Winners and losers of Champions League last-16 draw

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 18 Dec 2023 12:07 GMT
  • 5 min read
Erling Haaland, Man City, Champions League
© ProShots

The 2023-24 Champions League group stage is over and the draw for the round of 16 has been completed.

After six historic matchdays in the final group stage campaign of its current iteration, 16 clubs remain in contention to lift the famous Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium next June.

Article continues under the video

The first round of knockout ties have been decided, with several intriguing ties to keep an eye on. Below, FootballTransfers runs through the winners and losers from the last-16 draw.

The Champions League last-16 draw

Porto vs Arsenal

Napoli vs Barcelona

PSG vs Real Sociedad

Inter vs Atletico Madrid

PSV vs Borussia Dortmund

Lazio vs Bayern Munich

Copenhagen vs Man City

RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid

Winner - Arsenal & Man City

There’s no avoiding it, both English clubs will be very happy with the Champions League last-16 draw.

Arsenal play FC Porto, while Manchester City have been drawn against Copenhagen. Both ties are relatively straightforward and it can certainly be argued that they’ve been drawn against the two easiest sides left in the competition.

Bukayo Saka's Arsenal have been drawn against FC Porto
© ProShots - Bukayo Saka's Arsenal have been drawn against FC Porto

That doesn’t mean progression into the quarter-finals is guaranteed, but it is extremely likely, even if Copenhagen are a threat at home.

Loser - Real Sociedad

After an incredible group stage campaign in which they conceded the fewest goals of any team (two), Real Sociedad have been handed a horror draw against Paris Saint-Germain.

Luis Enrique’s side are certainly beatable, especially in Europe, but after finishing top of Group D, Sociedad will have hoped for a kinder draw.

PSG will likely go into the tie as slight favourites, but they were unconvincing in the group stages, while Real Sociedad were excellent. Even so, facing Kylian Mbappe with a point to prove after a slightly underwhelming Champions League campaign is never a good thing.

Winner - PSV

PSV have won all 16 of their Eredivisie games so far this season and currently sit 10 points clear in the Netherlands as they look to seal their first league title since 2018.

While their title charge may take the majority of their focus in the new year, a last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund is an appealing prospect.

Donyell Malen's Borussia Dortmund will face PSV in the last-16
© ProShots - Donyell Malen's Borussia Dortmund will face PSV in the last-16

BVB coach Edin Terzic is under pressure, despite qualifying top of the Group of Death, due to their form in the Bundesliga, with the side currently fifth in the table and 13 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

PSV are a very good team and they could be this season’s dark horses, especially as Dortmund were probably the weakest or second weakest team they could’ve drawn in the round of 16.

Loser - Xavi

Napoli are not playing well and the appointment of Walter Mazarri has not improved things after the Rudi Garcia disaster, but that doesn’t mean Barcelona will be happy with being drawn against the reigning Serie A champions.

Xavi is not secure in his job at Camp Nou and although Napoli have been fairly poor this campaign, the deadly duo of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen always pose a threat no matter how badly the team is playing.

Furthermore, Robert Lewandowski has lost his goal-scoring boots and it may only take a couple of goals for Napoli to win the tie and ensure Xavi is no longer in charge in the Barcelona dugout.

Winner - Erling Haaland & Harry Kane

The Champions League Golden Boot is a coveted prize and one that any striker in world football would love to win.

As a result, Erling Haaland and Harry Kane will be licking their lips at the last-16 draw. The former will face two matches against Copenhagen, while the latter’s Bayern Munich will play Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio.

Harry Kane, Bayern Munich
© ProShots - Harry Kane, Bayern Munich

Both ties present the perfect opportunity for them to fill their boots before things get slightly more tricky in the quarter-finals. Progression through the first round of knockout fixtures is not a 100% certainty, but Man City and Bayern are heavy favourites, and Haaland and Kane will expect to bolster their goals tally significantly.

Loser - Diego Simeone/Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's group stage was excellent - they were one of only six teams to avoid defeat and the forward pairing of Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann were unstoppable.

As a result, Diego Simeone's side had been tipped for a deep run in the competition, with the possibility of going all the way to the final like Inter Milan managed last season.

However, they will face Inter themselves in the last-16 after Simone Inzaghi's team came second in Group D, losing out to Real Sociedad on goal difference.

Inter look formidable this season and could well stop Atleti's hopes of a successful Champions League campaign at the first set of knockout games.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.