Madrid get luck of the draw as Barca handed short straw

Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by

Madrid get luck of the draw as Barca handed short straw

COMMENT: The 2013-14 winners face an accessible route to the last eight as they face Schalke, but the Blaugrana meet Manchester City again in a tough test for Luis Enrique's side

It was a case of deja vu for Real Madrid and Barcelona. For the second year running, Carlo Ancelotti's side were paired with Schalke in the last 16 of the Champions League, while the Catalans will meet Manchester City - just as they did in 2013-14.

The rest of the second-round draw sees Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea renew rivalries in a repeat of last season's quarter-final tie, while Italian champions Juventus face Dortmund, Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich meet Shakhtar Donetsk, Arsenal avoid the big teams for once with a clash against Monaco, Basel play Porto, and last season's beaten finalists Atletico are in action versus Bayer Leverkusen.

For Madrid and Atletico in particular, the draw represents an accessible route to the last eight. Real thrashed Schalke 9-1 on aggregate in the second round of last season's competition en route to La Decima and will be expected to triumph with ease again this time around, while Atleti should also advance with few problems against a Leverkusen side that finished second in Group C behind Monaco, having lost twice to the French team.

"Bayer? Nothing is straightforward, but we can get through it," said Atletico spokesman Clemete Villaverde of the test ahead for Diego Simeone's side.

"Ninety minutes in Germany is always complicated and a lack of concentration could cost us," said a diplomatic Emilio Butragueno of Madrid's draw, meanwhile. "We will have to go there with the maximum respect."

For Madrid, currently on a remarkable 20-match winning streak, it appears a case of fortune favouring the brave, with Real rewarded in Monday's draw for their recent fine form, positivity and belief over the last couple of months.



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