Champions League: Manchester United target flops while fullback wanted by Chelsea thrives

Champions League: Manchester United target flops while fullback wanted by Chelsea thrives

This season marked the first Champions League campaign in which there were five Premier League clubs competing in the group stage after United qualified following their Europa League victory over Ajax, despite finishing sixth in the Premier League.

The knockout draw of the Champions League will see the winners of each of the eight groups seeded, whilst the runners-up will not be.

We already know that nine of the teams who will feature in the last 16 come from Europe's leading five leagues - Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France - and Mourinho's aforementioned trio will be among them.

If Liverpool do secure top spot that makes things even trickier for Chelsea. The leaders of the groups have an advantage as they will play the return leg at home. the case of Chelsea is curious as they can only possibly face three teams in the next round in PSG, Besiktas or Barcelona.

Tottenham Hotspur's 16 points atop Group H is the lone impressive performance in group play from an English club.

Manchester United and Liverpool qualified as group winners too, with Jurgen Klopp's side clinching top spot in Group E with their emphatic 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in Group G, Besiktas have surprisingly topped the group, with FC Porto and RB Leipzig competing for second-place. PSG beat Bayern 3-0 in Paris and has a far superior goal difference.


Napoli appears to have the toughest path to the knockout stage.

Juve, beaten finalists last season, triumphed 2-0 at Olympiacos to progress second behind Group D winners Barcelona, who won 2-0 at home to Sporting.

Elsewhere, Roma recorded a 1-0 win over Qarabag at the Stadio Olimpico.

However, with the competition now taking a break until February, domestic matters are at the forefront of Azpilicueta's mind, with Chelsea currently 11 points behind Manchester City and three behind Manchester United in third place in the Premier League, while they also face Bournemouth in the EFL Cup quarter-finals this month before they enter the FA Cup in January.

"We want to win and sing together", Di Francesco posted on social media. Also, being up by several goals would be much better for the ol' ticker.

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