Champions League group stage reaches climax

Man United reveal squad ahead of Champions League clash against CSKA, Besiktas target dropped

One-sided Champions League group stage shows gulf between Europe's haves and have-nots

Bestowing solace to their supporters, Man Utd and Chelsea have established their spots in the last 16 of the Champions League, with their respective final group stage matches concluded last night.

Germany's representation in the last 16 could come down to just one team, Bayern Munich, after disappointing campaigns from the Bundesliga's best - Borussia Dortmund in particular.

The Champions League group stage, which reaches its conclusion this week, has once again largely served to emphasise the gulf between Europe's haves and have-nots.

Roma needed Diego Perotta's 53rd-minute header to get past Azerbaijani side Qarabag to book their place in the last 16 as group winners. The upshot of this is that Liverpool can not play Chelsea if they win their group, nor Sevilla (as much as we might want another crack at them).

United join fellow group winners Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona, Besiktas, Roma and Paris St-Germain in the next phase.

1 - Jose Mourinho's United will secure top spot with one point against its visitor, while CSKA will qualify if it betters Basel's result in Lisbon.

While this is only the second time ever that a nation has had five teams in the Champions League group stages, the Premier League nearly made history back in 2005-06 by having five clubs in the competition.

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Consequently, it isn't surprising that during that period Premier League clubs had relatively little trouble in progressing to the last 16, with all four clubs doing so five times in those seven years.

The Champions League last-16 draw will take place in Nyon on Monday, December 11 at 11am GMT.

As recently as March we asked why EPL clubs suck so badly in the Champions League.

The other group winners were PSG, Barcelona, Besiktas and Roma while Sevilla, Basel, Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk also finished as runners up.

Premier League giants Manchester United and Italians Juventus were among the sides to advance to the knockout round of the Champions League Tuesday following victories on the final matchday while Atletico Madrid were eliminated after being held at Chelsea.

These restrictions are removed ahead of the quarter-finals.

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