The Stage Is Set For The Champions League Last-16!

The draw for the Champions League last-16 is out, and it promises plenty of excitement as Europe’s premier club competition enters the knockout stage. 

Arguably the most eagerly-anticipated tie of the round will see 13-time winners Real Madrid taking on French giants PSG. 

the stage is set for the champions league last-16!Photo via Reuters

This one match alone delivers so many talking points. It will see Lionel Messi going up against familiar rivals…Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria will face their former club…while Kylian Mbappe will take on his potential future employers.  

Elsewhere, the last-16 draw has thrown up a few more plum encounters.  

Liverpool will take on Inter Milan in a clash of former champions. 

Man United will play three-time finalists Atletico Madrid. 

Holders Chelsea were given a relatively easier draw against Lille. 

Likewise Man City, who will face Sporting Lisbon. 

the stage is set for the champions league last-16!

The rest of the last-16 draw has pitted Bayern Munich against RB Salzburg…Benfica will take on Ajax…while Villarreal are up against Juventus. 

Meanwhile, the draw ceremony itself provided plenty of drama.  

UEFA were left red-faced after their initial draw had to be repeated, when a technical error meant that the match-ups were rendered invalid. 

After queries from the teams and media, the governing body decided to begin the draw from scratch again in the interest of fairness. 

With all that sorted out… the first legs will be played on February 15, 16, 22 and 23…while the return fixtures will take place on March 8, 9, 15 and 16. 

the stage is set for the champions league last-16!

This season’s knockout round will also see a major (and welcome) change – the end of the away goals rule.  

This means that if the tie is level on aggregate after both legs…it goes to extra-time and penalties, if necessary.  

And, as always, be sure to catch all your favourite teams in action in the Champions League last-16 LIVE on Astro. 

By: Nicholas Darren John