A re-draw for the Champions League last 16 has pitted Manchester United against Atletico Madrid after Ralf Rangnick’s side had initially been drawn to face Paris Saint-Germain.
A surprise turn of events saw the initial last-16 draw declared void after what UEFA called a “technical error” involving Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United.
The re-draw took place three hours later, and Liverpool now face Serie A champions Inter Milan, Chelsea drew Ligue 1 winners Lille – having done so in the first draw as well – while Manchester City will take on Sporting Lisbon.
United looked to have been offered the biggest reprieve after drawing PSG in the initial draw, but a meeting with Atletico in European competition since 1991 will still provide a stern test.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid will perhaps feel the most aggrieved by the error – they were drawn against Benfica in the morning but will now face PSG instead.
Elsewhere, Liverpool’s reward for becoming the first English side to win all six Champions League group games is a tie with Inter, who won Serie A last season and currently top the table after 17 games.
It was a case of deja vu for defending champions Chelsea, who were drawn against Lille in both the original and rescheduled draw.
City, last season’s losing finalists, face Sporting for the first time since the two sides met in the Europa League nine years ago.
Champions League last-16 draw
Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
Benfica vs Ajax
Chelsea vs Lille
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
Villarreal vs Juventus
Inter Milan vs Liverpool
Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid
When are the last-16 ties?
The last-16 ties will be split across different weeks, with the first legs taking place on February 15-16 and February 22-23.
The second legs are then on March 8-9 and March 15-16.
How UEFA’s Man Utd gaffe prompted re-draw
The Champions League draw was conducted in Nyon by UEFA deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, and UEFA head of club competitions, Michael Heselschwerdt, with the help of special guest Andrey Arshavin.
Eight balls representing eight runners-up were in one bowl, while eight group winners were in individual pots.
Every winner was to be drawn against a runner-up from a different group and football association.
Heselschwerdt confirmed that the draw process would see one runner-up drawn from the runners-up pot. A computer would then indicate which winners could be drawn against them. Balls containing the names of eligible opponents would be placed together into another bowl, from which one eligible group winner would be drawn and paired with the runner-up.
What was the original Champions League last-16 draw?
- Benfica vs Real Madrid
- Villarreal vs Manchester City
- Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
- Salzburg vs Liverpool
- Inter Milan vs Ajax
- Sporting Lisbon vs Juventus
- Chelsea vs Lille
- Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United
How the draw farce unfolded…
Draw starts: Benfica are the first team drawn from the runners-up pot – and subsequently paired with Real Madrid.
Villarreal error: Villarreal are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti said: “Villarreal can be paired against all the other seven teams”. Arshavin draws Man Utd from the pot of eligible opponents, prompting Marchetti to correct his earlier assertion and say: “This is not possible because Man Utd were in the group so we need to do another one.”
Apology: Arshavin instead draws Manchester City but Marchetti apologises for “the technical issue that our draw is experiencing” as a delay occurs in City’s name appearing on screen as Villarreal’s opponents.
Man Utd missing: Atletico are drawn from the runners-up pot as Marchetti says: “The possibilities are all except Liverpool, who were in the same group, and Manchester United; Manchester United have already been drawn.” Manchester United have not already been drawn but Heselschwerdt appears to pick Liverpool and miss picking Man Utd when placing balls representing Atletico’s eligible opponents into the bowl. Arshavin draws Bayern to face Atletico.
Draw concludes: The rest of the draw is concluded, with Liverpool drawn against Salzburg and Man Utd eventually drawn against PSG.
Re-draw? The draw concludes but reports emerge of clubs immediately questioning the draw. Sky Sports News contacts UEFA about the possibility of a re-draw.
Draw void! UEFA admits 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” caused a “material error” and declares the draw void, to be re-done later on Monday afternoon.
As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET.
— UEFA (@UEFA) December 13, 2021
What are the key dates?
Last 16 first legs: February 15/16/22/23
Last 16 second legs: March 8/9/15/16
Quarter-final & semi-final draw: March 18
Quarter-final first legs: April 5/6
Quarter-final second legs: April 12/13
Semi-final first legs: April 26/27
Semi-final second legs: May 3/4
Final: May 28 – Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg