Champions League draw: Man Utd face PSG in last 16, Liverpool play Salzburg

Confusion over last-16 draw after Manchester United were not put into the pot of group winners after runners-up Atletico Madrid were drawn, while Liverpool were also mistakenly put into the pot to potentially face Atletico despite playing them in the group stages

Cristiano Ronaldo played a pivotal role as Manchester United topped their Champions League group
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo played a pivotal role as Manchester United topped their Champions League group

Manchester United have been drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, although there is confusion over whether the draw will stand.

Sky Sports News has asked UEFA to clarify what happened with the Atletico Madrid draw and why Manchester United were not - and Liverpool were - put into the pot as an option for them to be drawn against.

United were also originally drawn out of the hat incorrectly to face Villarreal. The pair met in the group stages so should have been kept apart.

What happened in last-16 draw?

  • Group B runners-up Atletico Madrid are drawn
  • All group winners Atletico could face are placed into a separate pot
  • Man Utd’s ball appears to have not been placed into the pot, but Liverpool’s ball was included
  • Man Utd did not face Atletico in the group stages
  • Liverpool finished ahead of Atletico in Group B

Providing the draw stands, United will take on Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool play Salzburg, Chelsea face Ligue 1 champions Lille, while Manchester City are set to play reigning Europa League winners Villarreal.

United taking on PSG would see Mauricio Pochettino head to Old Trafford for the return leg in March. The PSG boss was identified as United's No 1 managerial target this summer after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and before Ralf Rangnick took charge on an interim basis.

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European football expert Andy Brassell says that Manchester United's draw against Pochettino's PSG is not as daunting as first feared

The meeting would also pit Cristiano Ronaldo against Lionel Messi at the last-16 stage, their first potential showdown since Barcelona played Juventus in the group stages last year.

Ronaldo was pivotal to United topping Group F, scoring six times including two late winners, while PSG finished runners-up behind City in Group A.

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United last played PSG in the 2020-21 group stages, winning 2-1 in Paris before losing 3-1 at Old Trafford.

The two sides also met in the round of 16 back in 2019, which was arguably the highlight of Solskjaer's spell as an injury-time Marcus Rashford penalty helped United advance 3-3 on aggregate.

Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games
Image: Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games

Meanwhile, Liverpool's reward for becoming the first English side to win all six Champions League group games is set to be a tie with Austrian outfit Salzburg, who finished second behind Lille in Group G.

Liverpool played Salzburg in the 2019-20 group stages, winning a 4-3 thriller at Anfield before 1 2-0 victory in Austria.

Defending champions Chelsea also faced their expected last-16 opponents in the groups two years ago, winning both matches against Lille 2-1.

Chelsea had to settle for second spot in Group H after drawing 3-3 with Zenit in their last group fixture
Image: Chelsea had to settle for second spot in Group H after drawing 3-3 with Zenit in their last group fixture

A mistake initially saw United drawn to play Villarreal, but after that was corrected given both teams played one another in the groups, it was City's name picked to face Villarreal.

City, last season's losing finalists, have only played Villarreal twice - in the 2011-12 group stages, which they won 2-1 at home and 3-0 away.

Manchester City celebrate after Gabriel Jesus' winner against PSG
Image: Manchester City went through to the last-16 as group winners ahead of PSG

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

A 180-minute job interview for Pochettino?

Mauricio Pochettino's PSG were left scrambling by Man City's attacking play
Image: Mauricio Pochettino's PSG faced Man City in the group stages

European football expert Andy Brassell on Sky Sports News:

"It would be a hard interview. He can't be expected to turn up and turn the company around in 10 minutes - it's just too much.

"I don't think the conditions are there for Pochettino to make the level of success he wants to make and to impose himself on the job at PSG.

"There is an understanding there now of that. I'd be staggered if they won the Champions League."

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.

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

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