Football: All-Spanish tie as Barca play Atletico, moneybags City face PSG

Former Italian footballer Gianluca Zambrotta showing a piece of paper bearing the name of FC Barcelona during the quarter-final draw for the UEFA Champions League on March 18.
Former Italian footballer Gianluca Zambrotta showing a piece of paper bearing the name of FC Barcelona during the quarter-final draw for the UEFA Champions League on March 18. PHOTO: AFP

NYON (Switzerland) • Holders Barcelona and their feared attacking trident drew fellow Spanish side and 2014 finalists Atletico Madrid in European football's Champions League last eight yesterday.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona's feared attacking trio, will seek revenge for their 2-1 aggregate quarter-finals exit at the hands of Diego Simeone's formidable charges two seasons ago.

"With Atletico Madrid everything is complicated," said Barcelona representative Javier Bordas, who was in Nyon for the draw. "They are water-tight at the back and can hurt you in attack. I don't believe there was a tougher side we could have drawn."

In another tantalising pair-up, new money outfits Manchester City, who have entered the quarter-finals for the first time, and Paris Saint-Germain face off .

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: "We have enormous respect for Manchester City, But I believe our players will produce another big European performance... and offer our supporters a first semi-final since 1995."

  • Quarter-final ties
  • CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

    Wolfsburg v Real Madrid

    Bayern Munich v Benfica

    Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

    Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester City

    EUROPA LEAGUE

    Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool

    Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla

    Villarreal v Sparta Prague

    Braga v Shakhtar Donetsk

Five-time European champions Bayern Munich will be relieved to have drawn Portugal's Benfica, while Zinedine Zidane's 10-time winners Real Madrid drew Germany's Wolfsburg, with the added comfort of playing at home in the second leg.

The two legs of the quarter-finals will be played from April 5 to 13.

The Europa League will see Juergen Klopp taking Liverpool to face Borussia Dortmund, the German club where he forged his reputation as a manager, in the first leg of their last-eight tie.

For the English club, who were yesterday charged along with Manchester United by Uefa for crowd disturbances during their Europa League encounter at Old Trafford, Dortmund are arguably the toughest possible opponents left in the tournament, the German side having beaten Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 on aggregate in the round of 16.

The draw followed suit from the Champions League draw by throwing up an all-Spanish tie with Athletic Bilbao taking on twice defending champions Sevilla.

AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'All-Spanish tie as Barca play Atletico, moneybags City face PSG'. Print Edition | Subscribe