Manchester United waived off the challenge from CSKA Moscow to finish on top of Group A in the Champions League. Jose Mourinho’s men ended their group stage quest with a comfortable victory, fighting back from 1 goal down to take 3 points and seal the top spot in their group. Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored a goal each as United maintained a one-goal lead for 90 minutes. However, the win might not make things easy for the Red Devils as better teams await them in the knockout stages.
Theoretically, a team which has topped the group is eligible to tussle for a place in the quarterfinals with a runners-up side. But going by the current Champions League season, it’s not necessary that the teams finishing atop get less able rivals. Manchester United can be up for a stern Test in 2018 when they return back to Europe after defending three cups in England. With Champions League getting into its business end this year, we list out the potential rivals of Manchester United and other top teams in the knock out stages.
The group stages will officially end on Thursday with the teams from Group E, F, G and H clash against each other for one last time in the group stages. Here is a list of potential rivals of group toppers PSG, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Roma, Besiktas and Real Madrid/Tottenham. Real Madrid and Tottenham can see an exchange of places ahead of their final group stage clash against Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia respectively. Both Tottenham and Real Madrid will be up for big challenges irrespective of their finishing position. Meanwhile, PSG who lost only second time in the season against an enthusiastic Bayern side can meet the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea or Juventus who are sides with great Champions League pedigree.
Table toppers: Manchester United, PSG, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Besiktas, Tottenham/Real Madrid
Potential rivals: Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Besiktas, Tottenham/Porto, Real Madrid/Tottenham, FC Basel