December 17, 2018
Spurs set for Dortmund test in last 16 of competition
Manchester City land Schalke; Atlético meet Juventus
Champions League: PSG await for Mourinho and Liverpool face Bayern
Manchester United face a monumental task to progress in the Champions League after being drawn to play Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, while Liverpool face a tough tie against Bayern Munich, with Tottenham and Manchester City also paired with German opposition.
United’s defeat in Valencia last week meant they missed the opportunity to finish ahead of Juventus in their group after the Italian champions were surprisingly beaten by Young Boys in the final match of the group stages. That ensured José Mourinho’s side entered Monday’s draw as one of the eight runners-up and means they must now face a resurgent PSG side which beat Liverpool to top spot in Group C.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel has confidence in his Ligue 1 leaders, but warned against complacency. “We have the quality to win at Old Trafford. I’m confident for my team, but it’s a great test, a challenge,” he said. “The round of 16 is always tough. Manchester United have a lot of experience in this competition, which they’ve won several times. I’m neither satisfied nor unsatisfied by the draw.”
Liverpool were the last to be drawn, with Jürgen Klopp handed an opportunity to avenge his defeat to Bayern in the 2013 final as manager of Borussia Dortmund, with an intriguing showdown with fellow five-time winners Bayern. They are currently third in the Bundesliga, nine points behind Lucien Favre’s Dortmund, who finished ahead of Atlético Madrid in their group and will also provide stiff opposition to reach the last eight.
The Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic believes the Germans face a “tough nut to crack” in tackling Liverpool. “Liverpool are the hottest team right now and top of the Premier League table,” he said. “They play good football, very physical and with a high tempo. We’re looking forward to playing there. These are the challenges you have to master in your career.”
Competition favourites City were handed what appears, on paper at least, to be the most straightforward task against Schalke, who have struggled in the league this season under 33-year-old coach Domenico Tedesco. “This competition is getting hard,” said City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain. “There are big draws and big games coming. Teams that are struggling in their league have done very well in the Champions League. German clubs are always very dangerous.”
Atlético will face Juventus in potentially the pick of the other ties, while second favourites Barcelona were paired with Lyon, Roma face Porto and holders Real Madrid were paired with Ajax.
Uefa later confirmed the dates of the last-16 ties, which will see United host PSG on 12 February, with the second leg in France on 6 March. Spurs host Dortmund on 13 February and will play in Germany on 5 March. Liverpool’s first leg against Bayern will be at Anfield on 19 February, with the return fixture in the final set of games on 13 March. City head to Schalke on 20 February and are at home on 12 March.
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