Champions League draw: Lewandowski, Haaland handed Bayern and Dortmund reunions

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland will swiftly come toe-to-toe with their former teammates following Thursday's group-stage draw for the Champions League.

Fresh from his move to Camp Nou in the transfer window, Lewandowski will return to familiar surroundings with Barcelona and Bayern Munich – who boast 11 Champions League titles between them – drawn in a tough Group C along with Inter.

And another reunion will see Haaland come up against Borussia Dortmund, whom he left to join Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. They find themselves in Group G alongside Sevilla and Copenhagen.

Another heavyweight clash will take place in Group H, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus set to lock horns.

Related items

  • Man Utd will make fresh decision on Mason Greenwood future – Sir Jim Ratcliffe Man Utd will make fresh decision on Mason Greenwood future – Sir Jim Ratcliffe

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United will make a fresh decision on the future of forward Mason Greenwood and will “justify it one way or the other”.

    Greenwood, who is on loan at Spanish side Getafe, was suspended by United on January 30, 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.

    The now 22-year-old faced charges including attempted rape and assault but the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February last year that the case had been discontinued.

    Reports last year that United were planning to retain him following an internal investigation were met by public outcry and Ratcliffe acknowledges that a decision will have to be made when Greenwood returns about what happens next – but insists nothing has been finalised yet.

    “It’s quite clear we have to make a decision. There is no decision that’s been made,” Ratcliffe said at a media briefing to mark the completion of his purchase of a minority stake in United which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    Asked asked if the Greenwood situation would be a “fresh decision”, Ratcliffe said: “Yeah we will. Absolutely. We will make a decision, and we will justify it one way or the other.”

    Ratcliffe added: “He’s on loan obviously, but he’s not the only one – we’ve got one or two footballers that we have to deal with and we have to make a decision on, so we will do that.

    “The process will be – understand the facts, not the hype, and then try and come to a fair decision on the basis of values, which is basically: is he a good guy or not?

    “Could he play sincerely for Manchester United, (play) well and we’d be comfortable with it and the fans would be comfortable with it.”

    Greenwood is under contract at United until the summer of 2025.

  • I’m not sure he exists – Jim Ratcliffe unsure about takeover rival Sheikh Jassim I’m not sure he exists – Jim Ratcliffe unsure about takeover rival Sheikh Jassim

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe has jokingly questioned whether his Manchester United takeover rival Sheikh Jassim even exists after completing the purchase of a minority stake in the Red Devils.

    Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim were the two public bidders looking to take full control of United from the Glazer family which has owned the club since 2005, before Ratcliffe’s focus switched to securing a smaller stake.

    His Ineos company now controls football operations as part of a deal which will see him own 28.9 per cent of the club by the year’s end.

    Reflecting on the long road to the completion of the deal, Ratcliffe admitted he did find it strange that there was an apparent lack of interest in buying United in comparison to when Chelsea came onto the market in 2022 and that his main rival for full control was someone who “still nobody has ever seen”.

    “The Glazers never met him. I’m not sure he exists,” he joked.

    “It was extraordinary. That (apparent lack of wider interest) was confounding. There’s no comparison between Chelsea and Manchester United, the scale of Manchester United is incomparable with any of the London clubs to be honest with you.”

    Asked whether he thought he may have been bidding alone rather than against Sheikh Jassim, Ratcliffe said: “They (the Qatari bid) were obviously there and there was a whole host of people on the team, on the squad. I didn’t ever meet them. But it was a very odd affair.”

    Representatives who worked with Sheikh Jassim during the period of his interest in United have been contacted for comment by the PA news agency.

    Ratcliffe was asked about whether he held a long-term ambition to ultimately gain full control of United and whether he was concerned that ‘drag-along’ rights held by the Glazers which could force him to sell his stake in the event they wished to sell.

    “There are all sorts of scenarios. We might get hit by an asteroid,” he said.

    “There have been lots of opportunities for people to come in and buy Manchester United in the last 12 months – why is it all going to change?”

    Asked if taking full control was his ultimate aim, Ratcliffe said: “The ultimate aim is just for Manchester United to play really good football. It’s not about what am I going to do in five years’ time?”

  • Erling Haaland an inspiration for club and country – Man City winger Oscar Bobb Erling Haaland an inspiration for club and country – Man City winger Oscar Bobb

    Oscar Bobb has described his Manchester City and Norway team-mate Erling Haaland as an inspiration.

    Haaland got the only goal as City edged out Brentford 1-0 on Tuesday night in a match that saw emerging talent Bobb, 20, make his first Premier League start.

    It was Haaland’s 17th goal of the season despite missing two months of the campaign with a foot injury, and took him to 53 in 55 league appearances since joining City in the summer of 2022. A goal against the Bees meant he has scored against all 21 Premier League opponents he has faced.

    “What he’s achieved is crazy, right?” Bobb said. “He’s only three years older than me, same country, everything. Yes, he’s an inspiration.”

    Asked if he was close with his illustrious team-mate, Bobb said: “Yes, I think it’s natural. We’re pretty close in age and from the same place. He helps me a lot.”

    It was Haaland’s third goal in seven games since his return from injury and came after he was criticised for missing a string of opportunities in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

    But Bobb said there had never been any concern within the City camp regarding their star striker, who last week was mourning the death of his grandmother.

    “Everyone knows how good of a finisher he is,” Bobb said. “As long as he gets in those situations, whether he misses or scores, such a clinical finish, if he misses a few one game it’s not like he’s going to start missing all his chances.

    “There’s no real worries. I mean, when you have the quality he has, it is just about getting to the right spots.”

    Haaland capitalised on a slip from Kristoffer Ajer to finally find a way past Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken, breaching a defence that for 70 minutes had stood firm to the growing frustration of Pep Guardiola, his players, and the home fans inside the Etihad Stadium.

    Bobb had one of City’s best chances in the first half when he collected a rebound, neatly created space for himself but then saw his shot blocked on the line by Ben Mee.

    Though it was his first league start, this was Bobb’s 16th City appearance of the season. The winger, who joined City’s academy from Valerenga in 2019, has scored two goals, including a memorable late winner at Newcastle last month.

    “It’s been a big step up but I think, playing in this team, it gets a lot easier because you are not always dominating but usually you see a lot of the ball,” he said.

    “For me as a player I’m more of a ball-player than a runner and that helps. Being in this group and with these people helps me.”

    Bobb is now hoping to play his part in the title chase as City look ahead to a March fixture list that includes a derby against United, a potentially pivotal trip to Anfield and a home match against Arsenal.

    “In these situations – the manager says it a lot – you don’t really think too far ahead,” Bobb said. “It’s (a few) games before United even. So I don’t think that’s the biggest focus right now. It will be, of course, and that period will be good for the team.

    “Two, three years ago we won by one point when (Ilkay Gundogan) scored (on the final day against Aston Villa). When you look at it like that, every point could be a title-deciding point.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.