Paris to face Barcelona in UEFA Champions League knockout phase

2020-12-16 13:50:15
Paris to face Barcelona in UEFA Champions League knockout phase

Paris Saint-Germain, last season's beaten finalists, will face Barcelona in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League while Liverpool were paired with RB Leipzig in Monday's draw.

French champions PSG will relish another chance to avenge their soul-destroying 'Remontada' defeat to the Catalan giants in 2017.

Having beaten Barca 4-0 in the French capital, PSG crashed to a 6-1 defeat at the Camp Nou orchestrated by Neymar.

The Brazilian, who won the 2015 Champions League with Barca, then joined PSG in a world record move weeks later but has yet to taste similar European success with Ligue 1's dominant force.

They came closest last season when they were beaten 1-0 in the final by Bayern Munich, who claimed a sixth European crown thanks to a goal from PSG youth product Kingsley Coman.

With the first legs due to be played in February, PSG seem hopeful Neymar will have recovered in time from an ankle injury which forced him to be stretchered off the pitch in his side's 1-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Lyon on Sunday.

On Monday PSG said Neymar's prognosis was "reassuring" while the 28-year-old said on Instagram that his injury "could have been worse" following a rough tackle from Lyon midfielder Thiago Mendes which left him screaming in agony.

Barca may not be as intimidating opponents as in the past after a troubled start to the season influenced by boardroom chaos and Lionel Messi's attempt to leave the club in the summer.

Messi saved Barca's blushes on Sunday with the only goal in a home win over lowly Levante, but they are nine points behind La Liga leaders Real Sociedad.

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