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UCL Draw: PSG Face Real Madrid After Redraw Required due to UEFA Errors

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PSG will face Real Madrid in the 2021-22 Champions League round of 16 after the ties had to be redrawn on a chaotic and embarrassing afternoon for UEFA.

The two European heavyweights will clash next year in the pick of the ties, with reigning champions Chelsea facing Lille – who they also were paired with in the original draw.

Manchester United – who were originally against PSG – will face Atletico Madrid, Manchester City are against Sporting CP and Liverpool will take on Inter.

Official Champions League last-16 draw

RB Salzburg vs Bayern Munich

Sporting vs Manchester City

Benfica vs Ajax

Chelsea vs Lille

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United

Villarreal vs Juventus

Inter vs Liverpool

PSG vs Real Madrid

Why were the ties redrawn?

The draw for the last 16 had to be redrawn after a mistake resulted in the original ties being declared null and void.

Manchester United were originally placed with Villarreal, however, this was an error as they were in the same group. They were then wrongly not included in the pot for the subsequent tie.

PSG were then drawn with Man Utd – which would have seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off – however the entire draw was cancelled and redrawn.

Original Champions League last-16 draw
Benfica vs Real Madrid

Villarreal vs Manchester City

Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich

Red Bull Salzburg vs Liverpool

Inter vs Ajax

Sporting vs Juventus

Chelsea vs Lille

PSG vs Manchester United

The bigger picture

When Manchester United were drawn against Paris Saint-Germain, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi looked to be getting the chance to rekindle their old rivalry.

However, instead, Messi will renew rivalries with Real Madrid for the first time since leaving their Clasico foes Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer.

Why couldn’t Liverpool play Villarreal?

There was some initial confusion when it was stated during the redraw that Villarreal could only face Juventus, despite Liverpool still being in the pot of group winners.

This was because Inter had not been drawn yet either, and the three group winners left were Juventus – another Serie A side – and Real Madrid, who they were in the same group with.

Therefore Inter had to be paired with Liverpool from the teams who remained, and so Villarreal could only go with Juve – and Real Madrid were forced into a tie with PSG.

Dates for Champions League last-16 fixtures

The first legs of heavyweight European encounters will take place on February 15/16/22/23 in 2022.

Return dates will be held a few weeks later on March 8/9/15/16.

All of those still involved in the competition are looking to make their way to a final showdown at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on May 28.

It is worth noting that the away goals rule is no longer used in elite European competition, meaning that any ties which finish all square on aggregate will go to extra-time and penalties if required.

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