Champions League draw: Man United pulled out twice and WRONGLY excluded from facing Atletico Madrid

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Champions League draw FARCE: UEFA are forced to re-do the last-16 picks after errors saw Man United pulled out TWICE – and excluded from Atletico’s possible opponents

  • Manchester United were pulled out twice during the Champions League draw 
  • The Red Devils will face Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16 of the competition 
  • However, they were initially pitted against Villarreal during Monday’s draw
  • As they had faced the Spaniards in the groups, they could not meet in last-16
  • United were also incorrectly omitted from the pot to face Atletico Madrid 
  • UEFA are expected to reconduct the draw at 2pm UK time in Nyon, Switzerland 



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The last-16 draw was redrawn after a ‘technical problem’ saw  pitted against group rivals Villarreal, and omitted from being drawn against . 

Sportsmail understands that UEFA are preparing to re-do the draw at 2pm UK time after United and Atletico sought clarification from the governing body over a number of errors made during the initial draw at 11am on Monday morning.   

The draw for the next round first took place in Nyon, Switzerland where former star Andriy Arshavin was tasked with drawing the remaining 16 teams from the pot.

The Champions League draw descended into chaos after Man United were drawn twice

The Champions League draw descended into chaos after Man United were drawn twice 

Andriy Arshavin drew United out of a pot given to him by UEFA chief Michael Heselschwerdt

Andriy Arshavin drew United out of a pot given to him by UEFA chief Michael Heselschwerdt 

Giorgio Marchetti (L) intervened to say that United could not be drawn against Villarreal

Giorgio Marchetti (L) intervened to say that United could not be drawn against Villarreal

The Red Devils were eventually drawn against French giants Paris Saint-Germain for the last-16 but the English side will now face Atletico and PSG will take on Real Madrid

The Red Devils were eventually drawn against French giants Paris Saint-Germain for the last-16 but the English side will now face Atletico and PSG will take on Real Madrid

However, UEFA chief Giorgio Marchetti was forced to intervene midway through the draw after United were pitted against Villarreal. United qualified for the knockout stage of the competition after finish top of Group F which contained Villarreal, Young Boys and Atalanta.

Teams that have faced each other in the group stage are not permitted to face one another in the last-16, and there was much dismay when Arshavin plucked United out of the pot after Marchetti had picked out Villarreal.

‘No, this is not possible because Manchester United was in the group so we need to draw another one,’ Marchetti said. ‘Manchester United played in the same group as Villarreal so they must be paired with another team.’ 

Arshavin then selected United’s arch rivals Manchester City as the side to take on Unai Emery’s Europa League winners early next year.

United had already played Spanish side Villarreal in the group stage so couldn't meet again

United had already played Spanish side Villarreal in the group stage so couldn’t meet again 

United were also accidentally omitted from the pot to face Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid

United were also accidentally omitted from the pot to face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid

Michael Heselschwerdt, UEFA’s Head of Club Competitions, was tasked with providing the correct balls for Arshavin to draw, as instructed by an ‘external service provider’, and he included United in the pot. 

Seven balls were in the pot, when there should have been five. United were incorrectly included, as were Real Madrid. Teams from the same country are also unable to face each other in the last-16. 

Following this, United were also incorrectly omitted from the pot to face Atletico Madrid – who were drawn against Bayern Munich. Liverpool faced Atletico in the group stage and were also incorrectly included.

UEFA have since revealed that a ‘technical problem’ was the cause for the errors, with an ‘external service provider’ instructing the officials as to which teams are eligible to be drawn, meaning the draw will be restaged.

Now, UEFA have conducted a redraw and United were plucked out to face Atletico Madrid

Now, UEFA have conducted a redraw and United were plucked out to face Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid are understood to be angry about the redraw after being paired with Benfica, with reports suggesting that chiefs have labelled it a 'scandal' (above: Florentino Perez)

Real Madrid are understood to be angry about the redraw after being paired with Benfica, with reports suggesting that chiefs have labelled it a ‘scandal’ (above: Florentino Perez)

‘Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16,’ UEFA said. 

‘As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 1500 CET.’  

Atletico confirmed on Twitter that: ‘We are in talks with UEFA to ask for explanations and a solution after the mistakes made in the Champions League round of 16 draw.’ 

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said that the re-draw was 'fair' as mistakes had been made

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said that the re-draw was ‘fair’ as mistakes had been made

The redraw could have huge implications on other sides who were not affected by the errors. Real Madrid – who were drawn against Benfica – have reportedly requested that the , as the mistakes were made from that point on. 

According to , Los Blancos are describing the redraw as ‘a scandal’. However, the redraw was conducted in full, and Madrid were drawn against French giants Paris Saint-Germain. 

United were excluded from the pot to face Atletico first time around, and the redraw saw the Red Devils pitted against the Spanish champions this time around.

Liverpool will now play against Inter Milan, Man City take on Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea play Lille. 

Meanwhile, City boss Pep Guardiola said that the re-draw was ‘fair’. 

‘I think it’s fair. If there’s a mistake, you have to repeat it, so it’s not suspicious,’ he said.  

HOW THE TWO DRAWS COMPARE 

Botched draw

Benfica v Real Madrid

Villarreal v Man City

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich

Salzburg v Liverpool

Inter Milan v Ajax

Sporting Lisbon v Juventus

Chelsea v Lille

PSG v Man United 

 

Accurate draw

Salzburg v Bayern Munich

Sporting Lisbon v Man City

Benfica v Ajax

Chelsea v Lille

Atletico Madrid v Man United

Villarreal v Juventus

Inter Milan v Liverpool

PSG v Real Madrid 

 

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