Arsenal get Barcelona. Of course they do

Date published: Monday 14th December 2015 12:26

Arsenal have been rewarded for their Champions League group stage recovery by drawing Barcelona in the last 16. Obviously.

The Gunners won both their last games in order to finish as runners-up in their group after a disastrous start to the campaign, and must now face Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in the knockout rounds.

Arsenal have faced the reigning champions seven times, winning just once, at the Emirates Stadium in 2011. Barca have won four of their meetings, including the most recent four years ago. Barcelona v Arsenal is also a repeat of the 2006 final, which the Spanish champions won 2-1.

The other English sides face a mixed draw, with Chelsea facing PSG for the third consecutive year. The Blues knocked out Laurent Blanc’s side on their way to the semi-final in 2014, but the three-time French champions beat Jose Mourinho’s men on away goals in the round-of-16 last year.

Manchester City have reaped the benefits from finishing top of their group however, drawing Dynamo Kiev in a tie in which the away leg must be played behind closed doors due to the Ukrainian side’s stadium ban.

Dynamo Kiev beat City in the 2010-11 Europa League last 16, with Mario Balotelli sent off for the English side.

Bayern Munich were handed a tough-looking draw against Juventus, runners-up last season, while Real Madrid will also face Italian opposition in Roma.

Wolfsburg and PSV Eindhoven, the two sides that qualified at Manchester United’s expense, were paired with Gent and Atletico Madrid respectively.

The other tie in the round sees two-time winners Benfica come up against Zenit St Petersburg.

The winners of each group, including Chelsea and City, are at home in the second legs, while Arsenal will host their first leg.

The first legs of the ties, which were drawn at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, will take place on February 16/17 or 23/23 with the return matches on March 8/9 or 15/16.

Champions League last 16 draw in full:

Gent v Wolfsburg
Roma v Real Madrid
PSG v Chelsea
Arsenal v Barcelona
Juventus v Bayern Munich
PSV v Atletico Madrid
Benfica v Zenit
Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City

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