Chelsea appear to have been delivered the trickiest task as they were drawn against Barcelona – and will play at the Nou Camp in the second leg – for the first time since they triumphed in the semi-finals on their way to winning the Champions League in 2012.
In what looks like a favourable draw for premiership clubs, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool were all paired to highly favourable draws in the last-16 of the Champions League, leaving Chelsea to Barcelona, while Tottenham Hotspur goes up against Juventus with less cause for celebration at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Barcelona will not relish facing Chelsea, either, although the English club will be kicking themselves. Had they won their group they would be facing Shakhtar Donestk, who have been drawn with Roma.
For Spurs the reward for winning their group is a first meeting in European competition with last season’s finalists, Juventus, who are currently only third in Serie A but have a rich pedigree of success in this competition. Spurs, as a group winner, will play their second leg at home, at Wembley.
The draw was far more kind to United – who were paired with Sevilla, who finished second in Liverpool’s group, and who they have never faced before. Liverpool were drawn against Porto, while City will be pleased that they will face Basel, with the Swiss runners-up to United in their group.
The showpiece draw of the round is undoubtedly the holders Real Madrid, who were drawn up against Paris Saint-Germain; this is a must watch encounter given the current scale, ambition and drive of PSG squad. Not least with Kylian Mbappe having chosen PSG ahead of Real last summer.
There’s bound to be nervousness at PSG in the beginning given the fact that their coach, Unai Emery, has never won at the Santiago Bernabeu. Even so, football is currently filled with so many unpredictable outcomes.