Liverpool face Real Madrid in CL last 16 | Chelsea draw Dortmund

Liverpool will face Real Madrid in their Champions League last-16 tie in a repeat of the 2022 final, while Chelsea were drawn against Borussia Dortmund.

Vinicius Junior’s winner saw Real Madrid lift their 14th European title in May’s final, following on from Real’s 3-1 victory against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv.

But Liverpool will now get an early opportunity to exact some revenge for that loss as they bid to reach the quarter-finals in this season’s competition. Their first leg will be played at Anfield on Tuesday February 21 before the return leg on Wednesday March 15 at the Bernabeu

Reacting to the draw, former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock told Sky Sports News: “It’s a very difficult tie for Liverpool. Finishing second in their group, they don’t get the opportunity to play at home in the second leg.

“However, Jurgen Klopp’s side will want to avenge the final defeat last year, even though it doesn’t win you the competition. It does give you something to put right, though.”

Liverpool and Real Madrid met just five months ago in the 2022 Champions League final
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Liverpool and Real Madrid met just five months ago in the 2022 Champions League final

Graham Potter’s Chelsea will take on Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic facing their former club. The first leg will be on Wednesday February 15 before the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday March 7.

Chelsea’s February & March schedule

  • Chelsea vs Fulham – February 4
  • West Ham vs Chelsea – February 11
  • Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea – February 15
  • Chelsea vs Southampton – February 18
  • Tottenham vs Chelsea – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Chelsea vs Leeds – March 4
  • Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund – March 7
  • Leicester City vs Chelsea – March 11
  • Chelsea vs Everton – March 18

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic said of the draw: “We have a top team waiting for us. In Aubameyang and Pulisic we’re meeting old friends. We’re looking forward to seeing you again and of course, we want to make it through to the next round.”

Tottenham were drawn against AC Milan, and there will be an added incentive for Spurs boss Antonio Conte who previously managed Milan’s fierce city rivals Inter between 2019 and 2021.

Conte will return to the San Siro with Spurs for the first leg on Tuesday February 14 before the return match on Wednesday March 8 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Manchester City face a tie against RB Leipzig as they harbour ambitions of reaching a second Champions League final. Pep Guardiola’s side have lost only one of their last 17 matches against German sides in the Champions League (W14 D2) – although that defeat came away at RB Leipzig in December 2021.

Man City will travel to Germany for the first leg on Wednesday February 22 before playing the second leg at the Etihad on Tuesday March 14.

Manchester City’s February & March schedule

  • Tottenham vs Manchester City – February 4
  • Manchester City vs Aston Villa – February 11
  • Nottingham Forest vs Manchester City – February 18
  • RB Leipzig vs Manchester City – February 22
  • Bournemouth vs Manchester City – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Manchester City vs Newcastle – March 4
  • Crystal Palace vs Manchester City – March 11
  • Manchester City vs RB Leipzig – March 14
  • Manchester City vs West Ham – March 18

Elsewhere, in another replay of a recent final, PSG have been drawn against Bayern Munich in another stand-out last-16 tie. Bayern were 1-0 winners in the 2020 final against the Ligue 1 side, winning their sixth European title.

How do the last-16 fixtures affect the Premier League?

Champions League 2022/23 knockout stage
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All four Premier League teams still in the Champions League have matches to be rescheduled

The timing of the Champions League last-16 matches does pose an issue for the Premier League amid an already-congested fixture list.

One-and-a-half rounds of fixtures from The Queen’s passing – including Chelsea vs Liverpool and Man City vs Spurs – are yet to be rescheduled.

However, the two above fixtures are unlikely to be played on any of the Champions League last 16 midweeks – four in total – as each of the Premier League teams involved are playing their ties on alternating weeks.

There is also a March international break on the weeks commencing March 20 and 27, narrowing further the dates for the fixtures to be rescheduled.

Champions League last-16 draw in full

  • RB Leipzig vs Man City – First leg on Wednesday February 22; Second leg on Tuesday March 14
  • Club Brugge vs Benfica – First leg on Wednesday February 15; Second leg on Tuesday March 7
  • Liverpool vs Real Madrid – First leg on Tuesday February 21; Second leg on Wednesday March 15
  • AC Milan vs Tottenham – First leg on Tuesday February 14; Second leg on Wednesday March 8
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli – First leg on Tuesday February 21; Second leg on Wednesday March 15
  • Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea – First leg on Wednesday February 15; Second leg on Tuesday March 7
  • Inter Milan vs Porto – First leg on Wednesday February 22; Second leg on Tuesday March 14
  • PSG vs Bayern Munich – First leg on Tuesday February 14; Second leg on Wednesday March 8

‘Last-16 timing good for Liverpool’

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News:

“If the games were to happen now, I think it would be a real challenge for Liverpool.

“But, given the timing of the games in February, I think it is a good moment for Liverpool to try to correct what is going on at the moment and to put themselves in a better position.

Liverpool’s February & March schedule

  • Wolves vs Liverpool – February 4
  • Liverpool vs Everton – February 11
  • Newcastle vs Liverpool – February 18
  • Liverpool vs Real Madrid – February 21
  • Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Liverpool vs Manchester United – March 4
  • Bournemouth vs Liverpool – March 11
  • Real Madrid vs Liverpool – March 15
  • Liverpool vs Fulham – March 18

“Potentially, they could maybe even try to sign some players in January.

“It’s a great game. You’ve got to beat the best teams and that’s what you’ve got in Real Madrid. They are the defending champions and you want to go to their backyard in the second leg, cause a problem and hopefully win the game.”

‘Spurs shouldn’t fear AC Milan’

Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's second goal against Eintracht Frankfurt
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Tottenham should not fear AC Milan, says Stephen Warnock

Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News:

“At any point in the competition now you have got to fancy your chances. You have got to believe you are capable of winning games.

Tottenham’s February & March schedule

  • Tottenham vs Manchester City – February 4
  • Leicester City vs Tottenham – February 11
  • AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur – February 14
  • Tottenham vs West Ham – February 18
  • Tottenham vs Chelsea – February 25
  • Possible FA Cup fifth round tie – February 28
  • Wolves vs Tottenham – March 4
  • Tottenham vs AC Milan – March 8
  • Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest – March 11
  • Southampton vs Tottenham – March 18

“When you look at all the draws of the English sides I think Liverpool have arguably got the hardest draw, but you look at the rest and they should progress out of those games.

“For Spurs, I don’t look at AC Milan and fear them. I know they are Serie A champions, but I don’t think you’d fear them.

“I’d rather not play Napoli.”

When will the games be played?

The first legs of the last-16 games will be played on the midweeks of February 14-15, and February 21-22 2023.

The second legs will be played across March 7-8 and March 14-15.

Beyond the last 16…

For those sides lucky enough to reach the quarter-finals, it’s a free for all from then on – with no restrictions on who can draw one another.

The draw for the last eight and the semi-finals will be held on March 17, with the quarter-final first legs held on April 11-12 and the second legs on April 18-19.

The first legs of the semi-finals will be held on May 9-10, and the second legs on May 16-17. The Champions League final will then be held in Istanbul on June 10.

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