Manchester United are through to the last 16 of the 2021/22 Champions League, with fans now eagerly awaiting who the club’s next opponent will be.
This is everything you need to know about the last 16 draw and which clubs are available to face…
United topped Group F, despite only winning three of their six games – even all three of those were secured with late or stoppage time goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 95th minute winner against Villarreal on matchday two, an 81st minute winner against Atalanta on matchday three and a decisive 78th minute goal against Villarreal on matchday five. He also got a stoppage time equaliser against Atalanta on matchday four and was directly responsible for eight of the team’s 11 points in the end.
No group winner has qualified for the knockout stages with fewer points – Lille also finished with 11 – but United could be a different beast by the time the Champions League resumes thanks to several months working under Ralf Rangnick by then.
The draw splits group winners and runners-up into seeds and non-seeds. At this stage all group winners will be kept apart, while no club be drawn with another from the same country. United also cannot be paired with Atalanta/Villarreal, whichever takes the final place in the knockout draw, by virtue of qualifying from the same group.
With Chelsea also obviously off the table, United will be randomly drawn against any of the other six group runners-up available to them. That means they will be facing one of PSG, Atletico Madrid, Sporting CP, Inter, Benfica or Red Bull Salzburg.
Sporting, Benfica or Salzburg would be the most favourable options for now, but PSG and Atletico Madrid are definitely ones to avoid at this stage.
UEFA will make the draw for the Champions League last 16 on Monday 13 December 2021. It will start from 11am in the UK (12pm CET) and will be live streamed on UEFA’s website.
Heading into 2022, last 16 first leg ties will be split across consecutive weeks on either 15/16 February or 22/23 February. The return legs will follow on 8/9 March or 15/16 March.
As group winners, United will have the advantage of playing the second leg at Old Trafford.
This is the first season in which the away goals rule has been scrapped, so extra-time is guaranteed if the aggregate score is level at the end of the second leg.