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City gets 2nd shot at Barcelona in Champions League last 16, Arsenal hosts Monaco


BARCELONA, Spain — Manchester City will get a second chance to shed the label of perennial pretender to the Champions League title when it hosts Barcelona on Tuesday in the last 16's highlight clash.

Despite winning two Premier League titles in last three years, City has still yet to make its mark in Europe.

City's first ever appearance in the round of 16 a year ago ended with Lionel Messi scoring twice and Barcelona dealing it a 4-1 aggregate defeat as the four-time champion advanced to the quarterfinals for a seventh consecutive year.

Juventus also hosts Dortmund on Tuesday. Arsenal welcomes Monaco on Wednesday, while Atletico Madrid visits Bayer Leverkusen.

Here is a look at the four Champions League games this week:



After a lull in January, City has regained the kind of swagger that took it to the Premier League title last season, scoring nine goals in big wins in its last two matches.

Injury worries have relented for City manager Manuel Pellegrini, too, meaning that Yaya Toure is the only regular starter definitely missing as the Ivory Coast midfielder is suspended.

While City arrives from a 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle, Barcelona saw its 11-game winning streak end in a 1-0 home loss to Malaga on Saturday when Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez were held in check.

"The loss is painful and deserved," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "Time will tell if it affects the game in Manchester."



Juventus will not underestimate Dortmund when the Bundesliga strugglers come to Turin.

The two teams are enjoying very different seasons domestically. Juventus moved nine points clear at the top of Serie A at the weekend, while Dortmund only recently climbed out of the German league's relegation zone following three successive wins.

PHOTO: Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Malaga at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Malaga at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

"Anything can happen over two matches," Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said.

While Dortmund appears to be recovering from its worst ever league start, questions remain with the team far from convincing in 2015.

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp says his side lacks "cutting edge" and he regrets the jitters that creep in toward the end of games.



With eight wins in its last nine games, Arsenal heads into the first leg of its tie against Monaco in impressive form.

Arsenal has been eliminated at this stage of the competition in each of the last four seasons but will be confident its current winning momentum can help it overcome its French opponents over two legs.

Monaco goes into the fixture off the back of a late 1-0 win at Nice on Friday, with substitute Bernardo Silva scoring five minutes from time to secure three points.



Following a strong start, Leverkusen has become more brittle as the season has progressed.

Roger Schmidt's side has been dropping points by conceding injury time goals in recent games - drawing 2-2 at Augsburg and losing 5-4 to Wolfsburg the weekend before.

"We're getting a very hard schooling this season and we have to learn from it," Schmidt said after the draw in Augsburg. "We have a day to be disappointed and then we'll look forward to the Champions League."

Atletico Madrid can empathize on the late goals. In last year's final, the Spanish champion conceded deep into injury time to allow bitter rival Real Madrid force the game into extra time and subsequently go on to claim the title.

New strike pair Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann are proving effective this season, with 37 goals (20 and 17, respectively) across all competitions in their first season at the club.


AP writers Steve Douglas, Jack Bezants, Daniella Matar and Ciaran Fahey contributed to this report.

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