The biggest winners and losers from the redone Champions League last 16 draw

The Champions League last 16 draw happened at 11 am on Monday. And then again at 2 pm. A ridiculous mistake meant that the original draw was invalidated. A host of clubs complained, and UEFA agreed to do it again.

If UEFA thought that this decision would stop the moaning, they were wrong. Certain clubs with cushy draws the first time around were aggrieved about how things went the second time Andrei Arshavin pulled those balls out of the pot.

We take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the fiasco. You can find a reminder of the original and the redone draws below.

Let’s start with the champions of the draw. Insert muscle emoji here.

The winners

These are the champions (of the redone draw), my friend. 

Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel would have felt chuffed about drawing Lille in the last 16. His side could have found themselves pitted against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Ajax. Instead, they had to face the might of a team placed 11th in Ligue 1.

Sure, they won the title last season and have quality players, but they have far poorer European pedigree than fellow contenders. 

Therefore, Chelsea fans would have been punching the air with satisfied glee. Lightning struck twice – and it left singed Blues fans smiling smugly. 

Villarreal

The Europa League winners have had a frustrating season. They’re 13th in La Liga, where they have failed to win six of their last nine games.

Plus, they reached the knockout rounds of the Champions League, thus missing the chance to retain their UEL trophy. Unai Emery must have been furious. 

His mood probably wasn’t improved by an initial draw against Manchester City. In the group stage, the Yellow Submarine had already taken an embarrassing torpedo in that neck of the woods against a dysfunctional United side.

Imagine what City would do to them. Well, all you can do is imagine because the second draw put them against a much more beatable Juventus team. 

Bayern Munich

The almighty Bayern Munich won all six of their group games.

They should fear no team. However, even the very best teams will have preferences for knockout competitions. Although Bayern battered Atletico Madrid 4-0 last season, that victory was in the group stage.

Atletico are a different beast in the knockout rounds, and Bayern know that, having been dumped out at the semi-final stage by Diego Simeone’s team in 2016. Julien Nagelsmann will be happier to face RB Salzburg. 

The losers

They much preferred things the way they were.

Real Madrid

The original mistake that led to the second draw actually occurred after Real Madrid were drawn against original opponents Benfica.

Los Blancos officials tried to make this point to UEFA. They whinged like a child suffering from the mistakes of his troublesome brother: ‘It’s not fair!’

And let’s face it, they have a point. Benfica are a good side who have already defeated one traditional Spanish giant this season. But PSG have Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi in their frontline.

And they’re a more potent threat than Haris Seferovic. 

Sporting Lisbon

Sporting Lisbon started their Champions League campaign, losing 5-1 at home to Ajax. Another loss on matchday two, to Borussia Dortmund, looked ominous for Sporting. But three successive wins turned their fortunes around.

They served as reminders of the spirit and talent in this Sporting squad. A last 16 tie against Juventus, who Porto knocked out in 2020/21, gave the Portuguese side reason to feel hopeful. Manchester City the second time around was less fun.