Manchester United to face Atlético not PSG after Champions League redraw

Manchester United will face Atlético Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League after a redraw prompted by an extraordinary error which had left them due to play Paris Saint-Germain.

In the initial draw United had been wrongly pulled out to face Villarreal and then excluded from the possibility of meeting Atlético. Video evidence also showed that Liverpool had been incorrectly placed in the bowl to face Atlético when the teams were ineligible to meet having been in the same group.

Uefa declared the draw void almost an hour and three-quarters after it had started, blaming “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”.

The redraw passed off without incident and only Chelsea ended up with the same tie, facing Lille in what Thomas Tuchel may privately consider a welcome break after his team finished as runners-up in their group. Liverpool had been due to play Red Bull Salzburg but will take on a more formidable-looking Internazionale, while Manchester City swapped Villarreal for Sporting.

Real Madrid will have cause to feel hard done-by, their initial tie against Benfica being replaced by one against PSG. Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, counts PSG among the clubs at which he has coached.

Bayern Munich will face Salzburg rather than Atlético, Benfica play Ajax (the first draw had delivered Internazionale v Ajax) and Juventus’s opponents will be Villarreal rather than Sporting.

The abiding memory of the draw will be the botched version. United were initially drawn to face Villarreal, whom they met in the group stage and were therefore unable to play in the last 16. Uefa officials corrected the mistake and Andrey Arshavin pulled Manchester City’s name from the bowl. But in the draw for the next tie, against Atlético, Uefa’s deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, incorrectly stated that United had already been drawn and their ball did not appear to be placed in the bowl with those eligible to play Diego Simeone’s team.



#European club football








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