Qualified clubs for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League finally knew their groups after UEFA (Union of European Football Association) conducted a draw, which was held at Grimaldi Forum, Monaco last August 30th.
Reigning UEFA Europa League Atletico Madrid was bracketed in Group A together with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, France’s Monaco and Belgium’s Club Brugge. Reigning La Liga champion FC Barcelona led Group B together with English club Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven of The Netherlands and Italy’s Internazionale.
Last Champions league runner-up, Liverpool will be on Group C together French club Paris Saint-Germain, Italian club Napoli and Red Star Belgrade of Serbia. Group D will have Lokomotiv Moscow, Portuguese club Porto, German club Schalke 04 and Turkey’s Galatasaray.
Defending Bundesliga champion, Bayern Munich assigned in Group E together with of Benfica of Portugal, Ajax of France and AEK Athens of Greece. On the other hand, reigning Premier League champion Manchester City was on Group F together with Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, French club Lyon and 1899 Hoffenheim of Germany.
Reigning UEFA Champions League champion Real Madrid was grouped in Group G together with Italy’s Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen of Czech Republic. Finally, Group H will have Serie A champion Juventus, Manchester United, Spain’s Valencia and Young Boys of Switzerland.
The top two teams of each group after the Group Stages will advance to the knockout stages while the third placers of each group will get a slot for UEFA Europa League.
The survivor of the knockout stages will be on the round of 16, then, they will play the home- and- away format until the semifinals.
A draw will be held to determine the opponents of the teams in the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals.
The two remaining teams after the semifinals will play in the one-game finals at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain on June 1st, 2019.
The first window for the Group Stages will begin on September 18th.
Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez sets MLS single-season scoring record
Josef Martinez of Atlanta United FC made history on their game against Orlando City SC last August 25th at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, USA on scoring the most goals in a season by a Major League Soccer (MLS) player.
Martinez found the back of the net in the 74th minute to register his 28th goal of the season, erasing the previous most goals in a season record held by Roy Lassiter (1996), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Bradley Wright –Phillips (2014). Each of the previous record holders scored 27 goals.
Aside from the history, his team won against Orlando City SC, 2-1 with Leandro Gonzales Pirez scored Atlanta’s another goal in the 21st minute.
“It’s a big relief for me,” said the Venezuelan striker via ESPN after his team was on 1-1 stalemate after Orlando City’s Scott Scutter scored a goal in the 39th minute.
His lone goal against Orlando City SC was his 47th goal in his 46 careers regular season MLS game for Atlanta United. He joined the club on loan from Italian club Torino back in 2017.
“We knew Josef was going to break the record, it was just a matter of he did it sooner or later,” said Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino in the same report on Martinez historic performance.
Currently, the Atlanta United FC is second place in the Eastern Conference on the ongoing MLS season with 54 points, just a point behind conference leader New York Red Bulls’ 55 points.
Draw for UEFA Europa Cup held
Aside from the main tournament – UEFA Champions League, UEFA also conducted a draw for the upcoming 2018-2019 UEFA Europa League, held at Grimaldi Forum, Monaco last August 31st.
Assigned in Group A Germany’s Bayern Leverkusen, Cyprus’s AEK Larnaca, Swiss club Zurich and Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria. Scottish club Celtic will lead Group B together with Rosenberg of Norway, RB Leipzig of Germany and Red Bull Salzburg of Austria.
Group C will have French club Bordeaux, Copenhagen of Denmark, Zenit Saint Petersburg of Russia and Slavia Pragne of Czech Republic. Turkish club Fenarbahce, Spartak Trnava of Russia, Anderlecht of Belgium and Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia will compose Group D.
English club Arsenal together with Sporting CP of Portugal, Vorskla Poltava of Ukraine and Qarabag of Azerbaijan was assigned to Group E. AC Milan was assigned in Group F together with F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg, Olympiacos of Greece and Real Bertis of Spain.
Spartak Moscow, Spanish club Villareal, Scottish club Ranger and Rapid Wien of Austria will compose Group G. Last year’s runner-up Marseille will banner Group H together with Apollon Limassol of Cyprus, Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and Italy’s Lazio
Group I will have Besiktas of Turkey, Malmo FF of Sweden, Sarpsborg 08 of Norway and Genk of Belgium. Group J will be composed of Spain’s Sevilla, Germany’s Standard Liege, Russia,s Krasaodar and Turkey’s Akhisarspor.
Group K had Astana of Kazakhstan, Rennes of France, Jablonec of Czech Republic and Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine. Group L will be lead by English club Chelsea, PAOK of Greece, BATE Borisov of Belarus and MOL Vidi of Bulgaria.
In the Europa Cup, the top two teams of each group will advance to the round of 32 together with third placer Champions league team. The top one in each group and, the teams which had a better record but, will qualify as a third placer in the Champions League Group Stages qualify. And then, the group will be seeded while the runner-up of each group in Europa Cup Group Stages, together with teams with worst records from Champions league but qualify because they finished in the third place in their group will be unseeded.
The seeded teams and unseeded teams will find out their opponents as a draw will be held on December 17th, 2018. After the match-up was determined, a home-and –away format will be the format of Round of 32 until the semifinals.
A draw will also be conducted to determine the opponents of team qualified for round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals.
The last two standing teams will move to the one-game finals, which will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on May 29th, 2019.
The first window of Group Stage will begin on September 20th.