BARCELONA last night confirmed their place among the array of names Manchester City and Arsenal will be hoping to avoid in the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Catalans’ 3-1 home win over Paris Saint-Germain saw them pip the big-spending French outfit to top spot in Group F -- and ensure their presence among the top seeds for the draw in Switzerland on Monday.
They join holders Real Madrid, last season’s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid and 2013 winners Bayern Munich, their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Monaco and Chelsea in winning their respective groups.
Draw rules mean neither City or Arsenal can meet Chelsea in the first knockout round, while Manuel Pellegrini’s men will also avoid Pep Guardiola’s formidable Bayern, having qualified from the same group.
The Gunners, however, could be drawn against the German champions, who eliminated them at the last 16 stage last season. Real Madrid, currently on a 19-match winning streak, are the other team both Arsenal and City will want to avoid.
Monaco, who topped their group despite scoring just four times in six games, and to a lesser extent Porto look the most favourable options for Pellegrini or Arsene Wenger.
Chelsea’s worst-case scenario would likely be a clash with Paris Saint-Germain, who they despatched in last term’s quarter-finals, or Italian champions Juventus.
Basel, Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk are the only other teams the Blues could face and none stand out as pushovers.
Shakhtar had qualified before drawing 1-1 at Porto last night, while Basel progressed at the expense of Liverpool. Elsewhere Bayern, who had already won Group E, beat CSKA Moscow 3-0 in Munich, Schalke esnured they finished runners-up behind Chelsea by winning 1-0 at Maribor and both Ajax and Athletic Bilbao made certain of Europa League places with final-day wins.
■ Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Monaco, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto
■ Juventus, Basel, Bayer Leverkusen, Arsenal, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk
Draw takes place 11am on Monday