Arsenal drawn in tough Champions League group with Dortmund, Marseille and Napoli
The Gunners qualified for the Champions League group stage in style after beating Fenerbahce 5-0 on aggregate, although Arsene Wenger’s team have been handed three difficult opponents in the next stage of the competition.
August 29th, 2013
Borussia Dortmund reached the final of last season’s Champions League before narrowly losing to Bayern Munich, while Napoli will also be a tough nut to crack and their squad includes long-time Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain.
Marseille are the third team who will test the Gunners home and away in Group F, with Celtic being handed a predictably tough group considering they were in Pot Four. The Scottish champions will once again face Barcelona, while Milan and Ajax are the other teams in Group H.
Manager Neil Lennon told Sky Sports News: “I think it is the best and the worst draw we could have got. In terms of glamour I don’t think it comes any better than Barcelona, Ajax and AC Milan. In terms of football it is probably the most difficult group we could have got. But I think the hard work was really done last night and we can go and enjoy the tournament now.”
Manchester United will be pleased enough with a group that includes Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad, while Chelsea have a winnable group that features Schalke, FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have an easier group on paper than the previous two seasons even if champions Bayern Munich are also in Group D. CSKA Moscow and FC Viktoria Plzen look there for the taking.
Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad.
Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen.
Group C: PSG, Benfica, Olympiakos, Anderlecht.
Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, FC Viktoria Plzen.
Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest.
Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli.
Group G: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna.
Group H: Barcelona, Milan, Ajax, Celtic.