Home / Breaking News / Chelsea avoid Arsenal as Europa League round of 16 draw ends

Chelsea avoid Arsenal as Europa League round of 16 draw ends

Chelsea face a tricky tie against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League round of 16, while Arsenal will play Rennes.

The Blues were part of the first tie drawn out on Friday lunchtime, and will have to travel to Ukraine in the second leg – a 3,000-mile round trip.

The Gunners meanwhile will face Ligue 1 club Rennes, who beat Real Betis in the round of 32.

Chelsea came through their round of 32 tie against Malmo with relative ease, winning 5-1 on aggregate, while Arsenal had to come from behind against BATE Borisov – they lost 1-0 in Ukraine, but won the second leg 3-0 in north London.

The draw has been relatively kind to the Premier League sides however, as they avoided the competition’s biggest names including Sevilla, Napoli and Inter Milan.

The two English clubs could have been drawn together, as there are no restrictions on nationalities facing each other at this stage – but an all-English tie was avoided.

For Petr Cech, Arsenal’s goalkeeper who retires at the end of this season, this draw is an emotional one – he played for Rennes before moving to English football with Chelsea.

Sevilla, who won the competition three years in a row between 2014 and 2016, face Slavia Prague, while Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will have to wait for a reunion with former club Napoli as they face Red Bull Salzburg.

Inter take on Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, while Valencia – who ended the European dreams of Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic – face Russian club Krasnodar.

Dinamo Zagreb play Benfica, while Zenit v Villarreal was the final tie drawn out by former Sevilla and Valencia goalkeeper Andres Palop, who conducted the draw.

About Ayeni Wale

Olawale Ayeni, is a Media and Communication Arts, Masters in view fellow, a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Abuja respectively, has been in journalism right from his school days. He was a sports broadcaster with Osun state Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC). He was Sports Editor, Daily Stream Newspaper before joining Leadership Newspaper as Sports Correspondent. A lover of grassroots sports development and golf. A strong support of Arsenal FC.

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