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The good news: Arsenal qualifies for its 17th consecutive Champions League group stage with a tense 1-0 win over Besiktas.

The bad news: Arsene Wenger confirms Olivier Giroud will be sidelined for four months.

Sanchez had the best match of his young Arsenal career. He had a non stop effort for the entire 90 minutes, with some pizzazz throughout. Ox, Cazorla, Debuchy, Koscielny and Mertesacker were very impressive today. But wow did the bookings fly out of Poneça's pocket today. Great for the club to be back in the UCL group stage. With Giroud being injured for four months, Wenger needs to go out in the next few days to sign a striker. Luckily we have until midnight on September 2 for the transfer window to close.

I don't know if anyone saw the highlights of Ludogorets v Steaua second leg match. Ludogrets forced the tie into extra time but in the 119', the Ludogorets keeper Cvorovic gets sent off for a bad tackle (denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity). Because the Bulgarian side used all their subs, their center half Moti volunteered to go between the woodwork. He made a huge save in the the dying moments of extra time. Then in penalty kicks, Moti scores the first PK for Ludogorets and makes 2 huge saves helping the Bulgarian side to a 6-5 PK win and a spot in the group stage. By far that match had so much drama and was a rollercoaster from beginning to end. This is why I love football.

http://youtu.be/JneK3pZDZl4

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UCL group stage draw.

Why is Arsenal in Pot A while City is in Pot B?

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Nice to have a Dawson back at Hull City, although Michael will have some way to go before he's regarded as being as ace as big brother Andy.

Palermo's Abel Hernandez is also reckoned to be on the verge of swapping pink and black for black and amber...

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For me, Group E has definite 'cracking match' potential.

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Oh how much the world wanted Malmo to end up in Group F, giving Ibrahimovic a tour of his old clubs.

Nice to have a Dawson back at Hull City, although Michael will have some way to go before he's regarded as being as ace as big brother Andy.

Good signing for Hull. His pace is almost non existant now, which didn't suit Spurs' high defensive line the past few seasons and would probably have been exposed in Pochettino's pressing system.

Hull have also signed a few younger defenders this summer, so his experience will be invaluable in the dressing room and training field as well as on the pitch itself.

Sad to see him leave Spurs after watching him play for 9 and a half years, starting off as a wild and unsure 21 year old who needed Ledley King next to him, to being the captain of the club.

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Considering Liverpool were in the third pot, I'll definitely take that draw. Yeah Real are Real but I'd back us to finish ahead of Basle in a way I wouldn't if we'd got a Juve, a Dortmund or a PSG.

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Considering Liverpool were in the third pot, I'll definitely take that draw. Yeah Real are Real but I'd back us to finish ahead of Basle in a way I wouldn't if we'd got a Juve, a Dortmund or a PSG.

As for Liverpool supporters and club think they can easily get through to the Round of 16 against Basel, you should ask Man Utd how easy it was for them to get past Basel in the 2011/12 UCL group stage. Baselcame from 2 goals down and drew 3-3 at Old Trafford then in the return leg in December, Basel beat United 2-1 sending them to the UEL Round of 32 and Basel into the UCL Round of 16. Basle has been the strongest clubs in Switzerland for sometime now . Don't count your chickens before their born. :P

Here are the groups:

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For the UCL group stage draw, Arsenal get paired up with old rivals Dortmund (third time in as many years) with Turkish giants Galatasaray. I think Group D will been very competitive. I agree with Jaffa, Group E will create some cracking matches throughout the fall and early winter. But I think the group to watch will be Group F. I think PSG, Barca and Ajax will push each other the whole way through the group stage. Nothing like last year's group of Arsenal, Dortmund, and Napoli where they all finished with 12 points, but it will be electric.

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I really like Group C. All teams seem very close quality wise. You can't make out even one team that'll make this Group most likely.

Btw. rumours say that Salomon Kalou ist going to join Hertha today or tomorrow. After players like Heitinga, Stocker and Haraguchi (awsome Japanese prospect from Urawa) joined us, this would be the key transfer to make us a Top 7 team in the league.

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Everton draws close to the worst possible draw, in with Lille, Wolfsburg, and Krasnodar.

Although I think the Toffees can take on all these teams.

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You're greedy for enforcing rules we broke! Waaaah!

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Legia Hitting back on UEFA for the Celtic forfeit:

Warsaw-2.jpg

No invective against the Jews? I'm surprised.

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I love how Legia Warsaw thinks Celtic are the villains here because they refused to comment on Legia breaking rules that UEFA enforce. It's your own damn fault, take responsibility and deal with the consequences.

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Can you say UEFA sanctions being placed against Legia for their home matches in UEL? Though I do have to say that's some pretty good tifo...here's the entire video of it

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Weird how City somehow gets the same teams from last year in their group

And it's your fault if you subbed in a banned player, rule breaking has nothing to do with money.

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Tottenham have reached agreement with Montpellier for the transfer of midfielder Benjamin Stambouli.

Looks like Lewis Holtby is going to be allowed to leave.

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