Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all safely progressed past this season’s group stage of the Champions League and into the last 16. England have had all four representatives progress from the group stage in four of the last five campaigns, with Liverpool finishing 3rd in their group last season being the only side not to do so.
In a group with Marseille, Spartak Moscow and MSK Zilina, Chelsea were widely expected to win their group and they successfully did after winning their first five games. Manchester United only secured top spot thanks to a rare Anderson goal as they drew 1-1 with Valencia, finishing three points above the Spanish side.
Tottenham Hotspur have raised a few eyebrows in this competition, winning their group that consisted of under performing Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC Twente. Tottenham will play either AC Milan, FC Copenhagen, Lyon, Marseille, Roma or Valencia in round two.
Having won their opening three games, Arsenal looked set to win Group H. Defeats in Donetsk and Braga put their progress on hold, but victory over Partizan Belgrade never looked in doubt this evening despite a lack of urgency shown in the first half. Before Theo Walcott restored Arsenal’s lead in the second half, Arsenal’s odds were still only at 1.69 on Betfair. They are the only English side not to win their group.
The result of not winning their group means Arsenal will be drawn against Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Schalke 04.
The Gunners return to domestic action on Monday night to face Manchester United at Old Trafford in a top of the table Premier League clash.
Despite struggling domestically, last years runners up Bayern Munich had no problem winning their group which saw AS Roma progress as runners up. Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, the bookmakers two favourites were runaway winners of their respective groups. Chelsea are 11/2 third favourites, while Manchester United are 9/1 fourth favourites.