After nearly 200 minutes of scoreless soccer, Liverpool avoided the embarrassment of being eliminated before the group stage of the UEFA Champions League thanks to a Dirk Kuyt game-winning goal that gave Liverpool a 1-0 series victory against Belgian champions Standard Liege.
Along with likely signaling Oguchi Onyewu’s farewell from Standard Liege (a transfer is a strong possibility), the result helped Liverpool reach the Champions League group stage along with Arsenal, which cruised to a 6-0 aggregate victory against Dutch club FC Twente.
The EPL powers joined 15 other teams that qualified for the group stage with series victories on Wednesday. Those teams will join 16 qualified teams to make up the 32-team field that will be divided into eight groups at a draw set for today.
Here is how the teams are dividing heading into today’s draw:
Here is a rundown of the results from this week:
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW
Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United, Lyon, Internazionale, Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich, PSV Eindhoven, Villarreal, Roma, Porto, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon, Juventus,
Marseilles, Zenit St Petersburg, Steaua Bucharest, Panathinaikos, Bordeaux, Celtic, Basle, Fenerbahce
Shakhtar Donetsk, Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Dynamo Kiev, CFR Cluj, AaB Aalborg, Anorthosis Famagusta, BATE Borisov.
One team from each put will be put together to make up eight four-team groups. With teams like Atletico Madrid, Fiorentina and defending UEFA Cup champion Zenit St. Petersburg looming in Pots 3 and 4, we should be in for some very tough groups.
For those of you who missed it, here are the results of the qualifying round:
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE- Qualifying Round Results (aggregate scores)
- BATE BORISOV 2, Levski Sofia 1
- AaB 4, FBK Kaunas 0
- SHAKhTAR DONETSK, 5, Dinamo Zagreb 1
- ANOTHORSIS FAMAGUSTA 3, Olympiakos 1
- STEAUA BUCHAREST 3, Galatasaray 2
- MARSEILLE 3, SK Brann 1
- DYNAMO KIEV 8, Spartak Moscow 2
- ATLETICO MADRID 4, Schalke 04 1
- FENERBAHCE 4, Partizane Belgrad 3
- ARSENAL 6, Twente Enschede 0
- FC BASEL 2, Guimaraes 1
- LIVERPOOL 1, Standard Liege 0
- FIORENTINA 2, Slavia Prague 0
- PANATHANAIKOS 3, Sparta Prague 1
- JUVENTUS 5, Artmedia Petrzalka 1
- BARCELONA 4, Wisla Krakow 1
What match-ups are you hoping to see put together once the draw is done? Share your thoughts below.