- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Champions League draw: Barcelona, Manchester City to square off
NYON, Switzerland — Barcelona was drawn Monday to face in-form Manchester City and its strong contingent of Spanish internationals in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Spanish champions will first travel to Etihad Stadium, where Manchester United and Arsenal have already been routed in the Premier League this season.
“I think Barcelona will be very concerned that they have drawn us,” said Man City coach Manuel Pellegrini, who spent the past nine seasons in the Spanish league. “They are not the team of two years ago.”
Chelsea will have an emotional reunion with former striker Didier Drogba when it plays Galatasaray, and defending champion Bayern Munich was paired with Arsenal in the last 16 for the second straight year.
Both Man City and Arsenal ended up with tough draws after finishing second in their Champions League groups.
“No one of the (seeded teams) wanted to find Man City or Arsenal,” said former Barcelona playmaker Luis Figo, who helped conduct the draw. “It’s bad luck for Barcelona and Bayern Munich.”
Also, nine-time winner Real Madrid will face Schalke, Manchester United got a favorable draw against Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund will face Zenit St. Petersburg, AC Milan will play Atletico Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain will meet Bayer Leverkusen.
The first legs will be played Feb. 18-19 and 25-26, with the return matches set for March 11-12 and 18-19.
Man City is the only newcomer to the knockout round Champions League, and wasted an opportunity to be seeded when Pelligrini did not realize that one more goal in its 3-2 win in Munich last week would have won the group ahead of Bayern.
Now, it opens the program against Barcelona at home, where the team is scoring on average more than four goals a game.
“Pelligrini is a very, very good coach,” Barcelona director Amador Bernabeu said. “We know from his coaching in Spain that when we play him we have problems all the time.”
Manchester City’s director of football is Txiki Begiristain, who joined the English club from Barcelona.
“If you want to be champions you need to beat the best ones,” Begiristain said. “We have to score in away games in the Champions League.”
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said last week that Drogba should return to Stamford Bridge. The Ivory Coast forward’s last kick as a Chelsea player was the penalty shootout winner in the 2012 final against Bayern.
The German champions have a re-match with Arsenal, which won 2-0 in Munich last season after Bayern had cruised to a 3-1 win in London.
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again