Anybody who believed there was something apart from incompetence at work within the voided UEFA Champions League draw needed to wait till the very finish of the do-over to be assured the primary one merely had been botched.
As a result of the final match revealed for the upcoming Champions League spherical of 16 was Actual Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain.
Does anybody actually suppose UEFA would wish to stick it to the staff that has received this competitors extra occasions than another?
It’ll be nice tv to see Actual Madrid in one other assembly with seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, their fierce rival from his 17 seasons at FC Barcelona.
MORE: Full outcomes of the Champions League Spherical of 16 draw
However Actual Madrid obtained actually, royally hosed on this course of, which was necessitated by an error involving Manchester United within the preliminary draw that UEFA blamed on a software program glitch.
The attracts have been performed by selecting groups from the runners-up pool first, then checking a pc program that indicated which of the group champions they have been eligible to play. Groups couldn’t face opponents from their similar nation or the teams wherein they competed. Errors have been made with each Manchester United and Liverpool being positioned in draw pots for which they weren’t eligible.
MORE: Explaining the errors that led to Champions League draw debacle
After UEFA introduced the preliminary draw could be scrapped, in line with soccer journalist Arancha Rodriguez, Actual Madrid lobbied UEFA to renew the draw on the level when the primary error was made and go away intact these matchups that already had been positioned on the board.
A kind of: Actual Madrid vs. Benfica.
UEFA didn’t comply with this request as a result of it couldn’t be assured that the glitch did not have an effect on the opposite elements of the draw.
So as an alternative of Actual Madrid attending to play Benfica, which presently stands third in Portugal’s Primeira Liga and earned eight factors in Group E to complete a distant second behind Bayern Munich, Actual will oppose PSG, which is operating away with the Ligue 1 title in France and misplaced group A by a single level to England energy Manchester Metropolis.
Benfica received solely two of its previous 5 Champions League video games and completed a minus-2 in purpose differential in its group. In two video games in opposition to Bayern, Benfica fell by a composite rating of 9-2.
Paris Saint-Germain cut up a pair of conferences with Man Metropolis in its group stage. PSG options world superstars Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and reigning goalkeeper of the yr Gianluigi Donnarumma. Additionally in its squad is ex-Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who beforehand vowed he’d by no means be a part of a staff that might compete with Madrid.
MORE: The veteran who has led Actual Madrid to a double-digit win streak
After successful the trophy in 2016, 2017 and 2018, Actual Madrid has solely gotten past the Spherical of 16 as soon as prior to now three tournaments, when Los Merengues misplaced final yr to eventual champion Chelsea within the semifinals.
In 2020, it was one other robust draw — in opposition to Man Metropolis — that knocked out the Spanish giants.
PSG additionally may really feel considerably aggrieved by the re-draw, though it did place itself on this circumstance by failing to win its group.
That is how the re-draw labored out for the eight group champions:
|Group Winner||Unique draw opponent||Remaining draw opponent||More durable / Simpler?|
|Manchester Metropolis||Villarreal||Sporting Lisbon||More durable|
|Liverpool||RB Salzburg||Inter Milan||More durable|
|Actual Madrid||Benfica||Paris Saint-Germain||More durable|
|Bayern Munich||Atletico Madrid||RB Salzburg||Simpler|
|Manchester United||Paris Saint-Germain||Atletico Madrid||Simpler|