champions league- the journey so far   Leave a comment


February is a day away and it will be time for the champions league to resume. A quick reminder of what happened in the group stage.
The road to Munich has been very tough, teams like real Madrid, benfica and Barcelona performed brilliantly well by not losing a single match throughout the group stage. Real Madrid was extremely outstanding winning all six with an amazing 18 points with a goal difference of +17.  Outstanding!!!!!
         
It was all disappointment for the teams from Manchester as they both crash out of the competition the same night. Victory for Manchester city over Bayern was not enough to see them through as Napoli sealed their qualification by beating the whipping team of the group. It was a night sir Alex Ferguson will never pray to re occur as his side was brush aside by Basel FC. Basel wore Barca’s jersey to scare Manchester united having noted that Manchester united trembles whenever they face the Catalan giant. Victory for Basel sees them achieve what people would not have imagined when the draw was made. Valencia and Villarreal also crashed out of the champions’ league but it was the yellow submarines that had a night mare throughout the group stage losing all their group matches
Table after group games
                                     GROUP A     
                                             GP       W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Bayern Munich                6      4      1       1       5      13
2      Napoli                              6      3      2      1       4      11
3      Manchester City              6      3      1       2      3      10
4      Villarreal                        6       0      0      6      -12    0
                                  GROUP B
                                      GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Inter                        6      3      1       2      1       10
2      CSKA Moscow          6      2      2      2      1       8
3      Trabzonspor            6      1       4      1       2      7
4      Lille                         6      1       3      2      0      6
                                  GROUP C
                                            GP        W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Benfica                          6        3      3      0      4      12
2      Basel                             6        3      2      1       1       11
3      Manchester United          6      2      3      1       3      9
4      Otelul Galati                     6      0      0      6      -8     0
                                     GROUP D     
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Real Madrid                     6      6      0      0      17     18
2      Lyon*                              6      2      2      2      2      8
3      Ajax*                               6      2      2      2      0      8
4      Dinamo Zagreb                6      0      0      6      -19    0
                                      GROUP E     
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Chelsea                           6      3      2      1       7      11
2      Bayer Leverkusen           6      3      1       2      0      10
3      Valencia                          6      2      2      2      5      8
4      Genk                                6      0      3      3      -14    3
                                       GROUP F    
                                                GP    W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Arsenal                            6     3      2      1       1       11
2      Marseille                          6     3      1       2      3      10
3      Olympiakos                       6     3      0      3      2      9
4      Borussia Dortmund          6     1       1       4      -6     4
                                       GROUP G   
                                              GP      W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       APOEL                               6       2      3      1       0      9
2      Zenit St Petersburg          6      2      3      1       2      9
3      Porto                               6      2      2      2      0      8
4      Shakhtar Donetsk             6     1       2      3      -2     5
                                      GROUP H    
                                               GP     W      D      L       GD    PTS
1       Barcelona                        6      5      1       0      16     16
2      AC Milan                          6      2      3      1       3      9
3      Viktoria Plzen                   6      1       2      3      -7     5
4      BATE Borisov                   6      0      2      4      -12    2
Note; teams with blue qualified for the knockout stage of the champions league. While the teams in green make it to the Europa league round of 32. The teams in red are out of Europe all together.
Knockout stage(nteams)
Group  winners
Runner’s up
Bayern Munich
Napoli
Inter
CSKA Moscow
Benfica
Basel
Real Madrid 
Lyon
Chelsea 
Bayer Leverkusen
Arsenal
Marseille
APOEL
Zenit St Petersburg
Barcelona    
AC Milan
The round of 16 games will be very interesting

Round of 16 draw
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v APOEL FC (CYP)
SSC Napoli (ITA) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
AC Milan (ITA) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI) v FC Bayern München (GER)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER) v FC Barcelona (ESP, holders)
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS) v Real Madrid CF (ESP)
FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) v SL Benfica (POR)
Olympique de Marseille (FRA) v FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)

Seeded group winners will be away in the round of 16 first legs on 14/15 and 21/22 February and at home in the return matches on 6/7 and 13/14 March. No team can play a club from their group or any side from the same association.

As an Arsenal fan the most important fixture in the round of 16 champions league will be Arsenal vs Ac Milan.
           vs                            
The last time both teams  played at the San siro was in year 2008. it was the gunners that took the day with Fabregas and Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor netting in the encounter in which Arsenal were 2 goals winner. A lot has changed since then with a lot transfer activities having taking place. Arsenal looks more depleted compared with the team that beat Ac milan back in 2008. Ac on the other hand have recruited new players  who could be a hard nut to crack for the gunners. This encounter will be a very tough one. Milan will be playing to win while Arsenal understand only one language which is attack. This game will be filled with missed chances and if goals will be scored it will be a few.
Robbin van persie will be the most important arsenal player in this encounter as he is currently the only arsenal player than can score at the moment. A make shift defence will not be good enough for this encounter has the striking prowess of the Milan team may easily sway aside a makeshift defence. Will  Arsenal progress after this round only the result from the first leg @ milan and the second leg at the emirate will decide that. A good result at the san siro (i.e a scored draw or a win for Arsenal)  will put them at the poll position of qualifying considering Arsenal good record at home in the champions league against non english opposition. The best team in the world currently did their best to thwart arsenal good form at home but it all ended first in a dramatic 2-2 draw and a sensational 2-1 win.   Can we win this only time will tell.
Good day gooners…………………………
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Posted January 30, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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