UEFA Champions league draw took place today in Swiss City of Nyon. Real Madrid were placed in Pot 1 as the whites had finished top of the group edging AC Milan to second spot. According to the draw regulations, the winner of the group faces the runner up of another group and that club cannot be from the same league and nor can the group stage teams be repeated. This ruled out the possibility of playing AC Milan again. Now a huge list of options and fantastic teams awaited the draw to be finally started so they could know who they would be facing in February (1st leg) and March (2nd leg).
Potential opponents : Bayern Munich (Germany) , CSKA Moscow (Russia) , FC Porto (Portugal), Lyon (France), Inter Milan (Italy), VFB Stuttgart (Germany), Olympiakos (Greece).
As the draw took place Real Madrid were drawn to face French side, Lyon. This means Karim Benzema and Mahamadou Diarra, former Lyon players, travel to Stade de Gerland. As history would have it, Lyon have a better head to head record against us. They have faced us four times where they were victorious on two occasions and two games ended in draws. The clubs have only met in the Round of 32 in the seasons of 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons. Lyon were able to win at home in both the legs while the game in Bernabeu ended with both teams sharing the scraps.
Unlike what many believe (and what the history suggests), Lyon would definitely not be easy to roll over and get past. They might be having a hard time right now as they are lagging behind in the French first division and their manager Claude Puel under pressure to perform, but things can change come February. Right now, we are also under distress with many of our players injured and many having not played first team action for quite some time now. Things can change in a matter of weeks so predicting what may happen in February would be a ridiculous thing to do.
Lyon president had this to say after learning about his sides’ future opponents :
It is a very difficult draw. It is a privilege to play against Real. They are a great team and the final will be played in Madrid, so we know that they will be motivated.
We have had the privilege to play four times against Real[in the Champions League] and we have never lost.
They are a wonderful team. There is no favourite, but we have the opportunity to progress.
Read reactions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Pellegrini, Higuain, Granero, Marceloa, Xabi Alonso, Garay and Drenthe here on the official website.
Games : 16 February (in France) and 10 March (in Spain).
Manchester United v AC Milan
Sevilla v CSKA Moscow
Chelsea v Inter Milan
Fiorentina v Bayern Munich
Arsenal v FC Porto
Barcelona v VFB Stuttgart
Bordeaux v Olympiakos
What do you make of the draw?