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Holders Liverpool and hopefuls City given Madrid assignments in Champions League

The Reds face Atletico and City have been paired with Real Madrid in the last 16.

Liverpool won the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid (Peter Byrne/PA)
Liverpool won the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid (Peter Byrne/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Liverpool have been drawn to play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16, while Manchester City face a daunting tie against Real Madrid.

Holders Liverpool, who won qualifying Group E ahead of Napoli, will have home advantage in the second leg against Diego Simeone’s Atletico, LaLiga runners-up last season.

For Liverpool the tie represents a return to the Estadio Metropolitano, the scene of their June final win over Tottenham.

“Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that’s great, but this time we play Atletico there and it’s their home ground,” manager Jurgen Klopp told his club’s official website.

“I think we had the home dressing room in that game. Maybe we can ask them: can we have that dressing room again! It was really nice. It was full with Liverpool signs, but I think they’ve got rid of them.

“It is fantastic. What can I say? I had one of the best nights of my life in this stadium, but this time – first and foremost – we have to go there to work and try our best.”

City have a tough task in their quest for Champions League glory under Pep Guardiola after being drawn to take on 13-time winners Real, but they too will have home advantage in the return leg.

Tottenham will play current Bundesliga leaders Leipzig and Chelsea face another German opponent in Bayern Munich, who won all six of their qualifying games in Group B.

Both Tottenham and Chelsea will travel to Germany for their respective second legs having finished runners-up in their qualifying groups.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain put on a brave face after learning his club’s last-16 opponents.

“It’s always a pleasure to play against Real Madrid, and also to play in a big stadium like the Santiago Bernabeu,” he said.

“We’re happy to go there, of course, and we know what we are going to face, we know them very well.

“Also, of course, they know us and what we’re doing and our manager and our team. Everybody knows each other, but it’s a real pleasure to go there.”

Chelsea’s meeting with Bayern will be a rerun of the 2012 Champions League final, which the Blues won on penalties in Munich.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was the club’s captain on that occasion, which he described as “the defining night in my career”.

But, on the upcoming games, he said on Chelsea Twitter’s account: “It will be very different and very taxing.”

Former Tottenham defender Ledley King feels boss Jose Mourinho’s Champions League pedigree will be a big factor against Leipzig.

“The manager has won the Champions League and his experience will rub off on the players,” he told BT Sport.

“They (Leipzig) are a good side, play with a lot of pace and intensity,”

“It will be a good game. Going to Germany is tough. It is one we won’t be taking lightly. It will be a tough task, but I am quietly confident we can get through.”

Other ties will see five-time winners Barcelona, Group F winners, play Napoli, who are currently eighth in Serie A, and Italian champions Juventus take on French side Lyon.

Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain play two-time finalists Borussia Dortmund and Atalanta, playing in Europe’s elite competition for the first time, have been drawn against Valencia.

The first legs will be played on February 18-19 and February 25-26, with the second legs on March 10-11 and March 17-18.

The final will take place on May 30 next year at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, where Liverpool lifted the trophy in 2005 after fighting back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties.

PA

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