Barcelona gets City in last 16 of Champions League

Barcelona will play Manchester City, a team that emulates its

values, in the second round of the Champions League.

The home-and-home matchup starts Feb. 18 with the four-time

champion traveling to England’s Etihad Stadium, where Manchester

United and Arsenal have lost in routs in the Premier League this


”I think Barcelona will be very concerned that they have drawn

us,” City coach Manuel Pellegrini, who spent the past nine seasons

in the Spanish league, said after Monday’s draw. ”They are not the

team of two years ago.”

Chelsea will have an emotional reunion with Didier Drogba, its

former star forward, when it plays Galatasaray. Defending champion

Bayern Munich was paired with Arsenal in the round of 16 for the

second straight year.

”I’m the luckiest man in this competition in both games I’ll be

playing home,” Drogba, who spent eight seasons at Stamford Bridge,

wrote on his Instagram account.

Both 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


Nine-time champion Real Madrid faces Schalke, Manchester United

drew against Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund plays Zenit St.

Petersburg, AC Milan meets Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain

goes against Bayer Leverkusen.

The first legs will be played from Feb. 18-26, with the return

matches set for March 11-19.

Man City is the only newcomer to the Champions League knockout

rounds, 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.

Manchester City’s director of football is Txiki Begiristain, who

joined the English club from Barcelona, and its roster includes

several players from Spain’s national team.

”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


Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said last week that Drogba should

return to his former club. The Ivorian 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


Bayern coach Pep Guardiola also renews rivalries after his

Barcelona team eliminated Arsenal in 2010 and `11.

”I know Arsene Wenger quite well, I know his players quite

well,” Guardiola said at the Club World Cup in Morocco. ”In the

draw, it was the most difficult team.”

Madrid continues its quest for a record 10th European title with

a relatively low-key pairing against Schalke.

”On paper, yes, but that is only theory,” Real Madrid director

Emilio Butragueno said. ”Football is unpredictable. It’s a German

team with a great mentality.”

Dortmund, which lost to Bayern in last season’s final, got

arguably the most unwanted trip – a Feb. 25 visit to Russia to play

Zenit in almost certain below-freezing temperatures.

”It won’t be easy,” Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim

Watzke said. ”But when I look at the teams the other German clubs

have to play against, we got through OK.”

Leverkusen will be at home first against big-spending PSG and

its forward line of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

”You don’t have to be an expert to say we are the outsiders,”

said Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller, whose team lost 5-0

at home to United last month.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc said it ”could have been worse,” but

then added: ”If they are second to Bayern it means they are a

talented team.”

AP Sports Writer Paul Logothetis in Agadir, Morocco, contributed

to this report.