Arsenal club secretary David MilesArsenal and Chelsea have been paired against FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-German in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, while Manchester City will take on Dynamo Kiev for a place in the quarter-finals.
 
The Round of 16 tie between the Arsene Wenger and Louis Enrique’s Barca would be the first time the sides have met since 2011. And drawing the UCL, La Liga and Copa Del Rey champions is the toughest Arsenal could get.

Arsenal club secretary David Miles admitted that Barcelona was the draw that all fans were hoping to avoid. “We were hoping for a good draw, it’s probably the team most fans would want to avoid,” he said.

Arsenal’s city neighbour, Chelsea also faces uphill task against their French opponent. For Jose Mourinho and his struggling team, drawing PSG again was not what they bargained for.

The French Ligue 1 champions knocked the English Premier League champions out of the competition at this stage last season and were the stiffest possible competition Chelsea could have met.

Manchester City topped their group for the first time ever, thanks to a sensational comeback against Borussia Monchengladbach and were paired with Dynamo Kiev during Monday’s draw in Nyon.
City will be pleased to have avoided the dangerous PSG as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time but their fans may be frustrated about the Kiev situation.

The Ukrainian clubs were ordered to play two games behind closed doors last month as punishment for offences that included racial abuse of players by supporters during their group game against Chelsea.

City fans booed the Champions League anthem in protest against UEFA, chiefly because their fans were not allowed to travel to a game at CSKA Moscow last season. That situation was slightly different, however, as some fans had already made visa, travel and accommodation arrangements before the ruling was made.

Bayern Munich were handed a tough-looking draw against Juventus, runners-up last season, while Real Madrid will also face Italian opposition in Roma.

Wolfsburg and PSV Eindhoven, the two sides that qualified at Manchester United’s expense, were paired with Gent and Atletico Madrid respectively.

The other tie in the round sees two-time winners Benfica come up against Zenit St Petersburg.

The first legs of the ties, which were drawn at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, will take place on February 16/17 or 23/23 with the return matches on March 8/9 or 15/16.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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