The UEFA Champions League (2021/22)


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  1. #1
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    The UEFA Champions League (2021/22)

    Olympiacos, Ferencváros, Midtjylland and Dinamo Zagreb are among the 20 teams who have guaranteed a spot in the group stage of one of UEFA's three club competitions after winning their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round ties.

    In the second legs, PSV Eindhoven completed a commanding victory over Galatasaray, whilst Crvena zvezda and Sparta Praha both overturned first-leg disadvantages to reach the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

    For more details, read:

    https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsle...-as-it-stands/
    Last edited by MenInG; 18th August 2021 at 18:46.


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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Beleaguered Celtic's Champions League hopes ended in the second qualifying round for the second consecutive year as a callow side were undone in extra time by Denmark's Midtjylland.

    Raphael Onyedika side-footed home the crucial blow three minutes into the added period after Callum McGregor's stunning volley had put Celtic in front for the second time in the tie.

    But defensive frailties cost them again as Awer Mabil levelled before Onyedika pounced to leave Celtic floored and bound for the Europa League.

    They will face Czech side FK Jablonec in the third qualifying round next week, while Midtjylland go on to face PSV Eindhoven in European football's premier competition.


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  4. #4
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    Celtic have already been eliminated before the proper season has started! They can still keep singing the anthem they stole from Liverpool FC pretending to be as good as we are in Europe. Really, the Scottish champions should no longer even play qualifying matches in the Champions League so poor are they. Spare themselves this annual humiliation by directly going in to the draw of the Europa League. With Spanish Football on a downward slide 21/22 Champs will most likely come from the EPL again or perhaps even Serie A. Will wait for the window to close before making a prediction.


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  5. #5
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    "Fear and panic" cost Rangers as they crashed out of the Champions League after losing to 10-man Malmo at a full Ibrox, says manager Steven Gerrard.

    The Scottish champions levelled the third qualifying round tie on aggregate with Alfredo Morelos's goal, and looked well placed when Malmo's Bonke Innocent was sent off before half-time.

    But Antonio Colak scored twice in four minutes early in the second half and Rangers, despite dominating the ball and creating a fistful of chances, were unable to respond.

    Now a Europa League play-off awaits against Kazakhstan's Kairat Almaty or Alashkert of Armenia next week as Rangers became the second Scottish side to be knocked out - after Celtic's defeat by Denmark's Midtjylland.

    Alarmingly for Gerrard, it is a third defeat in a row for Rangers - the first time that has happened since May 2015.

    "We did really well for 45 minutes, but we got two restarts badly wrong and paid for it," the manager told Premier Sports.

    "The most frustrating part is we've lost the second half to 10 men. To be 1-0 up and then go 2-1 down, a bit of fear and panic set in. We've got the second-half performance wrong and that's on all of us.

    "We've lost three games out of four and, at Rangers, that's not good enough."

    Good start turns into abject ending
    Gerrard had rallied the fans in recent days to ensure a noisy reception would help keep their Champions League dreams alive.

    The support answered the call with the stadium's first sell-out since March 2020. As the stands rocked, an early goal was what those inside Ibrox craved.

    Joe Aribo twice had opportunities amid the early frenzy; a shot deflected wide before he couldn't quite manage to connect with a dangerous ball in from Borna Barisic.

    But the ground was shaking when Ryan Kent took the ball onto his right foot and sent a cross to the back post where Morelos forced it over the line.

    Morelos had looked off the pace in Saturday's Scottish Premiership defeat by Dundee United, but he turned the visiting defence inside out as he threatened a second, but couldn't add the finish.

    After an opening 35 minutes where Malmo had been hanging on, they began to find a way forward.

    Allan McGregor was adjudged to have handled outside the box and shown a yellow card. Colak then headed over from close range and Veljko Birmancevic shot straight at McGregor.

    But on the stroke of half-time a moment of controversy led to Malmo being reduced to 10 men. Nigerian midfielder Innocent and Connor Goldson both went for the ball with high feet, but as Goldson fell to the ground, the referee gave the Malmo man a second yellow card, to the fury of his team-mates.

    A second goal could well have been enough to put Rangers into the play-off round, and Morelos blasted over just after the restart.

    But, in an astonishing four minutes, Gerrard's side fell apart, just as they did in Sweden last week.

    Birmancevic played a delightful ball into the path of Colak, who angled it first time beyond McGregor. Then Colak touched a throw-in beyond Leon Balogun before firing inside the near post.

    In Sweden, Rangers had lost two goals in two second-half minutes. At home, it was two in four.

    A huge response was needed and Scott Arfield and Goldson both went close from inside the box. Morelos had a goal-bound shot saved before the Colombian saw a header pushed away.

    Kent also tested the goalkeeper while substitute Fashion Sakala twice threatened, but, for all the late pressure, the home side could not find a way through.

    It is maybe too early to write the crisis headlines just yet, but three defeats in a row has cost Rangers a place among Europe's elite and ended their 40-game unbeaten Scottish Premiership run.

    Gerrard's side had boasted a rock-solid defence last season, conceding just 13 goals in the league. But being breached five times in their last three games will worry the manager.

    So, too, will the prospect of playing in Kazakhstan or Armenia just three days before the season's first Old Firm game.

    BBC

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  8. #7
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    The draw for this year's competition takes place on Thursday at 17:00 BST in Istanbul, with defending champions Chelsea among the teams waiting to find out who they will face in the group stage.

    Fellow Premier League sides Manchester City, who were last year's beaten finalists, Manchester United and Liverpool are all in the pot too.

    Here's everything you need to know about the draw.

    Who is in the draw?
    There are 26 teams that have qualified for the group stage automatically, with a further six sides progressing via the play-offs.

    Spain have five qualifiers, four through their finish in La Liga plus Villarreal after winning the Europa League.

    Spain: Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal

    England: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea

    Germany: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg

    Italy: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus

    France: Lille, Paris St-Germain

    Portugal: Sporting Lisbon, Porto

    Russia: Zenit St Petersburg

    Belgium: Club Brugge

    Ukraine: Dynamo Kyiv

    Netherlands: Ajax

    Turkey: Besiktas

    Six qualifiers from play-offs yet to be decided.

    Teams will be split into four seeding pots, with pot one containing the holders Chelsea and Europa League winners Villarreal.

    The remaining pot one teams are made up of the champions from the six highest-ranked nations; Manchester City (England), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy), Bayern Munich (Germany), Lille (France), Sporting Lisbon (Portugal).

    Pots two, three and four will be determined by Uefa's club coefficient.

    How does the draw work?

    At this stage, no sides from their own association can be drawn against each other. For example, Manchester City will avoid a meeting with rivals Manchester United.

    If associations have two representatives, such as Lille and PSG from France, those teams will be paired so that their matches can be split between Tuesday and Wednesday.

    If associations have four or more representatives, which is the case for Spain, England, Germany and Italy, then two pairings will be made.

    The 32 teams will be put into eight groups of four.

    When will the group matches take place?

    Matchday one: 14/15 September

    Matchday two: 28/29 September

    Matchday three: 19/20 October

    Matchday four: 2/3 November

    Matchday five: 23/24 November

    Matchday six: 7/8 December

    How does the competition work?

    The top two teams from each group will advance to the last-16 knockout stage.

    Teams finishing third in each group will drop down to the Europa League last-16 stage, where they will face the runners-up from the Europa League groups.

    This year's Champions League final takes place at the St Petersburg Stadium in Russia on Saturday, 28 May.


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  9. #8
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  10. #9
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    Premier League champions Manchester City have been drawn to face Paris St-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Bruges in the Champions League group stage.

    Holders Chelsea come up against Serie A giants Juventus, Russian club Zenit St Petersburg and Swedish side Malmo.

    Manchester United face Villarreal, who beat them in last season's Europa League final, as well as Italian club Atalanta and Swiss side Young Boys.

    Liverpool are in a tough group with Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan.

    Group stage draw in full:

    Group A: Manchester City, Paris St-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Bruges

    Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan

    Group C: Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas

    Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol

    Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv

    Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys

    Group G: Lille, Sevilla, FC Salzburg, Wolfsburg

    Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Malmo

    This year's Champions League final takes place at the St Petersburg Stadium in Russia on Saturday, 28 May.

    Mixed draw for English clubs

    Pep Guardiola's City side, who were beaten by Chelsea last season in their maiden final in the competition, face a brace of tantalising Group A meetings with Lionel Messi's new club PSG.

    Those matches could see a reunion for Messi with old foe Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been heavily linked with a move to City from Juventus before transfer deadline day.

    The two sides meet in the competition for the second consecutive season after last season's semi-final showdown, which City won 4-1 on aggregate.

    Bundesliga side RB Leipzig will also be a difficult proposition, having knocked out Manchester United in the group stage last season.

    Jurgen Klopp's six-time winners Liverpool are arguably in this season's hardest group, along with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Portuguese club Porto - winners in 1987 and 2004 - and seven-time European champions AC Milan.

    Liverpool beat Milan in the famous 2005 final in Istanbul, but the Italians gained revenge in Athens two years later.

    The toughest task for Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea side will be negotiating home and away meetings with Juventus, while the defending champions should have few problems against Zenit and Malmo.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be much happier with Manchester United's chances of progression from Group F, having been knocked out in the group stage last season.

    The Red Devils will be aiming to take revenge on Unai Emery's Villarreal, who beat them on penalties in the Europa League final last season.

    Champions League stats

    Chelsea only lost one of their 13 Champions League matches last season, their quarter-final second leg at home to Porto, which they lost 1-0. They remained unbeaten in their seven matches played away from Stamford Bridge (W6 D1).

    In Champions League history, only one reigning champion has failed to progress from the initial group stage in the following season - that was Chelsea in 2012-13, who finished third in their group before lifting the Europa League that season.

    Of the 25 managers to have taken charge of at least 50 Champions League matches, Manchester City's Pep Guardiola has the best win percentage (63% - 86/136).

    With PSG in the same group, Lionel Messi could face Manchester City for a seventh time in the Champions League - the Argentine has scored more goals against City than any other player in the competition (six goals in six games).

    Liverpool have progressed from 11 of their 14 previous Champions League group stage participations, including all four under current manager Jurgen Klopp

    Liverpool have won just one of their six meetings with Atletico Madrid in all European competition (D2 L3), losing home and away against them in 2019-20 as the Spanish side knocked them out in the last 16.

    Only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have played more Champions League matches than Manchester United (230), with the Red Devils one of just five sides to have 100 or more wins in the competition (121).

    The four Champions League meetings between Manchester United and Villarreal have produced no goals, the most played fixture in the history of the competition to see no goals scored.


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  11. #10
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    The group stage of what promises to be a fascinating Champions League season gets under way this week.

    Holders Chelsea are part of an English quartet in the mix, along with last season's runners-up Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.

    Intriguingly, the latter will have the competition's record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo in their side.

    And for the first time, Lionel Messi will play for someone other than Barcelona in the tournament.

    His new club Paris St-Germain will begin as one of the favourites following a summer that has seen them recruit a number of seasoned Champions League campaigners.

    But who else will be aiming for glory in St Petersburg in May? Which other players should you look out for? And can we expect another English winner this season? BBC Sport tries to provide the answers.

    Do Chelsea lead the English challenge?

    Three-and-a-half months ago, Kai Havertz's goal gave Chelsea victory over Manchester City in the 2020-21 Champions League final in Portugal's Estadio do Dragao.

    Ominously, the Blues appear even stronger going into this year's tournament, having recruited striker Romelu Lukaku, a scorer of 13 goals in 27 Champions League matches and more than 300 in his club career, and midfielder Saul Niguez, a runner-up in Europe's premier club competition with Atletico Madrid in 2016.

    Drawn in a group with Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo, Chelsea have been given a 92% chance of reaching the knockout rounds by data experts Nielsen Gracenote, which is second best behind Real Madrid.

    Manchester City are not far behind on 89%, although they face a tough task in Group A, which also includes a star-studded PSG, RB Leipzig and Bruges.

    Pep Guardiola has strengthened with the British-record £100m signing of Jack Grealish, but has lost Sergio Aguero - a man with 78 games and 41 goals in the Champions League to his name.

    Liverpool continue to rely on the core of players that led them to Champions League glory in 2019 and face arguably the toughest group of all the English sides, being drawn against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, Portuguese Primeira Liga runners-up Porto and Italy's seven-time European champions AC Milan.

    It was this draw that led to a drop of 10% in their chances of reaching the knockout rounds according to Nielsen Gracenote, to 75% - the lowest of the four English sides.

    And then there are Manchester United, looking to at least avoid a group-stage exit for a second successive season.

    The Red Devils have arguably the easiest pathway to the knockout rounds of all four Premier League sides, although Group F does pit them against the side that beat them on penalties in last season's Europa League final, Villarreal.

    They now have in their arsenal arguably the Champions League's most potent weapon in Ronaldo, who holds the record for most goals in the competition (135) and most assists (42) and has five winners' medals, his first coming in 2008 - the last time United won the tournament.

    Ronaldo's move to Old Trafford also sets up an intriguing continuation of his personal battle for records and honours with Messi.

    Gracenote calculates percentages using its Euro Club Index - a proprietary ranking of all European football clubs based on results in competition over a four-year period and emphasis on recent results. They have Real Madrid the most likely to progress from the group stage with a 93% chance, followed by Chelsea on 92%

    Nielsen Gracenote calculates percentages using its Euro Club Index - a proprietary ranking of all European football clubs based on results in competition over a four-year period and emphasis on recent results

    Messi and co aim to inspire PSG to glory

    Messi's move from Barcelona to the French capital was the transfer story of the summer and his arrival will give PSG hope of finally claiming Europe's top prize.

    The 34-year-old Argentine, who has 120 Champions League goals in 149 games as part of a career that has seen him find the net close to 700 times, is not the only notable recruit by the French club.

    Centre-back Sergio Ramos brings four winners' medals and 129 Champions League appearances with him from Real Madrid, Georginio Wijnaldum has won it with Liverpool, Gianluigi Donnarumma has just been named player of Euro 2020 with Italy (more on that in a bit) and Achraf Hakimi is one of the highest-rated full-backs in the world.

    Boss Mauricio Pochettino, himself a Champions League runner-up with Tottenham, also has Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel di Maria, Marco Verratti and more at his disposal.

    In returning boss Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid have one of only three managers to win the Champions League three times
    It has certainly been a tough summer for Barcelona, who lost talisman Messi amid a perilous financial situation that meant they could only register new signings such as Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia after defender Gerard Pique agreed to a wage cut to comply with salary cap rules.

    They still have talent in the ranks, not least in young midfielder Pedri, and should be competitive, as suggested by Gracenote giving them an 85% chance of getting out of Group E. But German champions Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dinamo Kiev won't give them an easy ride.

    Real Madrid also have financial worries, but they have not been as costly to them this summer as their El Clasico rival, although Ramos is clearly a loss.

    They have recruited well in two-time Champions League winner David Alaba from Bayern Munich and highly rated France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes and will hope to wring every last drop out of Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and maybe even Gareth Bale.

    Eduardo Camavinga: Who is Real Madrid's £27m French wonderkid?
    Gracenote gives them a competition-high of 93% to qualify from a group also containing a weakened Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheriff Tiraspol.

    There are seemingly few concerns for Atletico Madrid right now. The Spanish champions are in theory stronger this season than last, with Antoine Griezmann returning to the club from Barcelona along with the signing of talented South American duo Rodrigo de Paul and Matheus Cunha.

    As mentioned earlier, their group is a tricky one, though.

    Spain's other entrant, Sevilla, could be one to watch. A group featuring Lille, Red Bull Salzburg and Wolfsburg looks winnable and they were competitive last season in reaching the last 16.

    Will raiding Leipzig benefit Bayern?
    As they have in the past, Bayern Munich's solution to renewing themselves has been to plunder their nearest rival.

    Borussia Dortmund have been victims before, but this time it is RB Leipzig who have lost their manager Julian Nagelsmann, captain Marcel Sabitzer and top defender Dayot Upamecano to Bayern.

    They should certainly improve the German champions, having helped Leipzig to the last 16 and semi-finals of the Champions League in recent seasons.

    As for Leipzig, they suffered most from the draw, according to Gracenote, with their chances of reaching the knockout phase reduced by 17% after pulling out both PSG and Manchester City.

    Dortmund have lost Jadon Sancho but kept Erling Braut Haaland, and it feels as if Group C - also containing Portuguese champions Sporting Lisbon, Dutch champions Ajax and Turkish side Besiktas - is completely up for grabs.

    Can Euro 2020 success propel Italian clubs?

    What a summer it was for Italian sport, with their Euros win at Wembley testament to their talent and tactical nous. Roberto Mancini's side are now 37 matches unbeaten - the longest such run in international football.

    But will this translate into club success in the Champions League?

    Inter Milan were the top Italian side last season, and have Euro 2020 star Nicolo Barella in their ranks, but they look significantly weaker having lost Hakimi and Lukaku.

    Juventus have brought in midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who impressed in the summer tournament, but will undoubtedly suffer for the loss of Ronaldo, top scorer in Serie A last season.

    Atalanta are talented but lack pedigree in the competition, while AC Milan have the pedigree but maybe not the talent, especially with Euro 2020 goalkeeping hero Donnarumma no longer at the club.


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  12. #11
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    What is on tonight?

    Sevilla v Red Bull Salzburg (17:45)
    Young Boys v Manchester United (17:45)
    Barcelona v Bayern Munich
    Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica
    Chelsea v Zenit St Petersburg
    Malmo v Juventus
    Lille v Wolfsburg
    Villarreal v Atalanta


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  13. #12
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    Good win for Young Boys

    2-1 v Utd


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  14. #13
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    Cristiano Ronaldo scored on his Champions League return for Manchester United but it was not enough as Young Boys struck in stoppage-time to cap a remarkable comeback win.



  15. #14
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    The UCL scores from tonight's fixtures:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  16. #15
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    Goals from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski settled a battle of the big two in Champions League Group E as Bayern Munich claimed a dominant opening-game 3-0 victory at Barcelona.

    Chelsea opened their defence of the Champions League with a 1-0 victory as Romelu Lukaku finally pierced Zenit St Petersburg's stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge.

    Former Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata scored one goal and earned a penalty as Juventus launched their Champions League campaign by beating Malmo 3-0.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  17. #16
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    Today's results:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  18. #17
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    Jordan Henderson's superb finish gave Liverpool a 3-2 victory from behind over AC Milan in a thrilling opening-night clash in Champions League Group B.

    Jack Grealish marked his Champions League debut with a brilliant goal and an assist as Manchester City beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in an entertaining encounter.

    Lionel Messi failed to spark Paris Saint-Germain on his first start as the Ligue 1 side were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in their Champions League opener.

    English teenager Jude Bellingham shone for Borussia Dortmund as he opened the scoring in German side's Champions League Group C 2-1 victory at Besiktas.

    Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo struck an 89th-minute winner to snatch a 1-0 Champions League group-stage victory and punish a wasteful Inter Milan.

    Sebastien Haller produced one of the great Champions League debuts as he netted four goals in Ajax's 5-1 hammering of Sporting Lisbon.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  19. #18
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    Liverpool involved in another incredibly exciting match from one end to the other it was hold on to your hat's!. Off to a great start then Salah off all misses from the spot that seemed so costly at half time. Don't know what happened....we were suddenly 1-2 down at Anfield after dominating the entire half. This did not stop me from believing we'd still win the match as I sat down with my cup of tea and some biscuits to watch the second match The man Salah equalised again but the best was still to come when skipper Hendo hammered it in from outside the box putting us 3-2 up.

    Whilst all that was happening Man City were chalking up a Cricket score home to Leipzig! With Barca on their knee's in debt looking average at best after yesterday's defeat chances are the winner of UCL will again come from England. After always stealing other team's top player's it is awesome to see Barcelona being humiliated. Meanwhile, Real Madrid got a good away result at the other Milan.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  20. #19
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    PSG v Man City: Will Lionel Messi break goal drought against Pep Guardiola's side?

    It was one of the most successful player-manager relationships of the modern era.

    Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi won 14 trophies together at Barcelona during a four-year period and the pair have been dominant forces in European football for more than a decade.

    Since parting ways when Guardiola left the Catalan club in 2012, no player has scored more goals against his teams in the Champions League than Messi.

    Their longstanding relationship and Messi's enduring brilliance helps explain why Guardiola tried to sign Messi in the summer. The Argentine instead ended up at Paris St-Germain and will face his former manager in the Champions League on Tuesday (20:00 BST).

    "It was a surprise for everyone but what happened happened. Everyone now accepts it," Guardiola said in the build-up to the game.

    "A long time ago you couldn't imagine it but it happened. In life itself you never know what happens. What is important is he'll be happy in Paris.

    "Messi speaks for himself, I don't have to describe him. What he's done is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game."

    Transformation under Guardiola from day one
    Barcelona's current struggles under Ronald Koeman are a long way from the glory years under the Catalan side's previous coaches, most notably Guardiola and his fruitful link-up with Messi.

    Guardiola was promoted from boss of Barca's B team into the top job for the first team at the start of the 2008-09 season and the campaign was an unprecedented success, resulting in a Treble of trophies.

    Messi scored 38 goals that term and he netted a total of 211 goals under Guardiola, including an incredible 73 in just 60 matches in 2011-12, the Spaniard's final season in charge.

    Together the pair lifted three La Ligas, two Champions League titles - beating Manchester United in both finals - two Copas del Rey, as well as three Spanish Super Cups and two each of the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

    "Pep immediately transmitted an enormous amount of pride in our work, ambition and hunger," Messi said.

    "He won our confidence from the first day because we could see that things were being done correctly and then, when results started to flow, the confidence grew with them."

    How Messi has haunted Pep
    Messi was named Barcelona captain in 2018 after the departure of Andres Iniesta
    The two have crossed paths since going their separate ways and will meet again on Tuesday in the group stage of the Champions League in Paris.

    In the past, six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has shown no mercy.

    The Argentine has scored six goals in four Champions League games against teams managed by Guardiola - the most of any player in the competition against the current City boss.

    In May 2015, Messi scored twice in the semi-final first leg and eventually helped Barca reach another Champions League final with victory over Bayern Munich, who were then managed by Guardiola.

    "Messi is just incredible, really strong, really fast, back to his best just as when I used to train him," Guardiola said. "He is the best player of all time. I can compare him with Pele.

    "I am very proud of the years we spent together."

    Messi won the last of his four Champions League titles that year, while Guardiola has never won the competition without him, coming close last season when his City side were beaten in the final by Chelsea.

    They last faced each other in the 2016 group stages when Messi ruthlessly despatched a hat-trick in a 4-0 thrashing at the Nou Camp and scored in a 3-1 loss at the Etihad.

    Has Messi struggled to settle at PSG?


    Messi is yet to score in three appearances for PSG
    The unthinkable happened in the summer.

    Unable to meet La Liga's financial fair play rules, Barcelona could not renew Messi's contract and he left the Nou Camp.

    He had been linked with a reunion with Guardiola at City but instead he joined Mauricio Pochettino's PSG on a free transfer to form a formidable frontline alongside France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Brazil superstar Neymar.

    By the end of a remarkable transfer window, old foe Cristiano Ronaldo had also left Juventus to return to Manchester United and the Portuguese has already scored four times for the Premier League club.

    It has been a frustrating start to life in the French capital for 34-year-old Messi, with fitness issues and injury meaning he has featured in just three games - completing the full 90 minutes only once - and is yet to find the net.

    He appeared as a substitute for 25 minutes of his debut at Reims on 25 August and the side were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at Club Bruges in their opening Champions League group game on 15 September.

    Controversy followed four days later when Messi's number went up on the substitution board as he was taken off on 76 minutes by Pochettino, with players on the bench appearing to question the decision.

    "He hit the bar twice against Bruges and against Lyon. Five centimetres below and he would have scored two amazing goals," French football expert Julien Laurens said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Euro Leagues podcast.

    "Unlike Cristiano, going back to a club and place he knew, Messi - we all knew - it would take some time. It would not be perfect straight away - that front three was not going to click straight away and there was already quite a bit of work in behind for Pochettino as well.

    "There are lots of questions, Messi is still part of that process. He cared that he was subbed off. It is hard to say that he hasn't reached the expectations we had because he did some amazing things. But I think it will come."

    Italian football expert James Horncastle added: "Man City is perfect for the first goal. Maybe that is destiny against Pep, against Man City."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/58707011

  21. #20
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    Games coming up

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  22. #21
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  23. #22
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  24. #23
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    Tonight's results.

    Brilliant from Liverpool.

    Shock for Real Madrid.

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  25. #24
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    Get in there PSG.

  26. #25
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    Messi!!!

  27. #26
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    Porto must be fed up playing Liverpool. We played brilliantly again winning the match with complete ease. Said so before the match how City will lose to PSG. Who are Sheriff Tiraspol for heaven sake!!?


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  28. #27
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    Lionel Messi scored his first Paris St-Germain goal in stunning fashion as they beat Manchester City 2-0 in an enthralling Champions League group game.

    Liverpool inflicted another heavy defeat on Porto, this time 5-1, to remain top of their Champions League group.

    Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova produced one of the great Champions League shocks as the competition's least experienced club upstaged 13-time European champions Real Madrid 2-1 away at the Bernabeu.

    Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez scored a winning penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time to defeat 10-man AC Milan 2-1 in the Champions League.

    RB Leipzig suffered a second successive Champions League Group A defeat with a surprise 2-1 home loss to Belgian side Club Bruges.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  29. #28
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  30. #29
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  31. #30
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  32. #31
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    Cristiano Ronaldo scored an injury-time winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat Villarreal 2-1 in an action-packed Champions League Group F contest.

    Chelsea suffered a disappointing Champions League defeat as Federico Chiesa's strike 10 seconds after the interval gave Juventus a 1-0 victory in Turin.

    Ronald Koeman said there was "no point" comparing his Barcelona team to those from the past after a 3-0 defeat by Benfica made this the club's worst start to a Champions League campaign.

    Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich made it two wins from two in the Champions League group stage with 5-0 victory over Dynamo Kyiv.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  33. #32
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    Updated group standings:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

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  35. #34
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    Riyad Mahrez scored twice and Cole Palmer got his first Champions League goal for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola's side put in a superb performance to sweep aside Belgian side Club Bruges.

    The visitors were slick and confident from start to finish as they moved top of Group A with their second win in this season's competition.

    City had been dominant from the outset but their opening goal did not arrive until the 30th minute when Joao Cancelo latched onto Phil Foden's brilliant ball to slot through the legs of former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

    Mahrez then added a second from the penalty spot just before the break after he had been fouled.

    City did not ease up in the second half and the third goal arrived quickly as Mahrez found Kevin de Bruyne, whose one-touch ball sent Kyle Walker through and the full-back fired into the far corner.

    Nineteen-year-old academy graduate Palmer then scored his side's fourth just two minutes after coming onto the pitch, bending a fine shot into the back of the net from the edge of the box.

    Hans Vanaken turned home a late cross for the hosts but City responded immediately to get their fifth, Mahrez running through before finishing coolly one-on-one.

    The victory for City was the ideal response to defeat at Paris St-Germain in their previous Champions League outing as they moved onto six points from three games.

    After losing 2-0 at PSG on 28 September, Guardiola had shown his determination to get back to winning ways quickly in the Champions League by naming a strong XI for the trip to Belgium.

    The one thing that did raise an eyebrow, however, was the decision to play Foden as a false nine in what was his first start in the competition this season.

    Guardiola had previously said that finding a position for Foden would never be a problem because he could effectively play anywhere and once again the England international repaid his manager's huge faith in him to deliver in any role.

    His runs and link-up play were excellent throughout and it was of little surprise that he played a key role in the opener.

    It is hard for words to do Foden's assist justice as, from just inside the Club Bruges' half, he spotted Cancelo's run and played an inch-perfect ball for his team-mate to run onto, control superbly and then finish.

    Foden flourishing under Guardiola after progressing from the academy will no doubt delight City fans and Palmer suggested he, too, could be on course to follow in Foden's footsteps.

    His first goal in Europe showed composure beyond his years as he became only the third teenager to score in the Champions League for Manchester City, after Foden and Kelechi Iheanacho.


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  36. #35
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    Atletico level with Liverpool after being 2 down, but Griezmann has been sent off.

    Great game of football.



  37. #36
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    Mohamed Salah continued his superb form as Liverpool made it three wins out of three in the group stage of the Champions League by beating Spanish champions Atletico Madrid 3-2 in a game of constant drama.

    Lionel Messi scored twice as Paris St-Germain came from behind to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in the Champions League.

    Riyad Mahrez scored twice and Cole Palmer got his first Champions League goal for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola's side put in a superb performance to sweep aside Belgian side Club Bruges 5-1.

    Vinicius Junior scored two goals, including a brilliant solo effort, as Real Madrid thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League.

    Sebastien Haller scored his sixth Champions League goal in three games as Ajax thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-0.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  38. #37
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  39. #38
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    Gerard Pique scored Barcelona's first Champions League goal this season as Ronald Koeman's side beat Dynamo Kyiv to end their losing start to Group E.

    Pique volleyed in a superb opener from Jordi Alba's cross as the hosts found the net in Europe for the first time in more than four and a half hours.

    Barcelona were comfortable, if not clinical, and success keeps their hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

    They sit third, one point behind Benfica, who play Bayern Munich later.

    Follow Wednesday's Champions League action live
    Barcelona headed into this fixture on the back of 3-0 defeats by Bayern and Benfica, managing just one shot on target in total.

    They had not failed to find the net in three successive European games since March 1988 in the Uefa Cup - and Pique made sure that unwanted feat would not be repeated.

    It was the 34-year-old defender's first goal of the campaign and a timely one for the hosts, who were on a run of 287 minutes without one in the competition and had been frustrated by Kyiv.

    Sergino Dest earlier headed over and Ansu Fati wasted a good chance to double his side's lead, before Sergio Aguero was brought on for his first Champions League appearance for the club.


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  40. #39
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    Cristiano Ronaldo headed the winner nine minutes from time as Manchester United came back from two goals down to record a memorable Champions League triumph against Atalanta at Old Trafford.

    Chelsea put their Champions League campaign back on course by thrashing Malmo 4-0 at Stamford Bridge - but it was victory at a price as strike duo Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner suffered injuries.

    Gerard Pique scored Barcelona's first Champions League goal this season as Ronald Koeman's side beat Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 to end their losing start to Group E.

    Dejan Kulusevski's late header helped Juventus extend their winning start to this season's Champions League with a 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg.

    Bayern Munich scored four goals in the final 20 minutes to beat Benfica 4-0 and move five points clear at the top of their Champions League group.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebat View Post
    Cristiano Ronaldo scored an injury-time winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat Villarreal 2-1 in an action-packed Champions League Group F contest.

    Chelsea suffered a disappointing Champions League defeat as Federico Chiesa's strike 10 seconds after the interval gave Juventus a 1-0 victory in Turin.

    Ronald Koeman said there was "no point" comparing his Barcelona team to those from the past after a 3-0 defeat by Benfica made this the club's worst start to a Champions League campaign.

    Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich made it two wins from two in the Champions League group stage with 5-0 victory over Dynamo Kyiv.
    Ronaldo keeping Ole’s job for now

  42. #41
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  43. #42
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    Cristiano Ronaldo once again rescued Manchester United with a sensational late goal to earn his side a 2-2 draw against Atalanta that keeps them top of Champions League Group F.

    Reigning champions Chelsea moved closer to the last 16 of the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Malmo in Sweden.

    Robert Lewandowski marked his 100th Champions League appearance with a hat-trick as Bayern Munich beat Benfica 5-2 to reach the knockout stages.

    Juventus beat Zenit St Petersburg 4-2 with a sparkling display to confirm their qualification to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

    Barcelona gained a vital 1-0 victory against Dynamo Kyiv to move up to second in Champions League Group E.

    Villarreal went level on points with Manchester United in their Champions League group with a 2-0 victory over Young Boys in what could have been Unai Emery's final match in charge.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  44. #43
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    Liverpool swept into the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man Atletico Madrid that ensured they will finish top of Group B.

    Karim Benzema's double took Real Madrid top of Group D as they held off a spirited Shakhtar Donetsk side 2-1 in the Champions League.

    Raheem Sterling ended his 12-game goal drought to wrap up an easy 4-1 Champions League win for Manchester City over Club Bruges at Etihad Stadium.

    Ajax maintained their 100% record as they came from behind to reach the last 16 of the Champions League with a hard-fought 3-1 win at 10-man Borussia Dortmund.

    Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal in the Champions League since 2017 as Inter Milan beat Sheriff Tiraspol 3-1 to go second in Group D.

    Former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first goals for Paris St-Germain but a last-minute equaliser earned RB Leipzig a 2-2 draw in their Champions League group game.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  45. #44
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  46. #45
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    Manchester United moved into the Champions League last 16 thanks to two late goals against Villarreal in Michael Carrick's first game as caretaker manager.

    Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his record of scoring in every game in this season's competition when he lifted the ball over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli in the 78th minute, after Fred had dispossessed Etienne Capoue.

    Jadon Sancho then sealed the victory in injury-time when he blasted a shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

    United, who sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, are top of Group F with one round of matches left.

    However, they were indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea, who produced two superb one-handed saves, one in each half, to keep out well-struck efforts from Manu Trigueros when it was goalless.

    United will be guaranteed to progress as group winners with a game to spare if Atalanta fail to win away at Swiss side Young Boys in the later game on Tuesday.

    The result delighted United's travelling fans, with Carrick hugging his players at the final whistle as some of the gloom over the club lifted.

    A bad run of form has left them eighth in the Premier League, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, with Solskjaer's three years in charge coming to an end after an embarrassing 4-1 defeat by Watford on Saturday.

    Carrick, who was Solskjaer's assistant, said on Monday that he was not thinking about a potential chance to impress and earn the role on a full-time basis.

    Before the game in Spain, former team-mate Paul Scholes, now a BT Sport pundit, was scathing of Carrick and fellow coaches Kieran McKenna and Mike Phelan, saying: "I would be embarrassed being on the staff now.

    "They all should have gone - sacked or gone off their own back. They have let the club down as much as Ole has."

    However, despite the off-field distractions and criticism, United secured their first clean sheet in 15 matches - only their second of the season.

    BBC


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  47. #46
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    Manchester United interim boss Michael Carrick dedicated their 2-0 victory over Villarreal to former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United booked their place in the Champions League last 16.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said his side produced an "amazing performance" as the holders progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League with an impressive 4-0 win against Juventus at Stamford Bridge.

    Robert Lewandowski scored for the ninth successive Champions League game as Bayern Munich maintained their 100% record in Group E against Dynamo Kyiv.

    Barcelona's hopes of making the Champions League knockout stage hang in the balance after they were held to a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp by Benfica.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  48. #47
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    Manchester City came back from behind to beat Paris St-Germain 2-1 and secure qualification for the Champions League last 16 - doing so as Group A winners.

    Liverpool maintained their 100% record in the Champions League this season by seeing off Porto 2-0 at Anfield.

    Real Madrid reached the Champions League knockout stage for the 25th successive year with a comfortable 3-0 win against Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova.

    Junior Messias used to deliver fridges when he first arrived in Italy - now the Brazilian is delivering in the Champions League after scoring the goal that kept AC Milan's hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

    Sporting Lisbon beat 10-man Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League at the expense of the German club.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  49. #48
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  51. #50
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  52. #51
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    Even a second string Liverpool FC are too string for Milan. Things are good when you know a substitute like Origi is happy to be on the bench then take his chances when called upon. For the first time a British side has won all six group matches ending with maximum points. It's looking good for the mighty red's

    Also good to see Keita back then the Ox is turning it on too. Hopefully Bobby Firmino's return will further extend our options


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  53. #52
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    Liverpool became the first English side to win all six Champions League group games as they completed a perfect journey into the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over AC Milan in Italy.

    Manchester City ended their Champions League group campaign with a 2-1 defeat by RB Leipzig in a match played without fans because of Covid-19 restrictions.

    Atletico Madrid reached the last 16 of the Champions League after beating Porto 3-1 in an extraordinary match that saw three players shown red cards.

    Kylian Mbappe became the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals as Paris St-Germain rounded off Group A with a 4-1 win over Club Bruges.

    Record 13-time winners Real Madrid finished top of Champions League Group D with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Inter Milan, who progress in second place.

    Borussia Dortmund ended their Champions League campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Besiktas in the knowledge they could not reach the knockout stage.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  54. #53
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    An incredible group stage from Liverpool, winning all home & away fixtures and rarely even moving into top gear. Got to rank as one of the favourites to win this year’s competition.

  55. #54
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  56. #55
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    Five-time European champions Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich 3-0 to miss out on the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 17 years.

    Mason Greenwood's spectacular ninth-minute opener failed to inspire Manchester United's second string who were held to a disappointing Champions League 1-1 draw by Swiss side Young Boys.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said his players "changed their behaviours" after taking an early lead against Zenit St Petersburg as they drew their final Champions League group match 3-3.

    Juventus beat Malmo 1-0 to finish above Chelsea and advance to the Champions League last 16 as Group H winners.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  57. #56
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    What has happened to Barca? (I don’t follow football outside of England particularly.) They seem to be in a total mess at the moment.

  58. #57
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    The final game of the UCL group stages:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  59. #58
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    The final UCL group standings:

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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  60. #59
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    The Champions League last-16 draw will take place again at 14:00 GMT after a "technical problem" caused an error in the initial one.

    Manchester United were initially drawn to face Villarreal but this was not permitted under tournament rules as they had been in the same group.

    Instead the La Liga side were paired with Manchester City, while United drew Paris St-Germain.

    In a statement, Uefa said the draw had been "declared void".

    It added: "Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the Uefa Champions League round of 16.

    "As a result of this, the draw has been declared void and will be entirely redone at 14:00 GMT."

    A second administrative error saw United excluded from the pot of possible opponents for Atletico Madrid and Liverpool included instead, although United could have played the Spanish side and Liverpool could not, having progressed into the knockout stage from the same group.

    Atletico were drawn to face Bayern Munich but following the draw, the La Liga champions said they were in talks with Uefa "to ask for explanations and a solution after the mistakes made".

    European football expert Guillem Balague suggested 13-time champions Real Madrid, drawn against Portuguese club Benfica, "are not pleased at all by what has happened".



    BBC
    Last edited by James; 13th December 2021 at 20:07.

  61. #60
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    New draw:

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  62. #61
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    I haven't been watching that much football at all, but here are my prediction;

    RB Salzburg v Bayern Munich - Bayern Munich

    Sporting Lisbon v Manchester City - Manchester City

    Benfica v Ajax - Ajax

    Chelsea v Lille - Chelsea

    Atletico Madrid v Manchester United - Atletico Madrid (Please, would be a pleasure to see Man Utd fail for the hundredth time).

    Villareal vs Juventus - Juventus? But Villareal has a better chance of causing an upset compared to the other weaker teams in the other draws

    Inter Milan vs Liverpool - Liverpool. It was good while it lasted for Inter, since the last time they made it to UCL R16 was like 10 years ago.

    PSG vs Real Madrid - Real Madrid - As a Messi Fan, I obviously want Messi to go through, but for some reason, I have a really bad feeling that Real Madrid will go through; therefore, once again every media person and football website will be putting up figures that say how much money PSG has spent while not winning UCL.

    I will say it now, I believe Liverpool and Bayern Munich are the two top favourites. I will make a guess and say Liverpool to win this Champions League.

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