We now know Thirteen of the last 16 in this years Champions League who are :
Tottenham Hotspur who qualified a group winners with some very impressive attacking displays. Gareth Bale has come of age in this competition and with a kind draw a Quarter Final place is a distinct possibility.
Inter Milan will be disappointed at finishing runners up and it is clear to see that Rafeal Benitez’s lack of management skills was no flash in the pan at Liverpool as he has taken charge of last seasons Treble winners and managed to make them look pretty ordinary. Anything is possible but on last nights performance its impossible to see them defending their crown, or for Benitez to keep his job for that matter.
Schalke 04 won a fairly weak group B thanks to a good win in Benfica. They have scored a few goals and could pose problems but they could struggle in the last 16 if they don’t get a very kind draw. Still this has been a great achievement for one of Germany’s lesser known clubs; Schalke have not won their domestic title since 1958.
Lyon finished runners up and look like one of the teams every group winner will be hoping to get. They don’t look anywhere near as good as their sides of recent seasons and will probably be focusing on the French League after the knock out stages.
Manchester United cruised through with the minimum of fuss with 4 wins and 2 draws in their 6 games. Nobody will fancy drawing them in the knockout round.
Valencia finished second almost by default given the groups structure. They look sharp and no one will fancy meeting them in the knockouts.
Barcelona as expected qualified with the minimum of fuss drawing a couple of games but overall never really looking extended. They are justifiably one of the favourites and look destined for the last 8 at least.
FC Copenhagen have the honour of becoming the first Danish side to reach the last 16 of the Champions League and showed when holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw that they are capable of giving anyone a game on their day. Its hard to see them progressing to the last 8 although if they were to draw Schalke 04 or possibly Shaktar then it could be close. Anyone else and they will bow out having probably exceeded their own expectations.
Bayern Munich, last seasons beaten finalists have qualified with a game to spare admittedly from an easy looking group. They will be hoping for one of the weaker second place teams as they attempt to go one better this year.
Chelsea have strolled through their group winning all 5 matches so far and have racked up an impressive 14-3 goal difference in the process. Tonight’s match against Marseille is somewhat academic give both have qualified and Chelsea are guaranteed top spot.
Marseille are guaranteed second spot and after a slightly shaky start look quite good. No one will looking forward to facing them in the last 16.
Real Madrid were second seeds and have comfortably qualified from what looked like a group of death. They have made it look kind of easy and the self proclaimed Special One Jose Mourinio could be on his way to the Final again. He could now face his old side Inter Milan in the last 16 which would be quite a spectacle.
AC Milan have also qualified with a game to spare and although they were clearly second best to Real Madrid they cant be written off. Some poor group winner will be unlucky enough to draw them and that could end their campaign. Hopefully it will not be one of the English clubs.
Group H is still wide open although Arsenal & Shakhtar Donetsk should fill the final two places barring an unthinkable set of results. The unlucky team will be FC Braga who have improved as the group went on and with this experience under their belts they could go a long way in the Europa League.