Tuesday 27 September 2016

What were the main talking points to come out of the Champions League draw

Published 27/08/2015 | 19:28

The draw for the groups A, B, C and D are displayed on a screen during the UEFA Champions League Group stage draw ceremony, on August 27, 2015 in Monaco. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
The draw for the groups A, B, C and D are displayed on a screen during the UEFA Champions League Group stage draw ceremony, on August 27, 2015 in Monaco. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United avoided all the big hitters in the Champions League draw but neighbours City face a daunting task in the group stages. Here are the main talking points.

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JOSE HAT-TRICK AT PORTO

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will be facing the club at which he made his name after being paired with Porto.

It is actually the third time Mourinho will have led the Blues against his compatriots in the competition, following the group stages in 2004/05 and the round of 16 in 06/07.

Chelsea won twice, lost one and drew one of those games.

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ARSENE'S REVENGE

Arsenal saw their Champions League ambitions flounder in Munich in both 2013/14 and 2012/13, beaten in the last 16 on both occasions having lost the first leg at home.

Arsene Wenger will now have the chance to exorcise any lingering demons before the knock-out stages begin.

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ZLATAN'S HOMECOMING

The mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic has many strings to his bow and he may now be able to have a claim on precognition.

On Wednesday morning he Tweeted of his first professional club Malmo: "MFF in Champions League. One day I hope to experience the Champions League in Malmo on the pitch. Congratulations!"

By Thursday afternoon, his Paris St Germain side had been drawn with the Swedes.

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CELTIC ENVY

The Scottish champions could hardly have had their noses more decisively rubbed in their Champions League exit.

Having lost to Malmo in their qualifier, the Hoops then went on to see them bag glamour ties against not just PSG but also Real Madrid.

The trek to Shakhtar Donetsk balances against, but not nearly enough.

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SEVILLA-LY TESTED

Sevilla are the first Europa League winners to earn their place at the top table as a result and they could have been handed a stern challenge as they join last year's runners-up Juventus, Manchester City and Borussian Monchengladbach.

UEFA will be eager for the Spaniards to prove the idea is a solid one.

FAMILIAR FACES FOR PHILLIP

PSV boss Phillip Cocu will know plenty about Group B opponents Manchester United - who are coached by his former Barcelona mentor Louis van Gaal and can be expected to field Memphis Depay, who swapped Eindhoven for Old Trafford this summer.

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BARCA EM-BORIS-MENT

Barcelona and BATE Borisov have met only twice before - in the 2011/12 group stages.

They won 4-0 and 5-0 back then and the boys from Belarus will be keen to show they have improved in the interim.

Champions League group stage draw in full

A - PSG, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo.

B - PSV, Man Utd, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg.

C - Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana.

D - Juventus, Man City, Sevilla, Mönchengladbach.

E - Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Bate Borisov.

F - Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb.

G - Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev, M. Tel-Aviv.

H - Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, Gent.

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