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Barca, Man United draw easy groups in Uefa Champions League


Reigning champions Barcelona and returning giants Manchester United were dealt favourable hands in the Champions League draw in Monaco on Thursday.

The Spanish giants’ quest to become the first team to retain the European crown began smoothly as Lionel Messi and company were paired with Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and BATE Borisov in Group E.

United grace the competition after a year’s absence and coach Louis van Gaal will be more than happy with the three-time winners’ Group B sparring partners PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho returns to FC Porto, the club he guided to the continental crown in 2004, with this duo joined by Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Group G.

Arsenal have a tough test against Bayern Munich in Group F while Paris Saint-Germain were pitted against 10-time winners Real Madrid in Group A.

Group A
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Real Madrid (ESP)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Malmo (SWE)

Group B
PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Manchester United (ENG)
CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Wolfsburg (GER)

Group C
Benfica (POR)
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Galatasaray (TUR)
Astana (KAZ)

Group D
Juventus (ITA)
Manchester City (ENG)
Sevilla (ESP)
Borussia Moenchengladbach (GER)

Group E
Barcelona (ESP)
Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Roma (ITA)
BATE Borisov (BLR)

Group F
Bayern Munich (GER)
Arsenal (ENG)
Olympiakos (GRE)
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group G
Chelsea (ENG)
Porto (POR)
Dynamo Kiev (UKR)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)

Group H
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Valencia (ESP)
Lyon (FRA)
Gent (BEL)

The group stages get underway on September 15-16 with the final to be played on May 28, 2016 at the San Siro in Milan, Italy.