Barcelona to play Arsenal again in Champions League
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 15, 2015 10:13 AM
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the opening goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Coruna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/ Emilio Morenatti)
AP Sports Writer
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — The Champions League draw produced some familiar pairings Monday with defending champion Barcelona facing Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain again taking on Chelsea.
Barcelona eliminated Arsenal in the 2010 quarterfinals and in the round of 16 in 2011, and beat the English club in the 2006 final.
Arsenal will host the five-time champions on Feb. 23 after advancing to the knockout round for the 16th straight season. The Gunners will be hoping to end a five-year losing streak at the round-of-16 stage.
French champion PSG and Chelsea will be meeting for the third consecutive season in the knockout phase. Chelsea won in the quarterfinals in 2014 but PSG advanced from the round of 16 last season.
PSG, which set a competition record conceding only one goal in its group, could be the favorite against Chelsea for the first time.
"This is the third year we play against Chelsea so it has become some kind of a 'clasico' for us," PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. "We will be ready."
Also, five-time champion Bayern Munich will play away first against 2015 runner-up Juventus, while record 10-time champion Real Madrid will face Roma.
Bayern beat the Italian champion Juventus in the quarterfinals when it last won the trophy three seasons ago.
"We might have hoped to be luckier in this draw but I like our team in Europe so far," Juventus vice president Pavel Nedved said.
Still, there was one fresh look in the eight pairings as the two newcomers to the knockout rounds were drawn together: Gent will host Wolfsburg first in Belgium.
"It appears doable, without taking the rival lightly," Wolfsburg managing director Klaus Allofs said.
Also, it was: PSV Eindhoven vs. Atletico Madrid; Dynamo Kiev vs. Manchester City; and Benfica vs. Zenit St. Petersburg.
City's first leg in Kiev will be played in an empty stadium because Dynamo has been sanctioned by UEFA for racist incidents involving fans.
The first legs will be played on Feb. 16-17 and 23-24, with the second legs scheduled for March 8-9 and 15-16.