Manchester City have been drawn against French champions Paris Saint-Germain in their first ever Champions League quarter-final. City, the only British side remaining in the tournament, avoided their new incoming manager Pep Guardiola’s side Bayern Munich and holders Barcelona, who have knocked them out in the last two seasons. Barcelona will face La Liga competitors Atletico Madrid, Bayern meet Benfica, whereas Real Madrid take on Wolfsburg. The quarter-finals ties will be played on 5-6 & 12-13 April.
PSG, who have won the Ligue 1 title with eight matches left and two months ago, will host Manchester City in the first leg on Wednesday, 6 April. And they will visit Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, 12 April for the second leg. Both the teams have played against each other only once before, in a goalless draw in Manchester in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup. The two clubs are hardly identifiable from that match, when Manchester City were still in the beginnings of Sheikh Mansour’s possession and PSG almost three years away from their Qatari takeover.
Laurent Blanc’s team have gone on to control the game in France, winning four consecutive league titles. But, like City, the Parisians have not managed to win the Champions League, knocked out from the quarter-finals in each of the last three seasons. Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who is going to leave the club in the summer after three seasons and will be replaced by Guardiola, said there would not have been an “easy” last-eight draw for his team.
“Maybe one side has less titles than another side but they are at this point so they are entitled to be there because they eliminated other teams,” said the 62-year-old Chilean, who managed Malaga to the quarter-finals in 2013. “It is good for us to be away first – I always like to finish at home so you know always what you must do in your home ground. My point of view is that Barcelona is the only side that always create the distinction but all the other sides are all the same,” added Pellegrini.