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Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Thursday, 25 August 2011 18:20 UK

Champions League draw as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

To get involved use Twitter (via hashtag #BBCFootball ) or text us via 81111 with FOOTBALL before your message. (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate.)

Sam Lyon
By Sam Lyon
BBC Sport

1815: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. Or as Uefa might say, that concludes the live text commentary for the Champions League 2011-12 group stage draw. Snappy. You have 15 minutes of rest before returning to join Chris Bevan for tonight's Europa League action - happy days, clearly - and I will be back with you on Saturday and Sunday for the return of your good ol' fashioned English Premier League. Cashback. Until then... Sam Lyon out.

DavePayn on Twitter: "Man Utd a better side than last season but still not in Barca's class. CL to return to the Nou Camp, in my view."

JacobWare95 on Twitter: "Three La Liga Nominees for the Best Player In Europe Award. Proof that the Premier League has been eclipsed?"

1805: A reminder before I wrap this bad boy up, then, of the draw...
Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, MAN CITY, Napoli
Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor
Group C: MAN UTD, Benfica, Basel, Otelul Galati
Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb
Group E: CHELSEA, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen,Genk
Group F: ARSENAL, Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund
Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, Apoel FC
Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen

FeedingGoater on Twitter: "Uefa thinking ahead, and giving Man City a trip to Munich to find their way around before they return for the final!"

Gary, Maidstone via text: "Re mrrgladwell, Charlton Athletic would love to be in Man City's group. Fact."

RespectWomen_ on Twitter: "Is there anything Lionel Messi hasn't won?"

1759: For the record, I'd have voted for Ruud Boffin. Obviously. Imagine that name plastered all over that award. Hilarious.

Champagne moment
1757: Whooda thunk it? Lionel Messi is crowned Best Player In Europe. And literally not a single person on the planet reels in shock. It was voted for, by the way, by the top journalists in Europe. My voting card must have got lost in the post. Strange.

1756: The Best Player In Europe Award is imminent...

daltontowers on Twitter: "Porto = 6,700 miles to travel. Chelsea = 1,400. Smart move, Mr Villas-Boas."

Josh, Wales via text: "Arsenal face a whole group of Udineses! Could be a tricky one!"

MrRGladwell on Twitter: "Nobody wanted Manchester City in their group. I challenge you to find me someone who did..."

1752: Your contenders for the award - which is a new award, created after France Football magazine combined its traditional European award with Fifa's world player prize, don't you know - are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xavi. All three are on stage right now, although one can only hope they're not kept up there too long - the amount of gel on show could lead to a disturbing hair-melt incident any minute now.

1750: By the way, don't go thinking that the Uefa draw spectacular is over just yet - we have the Best Player in Europe Award to come yet! Hello? Did I just feel a wave of complete and utter ambivalence? Whatever.

dharrison39 on Twitter: "Looks like all that fuss over the udinese game was for nothing, Gunners will get blown away in that group!"

Greg, York via text: "Tricky draw for Arsenal - but Man City has to be the group of death though! Exciting times ahead!"

pauljkirkwood on Twitter: "How many times have Real Madrid had to play Lyon in the Champions League in recent seasons?!?!"

Anon via text: "Man City will have to work hard to get the best of that bunch."

RossLangworthy on Twitter: "Man Utd through to knockout stages already after that draw!"

1742: Right then people... pick the bones out of that why don't you? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Doncha just love it?

1740: Group F: ARSENAL, Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund

1739: Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor

1738: Group E: CHELSEA, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk

1737: Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen

1736: Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb

1735: Group C: MAN UTD, Benfica, Basel, Otelul Galati

1734: Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, Apoel FC

1734: Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, MAN CITY, Napoli

1733: And now the Pot Four draw...

robskelton on Twitter: "As clockwork, United get a nice draw."

1732: Manchester City fans - worried for a second there weren't you? As it happens, you were never in danger of being placed in Group H purely because Uefa had to keep their Champions League match-day nights separate (Tuesday and Wednesday) from Manchester United, who were already in the 'red' half of the draw. Dare I say, already, all four English teams will be quite happy with this draw?

1730: Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov

1729: Group C: MANCHESTER UNITED, Benfica, Basel

1728: Group E: CHELSEA, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen

1727: Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, MANCHESTER CITY

1726: Group F: ARSENAL, Marseille, Olympiakos

1725: Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax

1725: Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg

1724: Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille

1724: Pot Three draw now...

SJColangelo on Twitter: "Group E and H shaping up to be group of deaths..."

1723: And an interesting draw for Chelsea new-boy Juan Mata there, too, huh? Immediately facing a trip back to his old club Valencia. Juan might say it's a Mata of fate. Ahem.

1721: The drawing of the balls from Pot Two is complete. Manchester City fans... Group H is shaping up nicely isn't it...

1720: Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow

1719: Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal

1718: Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan

1717: Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk

1716: Group E: CHELSEA, Valencia

1716: Group F: ARSENAL, Marseille

1715: Group C: MANCHESTER UNITED, Benfica

1714: Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon

1713: Pot Two draw coming up...

Simonreah on Twitter: "This draw has extra time and penalties written all over it."

1711: With all Pot One teams out, here comes Manchester United legend and European Cup winner in 1968 Sir Bobby Charlton. Will the pot two balls be heated? Of course not, you cheeky conspiracy theorists!

andygreenwoodux on Twitter: "What time is Diana Ross not kicking a ball in a goal?"

1709: Group F: ARSENAL

1708: Group H: Barcelona

1708: Group B: Inter Milan

1707: Group A: Bayern Munich

1706: Group E: CHELSEA

1706: Group D: Real Madrid

1705: Group G: FC Porto

1705: Group C: MANCHESTER UNITED

1704: Right then, here we go. And the first name out of the hat is...

ewancotter on Twitter: "Luis Figo - still got it."

1702: While Uefa official Gianni Infantino explains the rules of the draw - yes, the draw has rules - this would appear as good a time as any to get involved, no? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Do it now, and predict the unpredictable! Hurrah.

1700: The Portuguese with the ever-so nice barnet is joined by Germany legend and ambassador for the 2012 final in Munich, Paul Breintner. We're so close. So very, very close.

1658: Here comes Luis Figo - the man charged with pulling the names out of Pot One - and, my word, his hair looks so very shiny and black.

1657: And with the draw getting ever closer... honest... here are those pots again...
POT 1: MANCHESTER UNITED, Barcelona, CHELSEA, Bayern Munich, ARSENAL, Real Madrid, Porto and Inter Milan
POT 2: AC Milan, Lyon, Shakthar Donetsk, Valencia, Benfica, Villarreal, CSKA Moscow and Marseille
POT 3: Zenit St Petersburg, Ajax, Leverkusen, Olympiakos, Lille, Basle, BATE Borisov and MANCHESTER CITY
POT 4: Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Dinamo Zagreb, APOEL Nicosia, Genk, Viktoria Plzen, Otelul Galati and Trabzonspor

1653: Here comes the Champions League trophy - presented by Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol - and the shaggy-haired Spaniard has cleared overlooked the dress code section of his invitation, adorned as he is in training top and beach shorts. When you're a Champions League winner, you laugh in the face of formal wear. Mwahaha. Like that.

Reaney1878 on Twitter: "The sooner country protection goes the better! We want to see the so called best teams play each other, not avoid."

Andy from Wilmslow via text: "My boss just caught me reading the commentary! I hope Man Utd get a good draw otherwise that verbal warning would have been for nothing!"

1650: And I have some timings for you now. The trophy will arrive on stage at 1651 BST. The first pot will be drawn at 1705, the second pot at 1716, the third pot at 1727 and the fourth pot at 1737. Be excited. There's also The Best Player in Europe Award at 1800 BST. Party time. Excellent.

1647: It's started! The draw ceremony has started! Not, you know the actual draw yet, but the ceremony! Oh ho yes. Michelle Winiger and Pedro Pinto are currently strutting their stuff. Fashion fans may be interested to know that black is the order of the day. Lovely.

BBC 5 Live's Nigel Adderley: "Delegates in Champions League audience are currently being soothed with some acid jazz on the public address. Get on with it!"

FootballFormLab on Twitter: "No English side lost a home group game in last season's Champions League. Man Utd drew 2/3 while the other three won 3/3."

1644: A perfect time, then, for you to all refresh this page, whereupon you find our audio commentary with Nigel Adderley on our right-hand side. Jubbly.

1642: And congratulations to those who spotted the deliberate error at 1632 - Arsenal went out in the last 16, of course, while Chelsea lost in the quarters. Just checking you're awake. Which you are. Good.

1640: And a little insight into the finances involved - and one of many reasons why Arsenal will have been so relieved to come through their qualifier against Udinese last night - then. The 32 teams involved in this stage of the competition are expected to share £663m in prize money and bonuses from Uefa, with much, much more to come besides. Especially for those who go further in the competition. Paupers Man City will be loving them apples.

1636: A reminder on those pots, by the way, that there IS country protection. Meaning no two English clubs can be drawn in the same group, nor two Spanish sides and so on...

SlyLondon on Twitter: "Yikes! I wouldn't like to get Pot 4 of the Champions League draw in a game of scrabble."

Mark, Scottish Gunner via text: "CSKA, Zenit and Trabzonspor would be a horrible draw. Good airmiles though!"

zedzdead on Twitter: "I hope there's a free toy in each of the balls, might make it a bit more exciting for any kids watching."

1632: Let's remind ourselves, shall we, how 'our' boys fared last year, yes? Well Manchester United went the furthest, beaten as they were in the final by Barcelona , while Chelsea's campaign was ended in the quarter-finals by Sir Alex Ferguson's boys 3-1 on aggregate. Arsenal and Tottenham were England's other competitors and both fell to Spanish opposition, to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, while Scotland's Rangers crashed out during the group stages. Any chance a British winner this season?

1627: Oh - and the draw starts at 1645 BST. Which is nice. Though Uefa are going to stretch it out for an hour, apparently. Which is not.

MuseLuver on Twitter: "I've never agreed more than with the tone on BBC Football. This has to be one of the toughest draws in Champions League history."

Mason in London via text: "Ooh I love a bit of football-cliché bingo. Uefa Co-Efficient....I had that one!"

1624: And a brief reminder for those of you who were expecting to see Fenerbahce's name in those groupings, the Turkish outfit have been pulled out of this year's European campaign on account of them currently being the subject of a match-fixing investigation. They have been replaced by Trabzonspor - though Fenerbahce, just to make things about as straightforward as a Christopher McQuarrie script, are appealing and hope to be reinstated. Yep. Clear as mud.

pixelgeist on Twitter: "I'm staying at work late just to watch this, now that's dedication! Well, not to my job..."

1621: Right, first things first... your 'seeding' pots are as follows...
POT 1: MANCHESTER UNITED, Barcelona, CHELSEA, Bayern Munich, ARSENAL, Real Madrid, Porto and Inter Milan
POT 2: AC Milan, Lyon, Shakthar Donetsk, Valencia, Benfica, Villarreal, CSKA Moscow and Marseille
POT 3: Zenit St Petersburg, Ajax, Leverkusen, Olympiakos, Lille, Basle, BATE Borisov and MANCHESTER CITY
POT 4: Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Dinamo Zagreb, APOEL Nicosia, Genk, Viktoria Plzen, Otelul Galati and Trabzonspor

joe_litchfield on Twitter: "Anyone can beat anyone in this league!"

Ben, Cambridge via text: "Surely if Man City got Porto, Marseille and Oteuil Galeti they would be over the Blue Moon!"

bertieivoryp on Twitter: "This has to be the toughest line up for some years? Dortmund and Napoli in pot 4. City, Ajax, B'Lev & Lille in 3. Tough."

1618: Now don't just sit there, watching the clock tick down before making the dash to your local for some Thursday-is-the-new-Friday warm-down drinks. Get involved, yeah? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Trust me, it will make the day go faster.

1615: So welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the draw for the 2011-12 Champions League group stages; 32 teams, eight groups of four, six matchdays. The footballing elite. Mouthwatering.

1612: Ooh, football-cliché bingo anyone?

1610: For the three other English teams in the hat, things could prove a little less daunting. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United - courtesy of their Uefa co-efficient - are among the top seeds, meaning they will avoid the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. I mean, yes, Lyon, Valencia, Zenit St Petersburg, Dortmund and Napoli remain potential opponents, but you know what they also say - there are no easy games at this level.

1605: Now, no, I don't know who 'they' are either. But they have got a point. Manchester City may have waited a lifetime and more to feature in the Champions League but any notion they would be eased in quietly were dispelled when the pots for today's draw were unveiled. Roberto Mancini's boys are in pot three - meaning they are almost guaranteed a frightful group in this year's campaign. Barcelona, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund sound good City fans?

1600: You know what they say, right? "If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best." Well, Manchester City fans, rarely will that ring more true than in this year's Champions League. Possibly.



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see also
Man City handed tough Euro draw
25 Aug 11 |  Europe


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