Chelsea will play against Champions League newbies Benfica for a spot in the last 16 next month when they return to competition after a year of absence.
Emma Hayes’ team failed to qualify for last season’s tournament after finishing third behind Arsenal and Manchester City in the 2018-19 Women’s Super League, but reaching the semi-finals twice and beating Wolfsburg in 2018 and lost to Lyon in 2019.
Manchester City, also two semi-finalists, will play against the Swedish team Gothenburg. The city were knocked out by Atlético Madrid in the last two seasons, the last 16 of last season and one round earlier in 2019.
The Italian champion has failed to get past the last 32 in his two attempts in its three-year history. Lyon has won the competition five times in a row and a total of seven times as a record winner. Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg is the all-time top scorer with 53 goals. In August, Lyon defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 in the final of a stunted one-legged competition in San Sebastián.
Scottish champions Glasgow City defeated Icelandic team Valur after a 1-1 draw in qualifying on penalties to secure a draw against Sparta Prague.
The games will take place on 9. and 10. December and 15. and 16. December on two legs, with the seeded team playing the second leg at home.
This year’s draw for the final 32 had a slightly different format: unset teams and seeded teams were divided into four groups based on geographic location to limit the distance traveled during the pandemic. The final will take place on 16. May in Gothenburg.
The competition for the next season will be expanded to include a group stage in which the third-placed player in the women’s Super League can also compete via qualification.
UEFA Women’s Champions League, Manchester City F. . C.. . , S.. . L.. . Benfica, Chelsea F. . C.. . , Olympique Lyonnais, Juventus F. . C.. .
World news – AU – Champions League for women: Chelsea meet Benfica, Gothenburg in Manchester City
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