Champions League Draw: Arsenal Faces Barcelona


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Lionel Messi will lead Barcelona against Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16.

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Jonas Guettler/European Pressphoto Agency

Arsenal, which has qualified for 16 straight Champions League knockout rounds, but has made only one final and never won, has a difficult road again after drawing Barcelona in the round of 16 on Monday.

Arsenal needed a 3-0 victory at Olympiakos last week to keep its streak alive, and now must play the defending champions and favorites. Arsenal has lost in the round of 16 for five straight years.

Manchester City got an easier draw against Dynamo Kiev. No eastern European team has made a Champions League final since 1991. The first leg will be played in Kiev in front of an empty stadium because of racist incidents by fans there.

Manchester City, which was eliminated by Barcelona in last season’s round of 16, seemed to express official relief that an English rival would face that team this year:

The third English team still alive in the competition, Chelsea, drew the runaway French leaders, Paris St. Germain, for the third straight year in the knockout rounds.

Barcelona’s rival, Real Madrid, who are surprisingly 5 points behind in third place in the Spanish League, will play Roma. Atlético Madrid, in second place in Spain, plays P.S.V.

Bayern Munich, winners in 2013, will play Juventus, last season’s runner-up, in a marquee matchup.

In other games, Zenit Saint Petersburg plays Benfica, and Gent, the Belgian champion, plays Wolfsburg. Gent is making its Champions League debut and is rated the longest shot to win the tournament , at 500-1.

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The first legs will be played on Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24, and the second legs on March 8, 9, 15 and 16.

Among the notable matchups in the round of 32 in the Europa League, also drawn Monday, are two-time defending champion Sevilla vs. Molde of Norway; favorites Borussia Dortmund vs. Porto; Fiorentina vs. Spurs, and Augsburg vs. Liverpool. Midtjylland, last season’s unlikely Danish champion, will face Manchester United, which fell into the Europa League after a third-place finish in its Champions League group.



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