For the third year in a row, Barcelona and Chelsea will meet in the UEFA Champions League. Barca, the defending champion, was drawn with Chelsea in Group A for the group stage of the European club competition.
Last year, Barcelona beat Chelsea in the second round en route winning the title. In 2005, the Blues knocked out Barcelona in the first knockout phase. The clubs have won
their respective league titles two years in a row.
Dutch champion PSV, which includes Americans DaMarcus Beasley and Lee Nguyen in its first team, faces a ptoentially difficult draw in Group C, where it will face 2005 champion Liverpool, French club Bordeaux and Turkish champion Galatasaray. Group F
features three former champions: Manchester United, Celtic and Benfica.
Group A: Barcelona,
Chelsea, Werder Bremen, Levski Sofia.
Group B: Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Sporting Lisbon, Spartak Moscow.
C: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux, Galatasaray.
Group D: Valencia, Roma, Olympiakos, Shakhtar Donetsk.
Group E: Real Madrid, Lyon, Steaua Bucharest, Dynamo Kiev.
Group F: Manchester United, Celtic, Benfica, FC Copenhagen.
Group G: Arsenal, Porto, CSKA Moscow, Hamburg.
Group H: AC Milan, Lille, AEK Athens, Anderlecht.
-- American Oguchi Onyewu started and played the first 63 minutes in Belgian club Standard
Liege's 2-1 loss to Steaua Bucharest that put the Romanian team through to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in a decade with a 4-3 win on aggregate. Four other former
European Cup champions won their series in the third qualifying stage: Benfica, AC Milan, Hamburg and Liverpool.
-- Denmark's FC Copenhagen pulled off the shock of the night when it
overcame a 2-1 deficit and beat Ajax, 2-0, in Amsterdam to knock out the four-time champion. The Danish champions qualified for the lucrative group stage for the first time thanks to goals from
Michael Silberbauer and an own goal by Ajax's Belgian defender, Thomas Vermaelen.
-- Levski Sofia became
the first Bulgarian team to reach the group stage after a 2-2 draw with Chievo Verona in Italy gave it a 4-2 victory on aggregate.