Chelsea, United spared as City get fiendish Champions League draw
MONACO (AFP) - Fate largely smiled on Manchester United and holders Chelsea in Thursday's Champions League draw, but Manchester City found themselves drawn into a daunting group with Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea, who beat Bayern Munich on penalties in last season's final to claim the trophy for the first time, were drawn in Group E alongside Italian champions Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Danish debutants Nordsjaelland.
Manchester United found themselves in fairly benign surroundings in Group H, having been pitted against Portugal's SC Braga, Galatasaray of Turkey and Romanians CFR-Cluj in the draw in Monaco.
However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson did not need reminding that it was from a similarly straightforward group - containing Benfica, FC Basel and Cluj's domestic rivals Otelul Gelati - that the three-time champions failed to progress last season.