Champions League last-16 draw: Manchester United and PSG matched up in bungled first draw

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VOIDED: The draw that could have been! Messi and Ronaldo WERE set for a reunion as Manchester United drew PSG – before UEFA cancelled the draw due to their errors

  • The Champions League last-16 ties will be re-drawn after a technical mistake 
  • Manchester United had been matched with PSG in a blockbuster showdown 
  • The tie would have seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off once again
  • Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City got off lightly with their games, though
  • They were drawn against Lille, Salzburg and Villarreal, but before the re-draw



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 would have played Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16, a fixture which would have seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off, before it was announced that a re-draw will take place.

A number of mistakes during the first draw at 11am this morning forced UEFA to take unprecedented steps, with the whole round of ties to be drawn again at 2pm.

United were pitted against group rivals Villarreal, a tie against the competition’s rules, and they were later omitted from being paired against Atletico Madrid. 

Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo would have faced PSG in the Champions League last-16, but there will now be a re-draw after technical errors marred the first attempt

Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo would have faced PSG in the Champions League last-16, but there will now be a re-draw after technical errors marred the first attempt

However, had the initial draw been allowed to stand – despite the controversy and backlash from clubs – the star-studded, blockbuster tie between the Old Trafford side and PSG would have been the pick of the action.

The other Premier League clubs were handed relatively welcome draws, meanwhile. 

Holders would have taken on Lille, the reigning Ligue 1 champions, while  would have faced Villarreal.  

Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg were ‘s opponents. 

The eight group winners and eight runners-up from the group stage looked as though they had discovered their fate this morning in Nyon, Switzerland, with the next round to be held in February.

United and City were able to put themselves in a strong position after winning their respective groups, meaning that both were seeded for the draw.  

The tie would have seen Lionel Messi (pictured above) face off against Ronaldo once again

The tie would have seen Lionel Messi (pictured above) face off against Ronaldo once again

Ralf Rangnick will hope to guide United to another memorable triumph in the competition

Ralf Rangnick will hope to guide United to another memorable triumph in the competition

And it was the latter who appeared to have got off lightly after drawing Villarreal, who finished second behind United in Group F. 

For the first time in four years, United were in the hat and, intriguingly, they beat Paris Saint-Germain that year under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, then their caretaker boss.

Ralf Rangnick, the current interim manager, would have targeted a similar result against Neymar and Co – although United may end up with a different opponent.

United were also drawn to face PSG at various stages of the Champions League over three of the last four seasons. They were set to play the deciding leg at Old Trafford. 

Intriguingly, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino was keen on taking the United vacancy this season

Intriguingly, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino was keen on taking the United vacancy this season

Ronaldo and Messi faced each other last season, with Juventus beating Barcelona 3-0 in Spain

Ronaldo and Messi faced each other last season, with Juventus beating Barcelona 3-0 in Spain

Ronaldo and Messi faced each other in the competition last season, with the former scoring twice as Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the group stage. 

Messi has won the coveted trophy four times, while Ronaldo will be looking for his sixth this season – although United are unlikely to be among the favourites. 

Atletico Madrid would have met Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga champions, in another eye-catching tie. 

Diego Simeone’s side progressed after beating Porto in their last game. 

Chelsea were drawn against Lille in the next round and would have fancied their chances

Chelsea were drawn against Lille in the next round and would have fancied their chances

Manchester City were drawn to play Villarreal, who had finished behind United in their group

Manchester City were drawn to play Villarreal, who had finished behind United in their group

Elsewhere, Real Madrid were drawn with Benfica, who reached the next round at the expense of fallen giants Barcelona and will hope to also secure a quarter-final spot.

Sporting Lisbon would have faced Juventus, while Inter Milan were drawn to play an in-form Ajax team.

The ties will be played on February 15, 16, 22 and 23, with the return legs on March 8, 9, 15 and 16. 

Away goals have been scrapped for this campaign. 

The bungled draw in full

Benfica v Real Madrid

Villarreal v Manchester City

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich

Salzburg v Liverpool

Inter Milan v Ajax

Sporting Lisbon v Juventus

Chelsea v Lille

PSG v Manchester United

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