The Champions League Draw A Recap – Two Juicy Ties To Watchout

 

Chance has once again stirred the pot of Europe’s biggest clubs in their quest for the ultimate trophy. The highlight of the program is without a doubt the super clash between Real Madrid and Manchester United.

A must watch encounter, Madrid vs United

Both teams have to feel that they have drawn the short stick here. Real was by far the strongest unseeded team, so any other draw would have been easier for United. With La Liga already forsaken, Jose Mourinho and his troops are sure to have the Champions League as their prime focus. From their point of view, after they failed to beat Borussia Dortmund for the top spot in their group, they knew they would face a tough opponent. However, the in-form Red Devils have to be the worst they could do (drawing Barcelona was not an option because they are from the same association).

Club Presidents may be cursing their luck, but the average football fan is celebrating. This will be mouth-watering football derby that will pit world’s most expensive player Cristiano Ronaldo against his former team for the first time. Ronaldo indicated after the draw that he will not celebrate if he scores in the two games out of respect for his former club. He is still very much loved by United fans who often still chant his name, so it will definitely be an emotional come back to Old Trafford.

Real and United had two epic meeting in the beginning of the 21st century. First in 2000 they met at the quarterfinals. After a 0-0 first leg at the Bernabeu, Madrid won 3-2 at Old Trafford with a Roy Keane own goal and a brace from Raul, the second of which was set up by a legendary trick move by Fernando Redondo.

Then in 2003 the two teams met in the quarterfinals again. Real took the first leg 3-1 and set another memorable meeting at Old Trafford. It ended 4-3 for United, their spirited comeback in the end not able to overturn a hat-trick by Il Fenomeno Ronaldo. In 2013, the Madrid attack will be again led a player named Ronaldo, and it will be interesting to see if United will be able to contain him this time.

Another juicy tie between Milan and Barca
Another juicy tie between Milan and Barca

The other math-up that has attracted serious attention following the draw is AC Milan against Barcelona. This is mostly due to the history and reputation of the two teams, not on current form. Although the Milan side is the second most successful club in Europe with 7 titles, they are in relative decline this season and it will be extremely difficult for them to stay competitive against a Barcelona team that is in superb form and cleaning out opponents for fun. Last year the two teams met in the elimination phase, Barcelona progressing after a 0-0 draw in Italy and a 3-1 win in Spain. In the semi-finals, however, Chelsea showed that the Catalan team can be beaten with good defensive organization and some luck. This will surely be where Milan will draw inspiration from.

The other high-profile clash is Arsenal against Bayern Munich. The London Gunners are not playing to the highest standards this season, while Bayern is cruising in the Bundesliga and will definitely be motivated to make amends after losing last year’s final on home turf, so this might be a one-sided affair. Arsenal, however, do have the talent and potential to produce a surprise over two legs.

With so many big clubs drawn against each other, it means that the smaller teams will meet in some very competitive fixtures against each other. Juventus and Borussia Dortmund surely have to be considered favorites against Celtic and Shakhtar respectively, but surprises are not to be ruled out. Porto-Malaga, Valencia-PSG, and Galatasay-Schalke are al l coin flip games. Although they might lack the glamour and history of the high-profile clashes, they will surely provide for plenty of drama, competition and entertainment for football fans.

 

  

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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