elite club competition will take place in Berlin’s Olympic stadium on June 6.