Champions League Draw 2021-22: Round-of-16 Schedule Confirmed After Voided Fixtures

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2021

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 11, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Alex Pantling/Getty Images

After some controversy during the first attempt at making the UEFA Champions League last-16 draw, the fixtures are now set.

Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain highlights the games, which will feature two-legged ties for spots in the quarterfinals. The knockout phase will begin February 15.

Here is the full set of matches:

  • Manchester City vs. Sporting CP
  • Liverpool vs. Internazionale
  • Ajax vs. Benfica
  • Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain
  • Bayern Munich vs. FC Salzburg
  • Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid
  • Lille vs. Chelsea
  • Juventus vs. Villarreal

There was plenty of confusion Monday, with the initial draw voided because of irregularities:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 15:00 CET.

The mistake came when Manchester United was incorrectly used in and then excluded from the draw:

Virgin Media Sport @VMSportIE

Controversy in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLdraw?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCLdraw</a>!<br><br>▪️ Man United were wrongly included in the second draw to face Villarreal (their group opponents). <br><br>▪️ In the next draw, Man United were incorrectly excluded in the teams to face Atlético (who got Bayern)<br><br>▪️ United eventually drew PSG.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> <a href="https://t.co/cicEXK6I8T">pic.twitter.com/cicEXK6I8T</a>

In this round, clubs are not eligible to compete against opponents from their own league or teams they faced during the group stage. 

Manchester United finished first in Group F, while Villarreal earned second place. Though UEFA correctly redrew when Manchester United came up as an opponent, the team wasn't added to the pot for the next draw.

That saw Atletico Madrid end up with a tough matchup against Bayern Munich, while United was drawn against Paris Saint-Germain to set up a battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Coincidentally, the second draw set up a tie between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. Though this should be an exciting battle, both clubs are arguably better off with this matchup. It also pits Ronaldo against an opponent he faced many times in La Liga.

Salzburg is the unlucky team that will match up with Bayern, which is a favorite in the competition after winning all six group-stage matches while outscoring opponents 22-3.

Liverpool and Ajax will also try to stay undefeated in Champions League with respective battles against Inter and Benfica.

Holder Chelsea will face Lille, which is the same opponent drawn against the first time around. Manchester City is another top contender after surviving a tough Group A. Last year's finalist will start its knockout-stage run against Sporting CP.

In arguably the biggest match of the round, Real Madrid will face PSG in a contest between two semifinalists from last season.

Barcelona legend Messi gets another battle against his longtime rival, this time alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar as part of one of the top attacks in the world. It will be a difficult tie for Real, which is cruising at the top of La Liga.