So that’s it, the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League round of 16 has been drawn in full.
We’ve seen some heavyweights drawn against each other in a series of spectacular ties. Who are the winners and losers?
Spurs clawed their way into the knockout rounds on matchday five and will look to make an assault on Europe with their new manager. And despite the Portuguese’s recent history of struggling against smaller, more organised sides (his Chelsea were eliminated by upstarts Atlético Madrid in 2014, a rising PSG in 2015 and his Manchester United fell to Sevilla in 2018) as opposed to giants, this Spurs team is still quite weak in defence and exposure to any of Europe’s heavyweights may have been too much for even Mourinho’s big-game nous.
Luckily for them, then, that they drew RB Leipzig, arguably the weakest of all their possible opponents. The German side are not without their qualities, obviously, and Timo Werner is a hotshot that will need handling – but you can breathe easy, José! This is a winnable tie!
Loser: Manchester City
Poor Pep Guardiola. Just when his season of terrible luck and bizarre defensive errors looked to have at least been simplified into a narrow objective: focus on and win the cups, they go ahead and get one of the nastiest possible draws they could.
Are Manchester City better than Real Madrid? Unquestionably. They have a more coherent tactical vision and even in their current state of nonsense defensive structure, can still organise themselves better than Real Madrid – who are entirely reliant on enough of their star men playing well at the same time to see them over the line.