Manchester City get off lightly as they draw Basel in the Champions League last-16

Manchester City get off lightly as they draw Basel in the Champions League last-16

Manchester City will take on Basel for a place in the last-eight of Europe's elite competition.

Danial Kennedy

Many will say that Manchester City have been let off lightly in their draw for the last-16 of the Champions League, as they were drawn against Swiss champions FC Basel. 

Meeting for the first time in a competitive capacity 

City's passage into the last-16 was all too simple as they breezed to the top of the group, remaining unbeaten until the final matchday as they were defeated by Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk. 

Their form in Europe's elite competition has been one of the highlights in what has been an excellent start to the campaign, but knew they faced the prospect of pulling one of the continent's best side's in the draw. 

Many fans will have been relieved to see themselves drawn against the Swiss side which is arguably the easiest opponent available to them, but they certainly need to know they will be no pushover with Basel having beaten City's bitter rivals Manchester United already this season. 

The two clashes will actually be the first competitive tie between these two sides, the first leg will be in Basel on February 13 and the return leg at the Etihad will be on 7 March.

"We have to respect FC Basel," the Director of Football Txiki Begiristain stated. "And we have to be careful." 

"We need to be ready to play them and do our best," he stated. "Because obviously we want to go as far as we can in this competition." 

"We showed against Napoli that we can do well home or away," Begiristain added. "We had to fight to qualify and to win the group and I think we've shown the character and personality needed to do well in the Champions League." 








Just another three very important points 

With their European endeavours not picking up again until February focus will now go back onto their league escapades, but many will say that their title win is already wrapped up after Sunday's visit to Old Trafford. 

City dominated at Theatre of Dreams in the first period which was rewarded with David Silva's opener which was quickly chalked off by Marcus Rashford's equaliser, but Nicolás Otamendi's effort secured a record 14th consecutive league victory but more crucially put them 11 points ahead of United but İlkay Gündoğan stated that it was only another set of "very important points". 

"It doesn't feel like that, to be honest," he told "It feels like we gained three very important points - not more, not less."

"In my opinion," the German stated. "I think I can speak for the whole team, it is a fully-deserved win."

"We just felt like that we are the deserved winners of this game," Gündoğan concluded. "And that's why we were so happy after the final whistle."