Barca will treat City with respect

Nou Camp is the venue for the second leg
Nou Camp is the venue for the second leg
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Barcelona are wary of facing Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League for the second year in a row after the two clubs were paired in Monday’s draw in Nyon.

Barca beat City 4-1 on aggregate last season to reach the quarter-finals of the competition but head coach Luis Enrique expects a level tie this time around.

“City aspires to the Champions League title just as we do,” said Enrique. “They are a hard rival, one of the hardest that we could have asked for.

“It’s going to be a very complicated tie, of that I’m certain.”

City beat Enrique’s former club Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in their final group game to remain in the Europe’s elite club competition.

The Barca boss, who replaced Gerardo Martino at the helm of the Catalan outfit this summer, is aware of the task that awaits him but said he was up for the challenge. “If there is something I understand, it is Barca,” he said.

“After eight years as a player at the club and three as a coach with the B team, you learn a lot.

“I knew where I was coming to and I’m delighted to be here.

“I always think positive and I believe we are going to progress from this tie.”

Barca will travel to Eastlands for the first leg on February 24 before hosting City on March 18 at the Nou Camp. Barcelona won 2-0 in Manchester last season before defeating City 2-1 at home.

“To play the return leg at home is not necessarily an advantage,” he said. “But I hope in our case it will be crucial.”

Chelsea were paired with French Champions Paris St Germain in the first tie drawn.

Arsenal will be happiest after being drawn against Arsene Wenger’s former club Monaco, the exact opponent their manager said in advance that he wanted.

Asked beforehand about the prospect of facing Monaco, whom he managed between 1987 and 1994 and who lie sixth in Ligue 1, Wenger said: “I’m not against it at all.

“It would be a visit to my first home. Of course I would love to go there.”

Chelsea’s opponents PSG lie second in Ligue 1 this season, a point behind Marseille.