Liverpool face Atletico in Champions League last 16 clash


Nyon (Switzerland) (AFP) – Holders Liverpool will return to the scene of last season’s Champions League triumph after they were drawn against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will travel to the Wanda Metropolitano, where Liverpool lifted the trophy in June, for the first leg of their tie against three-time runners-up Atletico.

“The task is going to be difficult because we have an opponent that are the reigning champions,” said Atletico director Clemente Villaverde.

“They are the champions, they have all the assets to be called the best team in Europe. We will have to use all our hard work and our experience. We know they are not going to make it easy.”

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who are trying to win a first Champions League crown, will meet record 13-time European champions Real Madrid for a place in the quarter-finals.

Chelsea face German giants Bayern Munich, while Paris Saint-Germain, who impressed in the group stage and will be trying to avoid a fourth successive last-16 exit, will take on Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona will play Napoli for the first time as the Catalan giants, five-time European champions, attempt to move on from last season’s painful semi-loss to Liverpool.

Italian champions Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo will fancy their chances of overcoming French side Lyon, who lost captain Memphis Depay to a season-ending injury Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur, beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in last season’s final in Spain, will lock horns with Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, who are through to the knockout stage for the first time. Spurs can count on the experience of new coach Jose Mourinho — a two-time winner of the competition, with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

Champions League debutants Atalanta continue their adventure against two-time former finalists Valencia, who knocked out Ajax in midweek to finish top of their group.

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