Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

UEFA drawing for Champions League

Given a current Covid-19 outbreak in the Manchester United squad has cast doubt over their clash with Brentford in the Premier League on Tuesday, the last thing the club needed on Monday was more uncertainty.

A gaffe at the UEFA Champions League draw meant that a second running of the process was required. It meant that after initially being pitted against Paris Saint-Germain, United will now face Atletico Madrid in the last-16 instead.

For interim boss Ralf Rangnick, that will be a tricky tie to negotiate, as will the upcoming festive period’s congested calendar and the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Given a current Covid-19 outbreak in the Manchester United squad has cast doubt over their clash with Brentford in the Premier League on Tuesday, the last thing the club needed on Monday was more uncertainty.

A gaffe at the UEFA Champions League draw meant that a second running of the process was required. It meant that after initially being pitted against Paris Saint-Germain, United will now face Atletico Madrid in the last-16 instead.

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For interim boss Ralf Rangnick, that will be a tricky tie to negotiate, as will the upcoming festive period’s congested calendar and the challenges posed by Covid-19.

As a result, the draw was eventually deemed invalid and it was rescheduled for later in the day.

The team who eventually ended up drawn against Paris Saint-Germain second time round was Real Madrid and the 13-time European champions are said to be unhappy about the outcome.

PSG finished second to Manchester City in their group, meaning they were the team to avoid for the group winners in the draw.

It means Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be tasked with taming the stellar strikeforce of transfer target Kylian Mbappe, along with former Barcelona legends Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Los Blancos had initially drawn Benfica in the last-16 and while they are a talented outfit, they are unable to replicate the kind of threat the Parisians pose in attack.

Manchester United found themselves at the centre of a Champions League controversy which saw the last-16 ties re-drawn.

The Red Devils booked their place in the last-16 of the showpiece competition by beating Villarreal to the top spot of Group F.

The draw for the first set of knockout fixtures in Nyon, Switzerland saw Arsenal legend Andrey Arshavin draw United to face Villarreal in the last-16.

But that was a mistake as two sides from the same group are not allowed to face each other.

As a result, another name was drawn out to face Villarreal – namely, Manchester City.

Champions League draw reaction: Liverpool, Man Utd, City and Chelsea learn fate in redraw

However, when Atletico Madrid were drawn out for the next tie, organisers did not place Manchester United in the pot of potential opponents.

Video footage shows that no ball from United’s pot – back row, second from the right – was included, whilst a ball from Liverpool was also mistakenly put into the mix.

Having both been in the same group, Liverpool should not have been able to take on Diego Simeone’s side again.

“For Atletico Madrid, the possibilities are all except Liverpool, who were in the same group and Manchester United,” explained host Giorgio Marchetti.

“Manchester United have already been drawn,” Marchotti added, despite the fact their original draw had been a mistake.

After clubs sought clarification from the European governing body on what had happened, UEFA announced the ties would be redrawn at 2pm on Monday.

“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,” a statement said.

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

The episode initially left Manchester United with a tough tie against star-studded Paris Saint-Germain, but they eventually ended up with a clash against Atletico Madrid when the draw was re-done.

PSG will now take on Real Madrid, who were left furious at the decision to repeat the entire draw after being placed with Benfica the first time around.

Manchester City will now face Sporting Lisbon with Liverpool taking on Inter Milan, whilst Chelsea were handed an identical tie against Lille in both draws.

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