Champions League draw as it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Champions League draw as it happened

Arsenal, Manchester United and Celtic among those in the last 16

  • The eight group winners will be paired against the eight runners-up in two-legged ties that will be played in February. Manchester United, who won Group H, cannot, however, be paired with another club from the same country at this stage of the competition. Thus, there will not be a battle of England against Arsenal, who finished runners-up in Group B. United could, however, face Celtic, who were runners up in Group G. United could also be paired with Porto, Milan, Real Madrid (who they were picked to face in a rehearsal draw yesterday), Shakhtar Donetsk or Valencia. Sir Alex Ferguson's side won their first four group games, before two relatively meaningless defeats.

    For Arsenal, the cost of not winning their group becomes apparent at 10.30am today. The list of potential opponents is a who's who of European powerhouses. It could be Paris St-Germain, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund or Malaga. However, Arsène Wenger will know only too well of the calming nature a Champions League run can have on a troubled domestic campaign.

    Celtic and manager Neil Lennon similarly face giants wherever they turn. They could take on any of Arsenal's opponents, apart from Barcelona. Instead, they have Schalke and United to contend with. In their favour is the fact that Celtic Park is a European fortress that few clubs in the draw will feel particularly pleased about heading to.

    Beating Barcelona has been the story of this year's competition by a country mile. By lunchtime today, however, some of European football's true giants will be concerned about their very future in the competition.
    12/20/2012 10:02:29 AM
  • The seeding pots for the draw are as follows:

    Group winners: Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA), FC Schalke 04 (GER), Málaga CF (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Juventus (ITA), FC Bayern München (GER), FC Barcelona (ESP), Manchester United FC (ENG)

    Group runners-up: FC Porto (POR), Arsenal FC (ENG), AC Milan (ITA), Real Madrid CF (ESP), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Valencia CF (ESP), Celtic FC (SCO), Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)
    12/20/2012 10:08:37 AM
  • For the first time in the Champions League, the reigning champions have not reached the stage where the competition really starts to get interesting. Robert Di Matteo paid for non-qualification for this stage with his job at Chelsea, but in such a rarified atmosphere, the failures match the rewards. Manchester City, the champions of England, will similarly feel the real pain of failing to get out of the qualification group today. For them, there is not even the fallback of the Europa League, although their bid to retain the league title may yet benefit from that secondary slip-up.

    The absence of Chelsea is more notable given the amount of teams left at this stage who have already lifted the trophy. More than half (nine) of the remaining 16 teams have won Europe's premier competition at some point in their history.
    12/20/2012 10:11:29 AM
  • Theirs has been the story of the Champions League so far this season. Celtic and romance in Europe's highest competition have always walked hand in hand since Jock Stein led a group of players born within a good jog of Celtic Park to triumph over Internazionale in Lisbon in 1967.

    Current manager Neil Lennon has stirred memories of that famous night at the Estadio Nacional, with a run to the knockout stages of this season's tournament. Celtic's budget has been dwarfed by those they have faced, but it has not mattered, their spirit, organisation and tenacity a glowing and growing testimony to Lennon.

    They were cruelly defeated in injury-time in the Nou Camp. The 2-1 victory against Barcelona in the return leg at Celtic Park will go down as one of the greatest upsets seen in European football for years. It has taken Celtic to the knockout stage of the competition for the first time in five seasons.

    Now Lennon wants to avoid the remaining giants of European football, including Manchester United, as the Scottish Premier League leaders look to carry their form beyond the final 16 of the Champions League, in today's draw in Nyon.
    12/20/2012 10:13:22 AM
  • "In Europe you never really feel confident," Lennon said. "You always worry about all the opposition. I would like to avoid the big guns, I say big guns, but they're all big guns.

    "Bayern Munich are a tough, top team, Manchester United, obviously, and Juventus, who have been pretty consistent for a few seasons. Dortmund have been excellent over the last couple of years as well.

    "Malaga spent a lot of money. Whether they will have to sell in January, we will have to wait and see. PSG are probably relative newcomers but they are well backed. Schalke have pedigree, they made the semi-final in 2011. If we can avoid the top four and one of those three, you might think we have a chance over two games. Look, whatever the draw brings, we will analyse it to death to get the team ready for whatever comes.

    "We have got through the psychological barrier of winning away from home as well now."
    12/20/2012 10:15:29 AM
  • You can join in with your thoughts and comments on today's draw by commenting above. Who do you want to see your team drawn against? Would a battle of Britain between Manchester United and Celtic be one for the neutrals? Let us know....
    12/20/2012 10:17:01 AM
  • Barcelona midfielder Alex Song would welcome a return to Arsenal. The Spanish giants are one of six teams Arsene Wenger's group runners-up could face, alongside Paris St Germain, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

    Song swapped the Emirates Stadium for the Nou Camp when he joined the Arsenal exodus during the summer.

    "Of course I would like to play against Arsenal. For me to go back there, where I had seven magnificent years, would be something very special," the 25-year-old said.
    12/20/2012 10:18:26 AM
  • 12/20/2012 10:19:07 AM
  • For the second season running, England lost half its Champions League contingent at the group stage.

    Big-spending Manchester City have found the acclimatisation process much harder than they hoped, whilst this term Chelsea also bowed out, just as United did 12 months ago.

    Here's what Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson makes of the situation...

    "Europe has been disappointing for the Premier League teams over the last couple of years," he said.

    "For quite a few years we were getting three teams in the semi-finals, or at least two. In 2008 it was an all Premier League final.

    "But sometimes you get blips.

    "I don't think it is going to be a consistent thing. I think English teams will always be challenging to be in the latter stages of the European Cup."
    12/20/2012 10:22:00 AM
  • Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez is backing one of the big boys to triumph...

    "Barcelona, Real Madrid, the English teams, Bayern Munich and Juventus are strong teams," said Benitez, winner of the competition with Liverpool in 2005.

    "Obviously they're the big names and they'll be there again, it won't change too much.

    "You can find a surprise in some seasons but because those teams are so strong, I don't see there being any surprises this year."
    12/20/2012 10:25:33 AM
  • Draw coming up very soon...
    12/20/2012 10:25:55 AM
  • Any team with designs on winning the trophy will have to stop Lionel Messi. The Argentinian signed a new six-year deal with Barcelona earlier this week.

    12/20/2012 10:26:56 AM
  • I can't bare to watch the draw. All Arsenal fans know what I'm talking about #Messi #Embarrassing #ChampionsLeagueDraw
  • Celtic are making their first appearance in the last 16 for five years.

    Asked if opponents will be wary of travelling to Glasgow, Johan Mjallby said: "Or will they want to come and experience the atmosphere?

    "Most of these teams have so many experienced players, they've been all around the world.

    "For us it's just brilliant. We know when we play at home we have this atmosphere and the supporters behind us and obviously it's going to make us better. At home we can beat anyone.

    "We don't fear anyone because we've taken a lot of confidence from the performances in the Champions League so far.

    "The players know now they can do something. The first target was to go through from the group stage and now we're in the last 16."
    12/20/2012 10:32:08 AM
  • Champions League draw time! Wud near put money on it bein Real or Celtic.. #championsleague
  • Barcelona, Real Madrid — and their star forwards, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — are joined in the draw by Champions League debutant Malaga and Valencia in a show of Spanish supremacy. Spain is the best represented of the nine countries with teams in the knockout stage.
    12/20/2012 10:35:45 AM
  • Real, lead by talisman Cristiano Ronaldo (far left), are among the favourites to win this season's competition

    12/20/2012 10:37:20 AM
  • The balls are in the bowls and the draw is about to start in Nyon...
    12/20/2012 10:38:08 AM
  • Conducting the draw is former Liverpool and Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman.
    12/20/2012 10:39:16 AM
  • When I think of the Champions League draw, I think of Steve McManaman...
  • Just a reminder, the final of this year's Champions League will be played at Wembley - as if the two English teams involved needed any more incentive.
    12/20/2012 10:40:11 AM
  • Steve McManaman is an official Champions League ambassador for 2013 - which apparently gives him the right to warble on. Get on with it man!
    12/20/2012 10:41:07 AM
  • A reminder - teams that were in the same group or from the same country cannot face each other. The teams will come from the group winners and group runners-up...

    Group winners: Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA), FC Schalke 04 (GER), Málaga CF (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Juventus (ITA), FC Bayern München (GER), FC Barcelona (ESP), Manchester United FC (ENG)

    Group runners-up: FC Porto (POR), Arsenal FC (ENG), AC Milan (ITA), Real Madrid CF (ESP), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Valencia CF (ESP), Celtic FC (SCO), Galatasaray AS, (TUR)
    12/20/2012 10:42:05 AM
  • We're just getting some explanation about how the draw works from a Uefa official. We'll be underway soon (I promise).
    12/20/2012 10:43:35 AM
  • Here we go....
    12/20/2012 10:44:09 AM
  • Galatasaray will play FC Schalke 04
    12/20/2012 10:45:23 AM
  • Celtic are next out the bowl - they will play... Juventus!
    12/20/2012 10:45:55 AM
  • Arsenal are out the hat and they will play....
    12/20/2012 10:46:25 AM
  • FC Bayern München
    12/20/2012 10:46:52 AM
  • So Arsenal v Bayern Munich - tough draw. But at least it wasn't Barcelona.
    12/20/2012 10:47:15 AM
  • Shakhtar Donetsk will play Borussia Dortmund
    12/20/2012 10:47:52 AM
  • AC Milan are the next out the bowl. They will play...
    12/20/2012 10:48:44 AM
  • Barcelona! What a tie.
    12/20/2012 10:48:56 AM
  • Real Madrid are out the bowl - they will play...
    12/20/2012 10:49:27 AM
  • Manchester United!
    12/20/2012 10:49:42 AM
  • Real Madrid v Manchester United - thank you very much Steve McManaman!
    12/20/2012 10:50:05 AM
  • Bloody hell Real Madrid v Mancester United #championsleague
  • Valencia will play PSG.
    12/20/2012 10:51:10 AM
  • The final match then is Porto v Malaga
    12/20/2012 10:52:23 AM
  • Wow - what a draw. Manchester United v Real Madrid is surely the stand out match - a game that will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford. Tell us your thoughts by commenting above.
    12/20/2012 10:53:15 AM
  • It's a really tough draw for Arsenal who are against last year's beaten finalsists Bayern Munich.
    12/20/2012 10:54:38 AM
  • The match of the draw. Manchester United vs. Real Madrid. I recall the heady days of watching Derby County play Juventus and were robbed by a tame referee.
    12/20/2012 10:54:40 AM
  • What game it will be, United V Madrid! With Ronaldo returning to the place where he made his name, maybe we could lure him back?
    12/20/2012 10:54:48 AM
  • Shakhtar vs Dortmund will be an absolute cracker, two best teams....
    12/20/2012 10:56:34 AM
  • What a champs league draw! Usually kicks in after the next round but I'm going enjoy watching utd and arsenal get a belting!
  • Is anyone looking forward to the return of Jose Mourinho to these shores? Let us know your thoughts...
    12/20/2012 11:03:05 AM
  • good draw& very good games to watch! think Real and Bayern will be in the final
    12/20/2012 11:07:49 AM
  • mourinho always lands on his feet, out of la liga, gets a bye to the next round in the champions league
  • The return of Ronaldo to Old Trafford is what this draw is all about...

    12/20/2012 11:11:06 AM
  • Welcome home Cristiano Ronaldo
  • I'm not sure whether we'll beat Madrid but one thing for certain,arsenal can't beat bayern
  • What do you make of Arsenal's chances against Bayern Munich? Let us know your thoughts and we'll publish the best.
    12/20/2012 11:27:58 AM
  • United vs Madrid is easily the stand out game! Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford, I wonder what the crowd will make of it? ... As a United fan, obviously i hope we win, but i know its going to be a tough game. Our defence hasn't been the strongest this season, but going forward, we have been one of the best in Europe. Hopefully with Rooney and Van Persie, we can win the La Liga trophy holders. COME ON YOU REDS!
    12/20/2012 11:28:10 AM
  • So the British teams are facing the Winners of Serie A, the winners of La Liga and the runners up of champions league and Bundesliga... easy
    12/20/2012 11:33:38 AM
  • @royy evans Yes United have a very strong forward line but are you saying that you think that they can stop the likes of Di Maria, Ronaldo, Benzema and Ozil?
    12/20/2012 11:33:43 AM
  • Ah... this is more like it, what a great draw! Only once all the dross has been removed does this competition really start to shine. Welcome home Ronnie!
    12/20/2012 11:39:22 AM
  • @lukemckendrick1996@hotmail... Well we managed to stop city ... they have one of the best attacking forces in the world. We will be up for it ... If anything, united's forward line is just as strong as Madrid's!
    12/20/2012 11:39:29 AM
  • 12/20/2012 11:50:31 AM
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