Liverpool will look to be taught classes from Manchester United’s defeat in opposition to RB Leipzig final week after touchdown the Germans within the final 16 of the Champions League, whereas Chelsea face a troublesome activity to achieve the quarter-finals after being pitted in opposition to Atlético Madrid.
Three English groups took half within the draw for the knockout phases, with United the notable absentees after their humbling by Leipzig of their last group sport led to them dropping into the Europa League. Manchester Metropolis have been handed the kindest task, a tie with Borussia Mönchengladbach, however there have been robust attracts for Liverpool and Chelsea.
First-time semi-finalists in final yr’s competitors, Leipzig won’t be intimidated by going through Liverpool. Julian Nagelsmann’s facet have fared nicely in opposition to Premier League opponents of late, thumping Tottenham within the final 16 final season earlier than overwhelming Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s United with a quick begin on the Purple Bull Area final Tuesday, and will likely be assured of posing Jürgen Klopp’s facet some awkward questions.
Though Liverpool boast the better expertise within the competitors, successful it for the sixth time in 2019, it is going to be intriguing to see how Klopp fares in opposition to one other German coach. The 33-year-old Nagelsmann is 20 years youthful than his Liverpool counterpart and boosted his credentials as one of many brightest younger managers in Europe when he outwitted Solskjaer to complete second in Group H.
Not less than Liverpool have averted a gathering with Atlético, who knocked them out at this stage final season. As an alternative that activity falls to Chelsea, who misplaced in opposition to Diego Simeone’s facet within the semi-finals in 2014. Second in La Liga and difficult to interrupt down, Atlético will likely be no pushovers. Chelsea, who spent closely in the summertime, should be at their greatest to grind the Spaniards down.
“I believe most individuals will say it’s the hardest draw that we may have had if you go on present kind in La Liga, European expertise, high quality of staff and play,” stated Frank Lampard. “However all attracts are troublesome within the Champions League. We’ve to have perception in ourselves. We’re going to should beat these kind of groups if you happen to’re going to win the Champions League.
“I watched them knock Liverpool out final yr, who’re clearly a terrific staff and have that have and high quality within the squad. They’re one of many hardest groups we may have drawn on paper. However we’ll have to show up and do our job and be assured we are able to beat them.”
Maybe Chelsea may need been happier going through Barcelona, who’re a shadow of their former selves for the time being. In one of many ties of the spherical, nevertheless, the struggling La Liga giants found the price of ending second to Juventus of their group after they have been drawn in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain, finalists final season. Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in 2017, will likely be determined to steal the limelight from Lionel Messi and shine in opposition to his former membership.
In numerous circumstances Messi may need been sporting the sunshine blue of Metropolis this season. But regardless of failing to signal the Barcelona ahead final summer time, Pep Guardiola will nonetheless really feel he has sufficient attacking expertise to see off Gladbach, who reached the knockout phases for the primary time after pipping Shakhtar Donetsk and Internazionale to second place of their group.
“I realized [when coaching there] in Germany how massive and vital and historic they’re,” stated Guardiola. “It’s a membership that I respect rather a lot, the sweetness they’ve when enjoying soccer, they went by a troublesome group, and made an unimaginable couple of [group] video games in opposition to Shakhtar Donetsk after they’d crushed Actual Madrid.”
Elsewhere the reigning champions, Bayern Munich, will likely be assured of beating Lazio. Atalanta, who secured a well-known win in opposition to Liverpool at Anfield final month, will undertake a fearless method in opposition to Actual Madrid, who solely sealed qualification after beating Gladbach final week. Sevilla will likely be robust opponents for Borussia Dortmund, who’ve positioned Edin Terzic in caretaker cost after firing Lucien Favre, whereas Juventus will face Porto.