Spanish giants Barcelona were handed the toughest possible draw Monday when they were paired with Manchester City in the standout tie of the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Holders Bayern Munich were also given a difficult draw as they will face Arsenal for the second year in a row at this stage.
For the English pair, who both finished second in their groups, it was yet again a harsh lesson in the importance of winning the group. Manchester United and Chelsea, both group winners, were drawn against Olympiacos and Galatasaray respectively. The latter tie represents a potential return to Stamford Bridge for Blues legend Didier Drogba, whose last kick for the club was the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final.
Last season Arsenal drew Bayern in the last 16 and seemed to be as good as out when they lost the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates. But they came within a whisker of making the quarter-finals when taking the second leg 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, going out only on away goals.
Arsenal have rarely had much luck in the knockout stage draws in recent years having been paired with AC Milan in 2012 and Barcelona in 2011. In 2010, having beaten Porto in the last 16, they drew Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain will face Bayer Leverkusen while AC Milan were paired with Atletico Madrid. Last year's semi-finalists Real Madrid will play Schalke and completing the draw Borussia Dortmund are up against Zenit St Petersburg.
The first legs will be played over four separate match-days in February with the second legs taking place three weeks later.