UEFA Champions League group stage draw: quick recap

Lars Baron

Balls.

OK, well that was interesting.  First off, Billy McNeill kicks all sorts of ass and I will banish you to the gates of Hell if you think otherwise.

Arsenal were drawn into Group F, which at the time didn't mean a whole lot.  Group F, as in for "Fun."  "Fantastic."  "Fabulous."  Marseille dropped into our group, which started to make Group F look like it stood for "French."  As one who loves steak frites, I wasn't minding where the eventual group name was trending towards.

Then the hammer dropped.  Twice.

There were two legit, strong clubs that needed to be avoided at all costs in Pots C and D.  Last season's Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund, thanks to a five-year co-efficiency formula UEFA has in place that means they have another season or so before they start to move up into the higher pots, were lurking in Pot C; Napoli, kinda in the same boat as Dortmund, in Pot D.

One-by-one, as Pot C clubs got drawn and then placed into groups not named F, the prospect that Dortmund would end up in Group F became more likely.  The last hope to avoid Dortmund was when Ajax was drawn.  However, they ended up being drawn into Group H.  That meant two clubs remained in Pot C: Dortmund and Manchester City.  But since clubs from the same association can't be drawn into the same pot, City were automatically placed in Group D and Dortmund to Group F.

Group F was starting to look a bit like F as in "Fart."

It only took a couple balls into Pot D for Napoli's card to be picked .  Luis Figo swirled his hand around the bowl and drew, of course, Group F.  That meant Arsenal's group consisted of Marseille, Dortmund and Napoli and, in my humble opinion, easily the toughest group in this season's Champions League group stage.

While you certainly want to beat the best clubs out there, Group F suddenly became F as in "F*ck."

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