The 2021/22 Champions League round of 16 draw couldn’t have been more dramatic.
In unprecedented scenes at the UEFA headquarters in Switzerland, the draw had to be conducted twice over after a bizarre incident where Manchester United were unexpectedly pulled out.
The Red Devils were briefly ‘drawn’ against Villarreal, which should have been impossible as they played in the same group together, before the process casually continued until its completion.
Champions League redraw
However, UEFA simply had to go back on the decision once it had started to dawn on everybody just how unfair the original draw had been with it later emerging that a software error was at fault.
As such, the entire footballing world had to strap themselves in to see how the first round of the Champions League’s knockout rounds would shape up the second time around.
And with only Chelsea vs Lille coming out of the hat on both occasions, it meant that almost every team was either left with a less or more favourable draw than they received first time out.
Champions League second draw reaction (Football Terrace)
The winners and the losers
It’s a unique scenario that got us thinking here at GIVEMESPORT and we’ve decided to rank all 16 remaining Champions League clubs by just how much the redraw worked against them.
In other words, the team ranked in 16th place will be the team that benefited the most from the rerun and the club that comes top will have been perceived by us to have come off the worst.
Naturally, Chelsea and Lille will serve as our halfway line so to speak with any teams coming before them having profited, even if just marginally, while sides placed afterwards have taken a hit.
How the redraw has affected clubs
Do remember that this is ultimately a matter of opinion and anything can happen in the Champions League, but without further ado, check out how the redraw has affected every club down below:
16. Bayern Munich
From Atletico Madrid to Red Bull Salzburg
Truth be told, Bayern would have fancied their chances against any team, but they’ve benefited from the redraw more than any other club as they now face one of the tournament’s weakest outfits.
15. Atletico Madrid
From Bayern Munich to Manchester United
This might sound harsh on United, but we like to think of this as Atletico transiting from almost certain defeat at the hands of Bayern to actually standing a chance against Ralf Rangnick’s side.
From Manchester City to Juventus
The ‘Yellow Submarines’ have their backs against the wall no matter who they come up against, but an inconsistent Juventus side are far more beatable than arguably the competition’s favourites.
From Real Madrid to Ajax
Just because we think this is actually a pretty favourable rearrangement for Benfica, it doesn’t mean that we fancy their chances against this season’s Champions League dark horses.
From Inter Milan to Benfica
While Ajax probably would have been favourites against both teams given their Champions League form this season, there’s no denying that Benfica pose a more straight-forward path to victory.
11. Manchester United
From Paris Saint-Germain to Atletico Madrid
It’s an improvement… just. Atletico have only won two Champions League games all season, so United might fancy their chances against Los Rojiblancos slightly more than against PSG.
10. Manchester City
From Villarreal to Sporting CP
Let’s face it, both draws were pretty generous to City and this ultimately just comes down to the fact that we fancy Villarreal’s chances on the European stage every so slightly more than Sporting’s.
8 & 9. Chelsea and Lille
Ah, welcome to the cushy and cosy middle-ground of Chelsea vs Lille with UEFA’s redraw throwing up the exact same fixture as the first time around, so there’s no changes here.
From Sporting CP to Villarreal
Like we say, Villarreal have a negligibly higher chance of winning the Champions League this season, so we do deem Juventus’ redraw to have been ever so slightly less favourable.
6. Red Bull Salzburg
From Liverpool to Bayern Munich
Truth be told, we don’t think the redraw has battered Salzburg too dramatically because although Liverpool are a marginally lesser opponent, both Bayern and the Reds would surely dump them out.
From Red Bull Salzburg to Inter Milan
The Reds won’t be fearing Inter too much, so we’re not suggesting that UEFA have fed them to the wolves here, but let’s not deny that it’s a fairly tougher prospect than taking on Salzburg.
4. Paris Saint-Germain
From Manchester United to Real Madrid
At the end of the day, we just happen to think that Real are a stronger team than United and that Mauricio Pochettino’s men would have fancied their chances a lot more after the initial draw.
3. Inter Milan
From Ajax to Liverpool
Ajax were just about the easiest team that Inter could have drawn, though they’re by no means an easy opponent, so seeing Liverpool come out the hat second time around was a massive blow.
2. Sporting CP
From Juventus to Manchester City
Let’s face it, Juventus are going to get found out when the Champions League enters the business end of the season, so Sporting will be ruing the fact that they’ll now be facing Pep Guardiola instead.
1. Real Madrid
From Benfica to Paris Saint-Germain
Imagine going from drawing arguably the worst team left in the competition to a side whose front three is comprised of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Real really have been mugged off.
Bring on 2022
So, there you have it, Bayern are laughing all the way to a considerably easier fixture and Florentino Perez will be begging UEFA to reinstate the original draw.
All in all it makes for a truly remarkable situation that – barring some more IT problems at UEFA – will surely never be seen again on a sporting stage of such importance and significance.
But you can rest assured that it will make an already fascinating Champions League campaign even more intriguing as we all look forward to the business end of the competition in 2022. Bring it on.