UEFA Champions League updates: 14-20 December

The latest as the round of 16 draw sets next year's ties

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So now we know just who will play who after Monday's round of 16 draw, with eight intriguing ties awaiting us in 2016. Those fixtures don't come around until February but the blog will keep you up to date with how all the contenders are faring over the weeks in between ... 

A couple of Juventus old boys are looking forward to a reunion with their former club after the Bianconeri were drawn against Bayern München. "I was totally happy. It will be a very interesting match," said winger Kingsley Coman, who was at Juve last season. "I am there for these big matches. There are no easy games in the round of 16. If you want to make the final, you have to beat big teams."

It has been a busy day for PSV coach Phillip Cocu, who reached an oral agreement with the club to extend his contract from 2019, before seeing his side being paired with 2014 runners-up Atlético Madrid in the round of 16.

"Atlético have performed excellently in recent years and reached a very high level. They show a true unity, are defensively extremely solid, give away few chances and are physically strong. It is a very tough draw, but at the same time a fantastic challenge."   

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The Gent side settled down together to watch the draw and saw their side picked out of the pot and handed a tie with Wolfsburg. Captain Sven Kums was happy with the draw and is hopeful the Buffalos can extend their debut campaign to the quarter-final stage.

"Wolfsburg are a good side, they have proven that in their group so it will certainly not be easy," said the 27-year-old midfielder. "There were no easy teams left anymore. I know [Bas] Dost, with whom I played with [at Heerenveen], I know [Julian] Draxler, [André] Schurle, but they have proven to be a strong side. We will do everything possible to get through. It will be two tough matches, but we'll try to do something beautiful again. We have confidence."

Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach:

Alongside Paris, Juventus was probably the most difficult draw [from Pot 2]. If you want to say [our odds are] 50-50, then say it's 50-50. I don't know!

There was a sense of déjà vu for Laurent Blanc as his Paris side were once again pitted against Chelsea in the knockout stages for the third successive year, after seeing off the Blues at the round of 16 stage last year and being knocked out in the quarters the season before. Both ties ended 3-3 on aggregate and were decided by away goals, so the French coach knows it will be a tight affair.

"We know each other very well by now. It will be a great fixture," said Blanc. "I hope every player in the team will be fit to play Chelsea and meet our aim. We showed last year that we were competitive. Even if Chelsea is facing some challenging times, they are still a great team with a great manager."

Matz Sels, Gent goalkeeper:

We have to aim for the next round. From all the possible opponents this maybe was the easiest one in theory. Of course everyone had hoped for a real top name, but if you progress you can draw them anyway, so we have to give our all to advance. Hopefully we can do something special.

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Rudi Garcia, Roma coach:

Madrid will be favourites and we'll need a big effort to qualify. I hope the Olimpico will be packed on 17 February. We have faced Barcelona in the group stage and now Real Madrid, but we're in the Champions League for this reason: to see the best players in the world here at the Olimpico. It will be a good moment for our fans..

Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck revealed mixed reaction amongst his players when the Belgian side were drawn with Wolfsburg, as some were disappointed their team had not drawn European champions Barcelona or ten-times winners Madrid. "Looking at the reaction from my players, my defenders preferred Wolfsburg while others preferred to have played against Barcelona or Real Madrid," said the 51-year-old boss, who is not disappointed at having to play the second leg away from home.

"I think it is an advantage now to play home first, as when you first play away and get a heavy defeat then the home fixture does not matter anymore. Now we can try to get a good result in the home match and then face the difficult away match."

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Barcelona and Germany international Marc-André ter Stegen, currently in Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup, will face his national team-mates in the round of 16.

André Villas-Boas, Zenit coach:

We will play against a very experienced club who have got to two UEFA Europa League finals and two semi-finals in the last five years. We know our opponents very well as we faced them in the UEFA Champions League last season. We understand we have to improve a lot in order to win.

These games will also be tough for us because of the long winter break in the Russian league. We have to fully concentrate on preparing for these matches. We believe that our fans' support will help us at home and we'll get through to the quarter-finals.

Danny, Zenit playmaker:

We know Benfica and have played them twice. Of course we want to continue our successful performances in the Champions League. The first match being away gives us an excellent opportunity to get off to a good start. At the Petrovskiy, together with our fans, we'll be ready to step into the history of great Zenit performances in the UEFA Champions League.

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Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach:

Gent asserted themselves in a group with Valencia and Lyon and, besides ourselves, are the second surprise package in the round of 16. We have big respect for them. For both teams, the knockout stage of the Champions League is uncharted territory. So I expect an interesting encounter in which we will have to give everything to reach the next round.

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Pavel Nedvěd, Juventus vice-president:

It's a historic tie. We will have to face one of the big favourites to win the Champions League, we know that, but we want to take advantage of our chance, although we know how difficult this tie will be. We're facing a great club. 

There's still two months until the tie will be played. We will try to prepare as well as possible, and be in the best condition to have a chance against Bayern.

Thomas Müller, Bayern forward:

Juventus have a very clever side and of course in Mario Mandžukić a top goalscorer, who we know very well from his time in Munich. In the Champions League, we have always had good experiences with Juve. I am especially looking forward to the Juventus stadium – it will be an experience.

Kingsley Coman, Bayern's former Juve midfielder:

I was delighted. It will be a very interesting encounter. I am up for those big matches. There's no easy matches in the round of 16 – if you want to make the final, you have to beat big teams.

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Serhiy Rebrov, Dynamo coach:

It's a normal draw for us. We would prepare for any tie in the last 16 with the sharpest focus. Manchester City are a solid team, but we have played them before and had success.

Everyone has weaknesses – our job is to study them carefully and find them. People praised Chelsea after the group stage draw, but we had two decent games against them. I hope we'll give a fright to another English side. It'll be heating up in the Premier League then, clubs will be playing twice a week which will also will be significant.

We'll begin the year with Champions League matches. It's not a new thing for Dynamo. We know how to build form and prepare for such games. We progressed from our group, but we still need to add some strength.

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Jeffrey Bruma, PSV defender:

Atlético are a top team with fantastic players. They're a well-organised side and we will have to arm ourselves against that. Being realistic, Atlético are the better team in theory, but we are certainly not without a chance.

We could have drawn worse so we have to look on the bright side. I think they will be happy with us. For us, it might be an advantage if they see us as underdogs, but I doubt that with a clever coach like Diego Simeone. They really fight for each other, run for each other and fix each other's mistakes. They will be red-hot matches and I like that.

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Laurent Blanc, Paris coach:

It will be a great tie between two great teams, but before then we have lots of matches to prepare for, especially in January, a tough month for us. I hope every player in the team will be fit to play Chelsea and achieve our goal. We showed last season that we were competitive; we still are this year. Even though Chelsea are going through a challenging time, they're still a great side with a great manager.

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Sven Kums, Gent midfielder:

Wolfsburg are a good side, they proved that in winning their group, so it certainly won't be easy. There were no easy teams left in this draw. I know [Bas] Dost, with whom I played [at Heerenveen], I know Draxler, Schürrle, and others; they've proved they are a strong side. It will be two tough matches, but we'll try to achieve something special. We have confidence, otherwise you should not start.

Former Juventus forward Carlos Tévez has been named Serie A player of 2014/15 at Monday's Gran Gala del Calcio.

Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo, who also left in the summer, all make the Serie A team of the season.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, who led Juve to the Scudetto and the UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona, was coach of the year.

Serie A team of the season
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Daniele Rugani (Empoli/Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus); Radja Nainggolan (Roma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/New York City), Paul Pogba (Juventus); Carlos Tévez (Juventus), Luca Toni (Hellas Verona), Mauro Icardi (Internazionale Milano).


Champions Chelsea are just a point above the Premier League relegation zone after top-of-the-table Leicester City held on for a 2-1 win. England's Jamie Vardy scored his 15th goal of the season as Leicester inflicted a ninth league defeat of the season on José Mourinho's men, who lost Eden Hazard to injury. Loïc Rémy pulled one back but Chelsea could not find an equaliser.

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Bayern are through to the quarter-finals of the German Cup following a 1-0 home win against Darmstadt. Xabi Alonso's 25-metre volley on 40 minutes proved to be enough to settle a tight encounter in what was Josep Guardiola's side's last home fixture of 2015.

Benfica's five-game winning streak in the Liga came to an end with an unexpected 0-0 draw at União Madeira, who had conceded ten goals in their previous two matches. In a replay of a game called off in October due to heavy fog, Pizzi, Kostas Mitroglou and Mehdi Carcela-González all passed up decent chances in Funchal, with a point leaving the Portuguese champions third in the table, seven points adrift of leaders Sporting CP.

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After 120 goalless minutes, Serie B side Spezia knocked Roma out of the Italian Cup last 16 4-2 on penalties after the home club's first two spot-kicks were missed by Miralem Pjanić and Edin Džeko. Spezia are next at home to Alessandria, who are the first third-tier team since Bari in 1983/84 to reach the quarter-finals after beating Genoa.

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A Luis Suárez hat-trick in Yokohama took Barcelona into Sunday's FIFA Club World Cup final against Argentina's River Plate. Lionel Messi was ruled out of the game due to renal colic, joining Neymar on the sidelines, but Barcelona still proved too strong for Luiz Felipe Scolari's Asian champions and will now aim to win the trophy for a record third time.

Hein Vanhaezebrouck has agreed a new contract as Gent coach, binding him to the club until 2018. "We are of the opinion that we must reward the club's wonderful achievements and have signed a financially-improved contract," chairman Ivan de Witte said. "We are also showing our ambition by keeping such a top coach with us." The club has also announced that they are to sign Strømsgodset winger Gustav Wikheim on a three-and-a-half-year contract when the transfer window reopens.

Chelsea statement: "Chelsea Football Club and José Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent

"Both José and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.

"The club wishes to make clear José leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge. The club's focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential."

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Atlético Madrid's reward for beating Reus Deportiu 1-0 with a Thomas Partey goal, to complete a 3-1 aggregate win, is a Copa del Rey last 16 tie with Rayo Vallecano. Barcelona face neighbours Espanyol over two legs in January.

Great news for Bayern ...

Toni Kroos is back in training for Real Madrid after illness ...

Francesco Totti has resumed training with his Roma team-mates. The Giallorossi captain has not played since suffering a thigh injury against Carpi on 26 September, when he lasted only nine minutes after replacing Edin Džeko at half-time.

Hannover 0-1 Bayern München (Müller 40pen)
Thomas Müller took his season tally to a career best 14 league goals on a day when Manuel Neuer made his 300th Bundesliga appearance – he has kept 143 clean sheets in that time. Bayern's victory, coupled with Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 loss at Köln, means the Bavarian side go into the winter break eight points clear.

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Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland (Ivanović 5, Pedro Rodríguez 13, Oscar 50pen; Borini 53)
With interim manager Guus Hiddink watching from the stands, Pedro Rodríguez and Oscar scored their first league goals since August as the Blues started the post-José Mourinho era with a win.

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Caen 0-3 Paris (Di María 16 50, Ibrahimović 36)
Paris set a new record for most points at the midway stage of a Ligue 1 season with victory in Normandy. Laurent Blanc's runaway leaders moved on to 51 from 19 games, surpassing the half-century Lyon managed in their championship-winning 2006/07 campaign.   

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Stuttgart 3-1 Wolfsburg (Didavi 22 47, Kostić 31; Arnold 14)
Wolfsburg are four Bundesliga games without a win after this defeat against Stuttgart, who started the match bottom of the table.

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PSV Eindhoven 3-2 Zwolle (Pereiro 7 15, De Jong 75; Van Polen 40pen, Veldwijk 43)
PSV are 13 unbeaten in all competitions since losing to Wolfsburg on UEFA Champions League matchday three, Luuk de Jong ensuring they drew level with pacesetters Ajax until Sunday afternoon at least.

Josep Guardiola will step down as Bayern München coach at the end of the season after opting to try a fresh adventure elsewhere next term. The former Barcelona boss has rejected a contract extension and will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, with the experienced Italian agreeing a deal until 2019.

"We'd like to thank Pep for everything he has done for the club since 2013," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "Carlo Ancelotti has had success as a coach everywhere and he has won the Champions League three times. Carlo is a calm, level-headed expert who knows how to work with stars and plays a brand of football rich in variety. That is what we were looking for, and that is what we have found. We are looking forward to working with him."

Barcelona have won a record third FIFA Club World Cup title thanks to a 3-0 success against Argentinian side River Plate in Yokohama. Lionel Messi got the opener on 36 minutes before Luis Suárez's double took his tally in the Blaugrana's two-game participation to five goals, following his hat-trick against Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-final on Thursday.

Juventus continued their march up the Serie A table with a 3-2 success at Carpi to claim their seventh successive league win, the first time coach Massimiliano Allegri has achieved the feat in his coaching career. Mario Mandžukić scored his first double in a Juve shirt as the champions came from behind and Paul Pogba increased their lead before a late Leonardo Bonucci own goal. 

Real Madrid racked up double figures in a Liga match for the third time – and the first since 1960 – as they put Rayo Vallecano to the sword in a punishing 10-2 victory. Danilo got the ball rolling before Gareth Bale struck four times in a league game for the first time in his career and Karim Benzema nabbed a hat-trick, against opponents reduced to nine men from the 28th minute.

Roma have ended their seven-game winless streak in all competitions thanks to the much-needed boost of a 2-0 home success against Genoa. The fifth-placed Serie A side took the lead via Alessandro Florenzi on 42 minutes and sealed the points courtesy of 18-year-old Sadiq Umar late on, after Edin Džeko had seen red with just over a quarter of an hour to go.

Benfica are undefeated in five in the league after two goals from Jonas helped them past Rio Ave in Lisbon with a 3-1 win. The double took the Brazilian forward's tally to 13 in 14 Portuguese Liga outings this term. 

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Belgian champions Gent extended their lead at the top to five points after seeing off Kortrijk 3-0 as Moses Simon, Sven Kums and Danijel Milicevic found the target. Club Brugge – nearest challengers before the weekend – fell 4-1 at home to Anderlecht to be replaced by Oostende in second.

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Atlético Madrid missed the chance to go top during Barcelona's absence at the FIFA Club World Cup as they suffered their first loss in ten Liga outings, going down 1-0 at Málaga. Charles volleyed in the decider with four minutes left, though his effort took a big deflection off Diego Godín on the way in.

What influence will Josep Guardiola's decision to leave Bayern München in the summer have on the club's season? UEFA.com's Justin Schroll shares his thoughts ... 

This blog is now closed, but our ongoing coverage of the UEFA Champions League will resume on Monday.

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