The 2015-2016 UEFA Champions League group stage is complete, setting us with a knockout stage with 16 teams: Three from Spain (Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid), three from England (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City), two from Italy (Juventus, Roma), two from Germany (Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg), one from Portugal (Benfica), one from France (PSG), one from the Netherlands (PSV), one from Russia (Zenit), one from Ukraine (Dynamo Kyiv) and one from Belgium (Gent).
Despite losing their first two matches and getting drubbed 5-1 in Munich by Bayern, Arsenal are in the round of 16 one more time with excessive hope and expectations thanks to a couple of 3-0 wins against Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb.
Atletico have another impressive campaign to finish first in their group thanks to a 2-1 win over Benfica, leaving Galatasaray and Astana behind.
Bayern finish first in a group that included Arsenal, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb, winning five of their matches and conceding just three goals in six matches.
The only Portuguese team in the round of 16, Benfica finish second behind Atletico Madrid and ahead of Astana and Galatasaray, despite not winning their final two matches.
Didn’t have the brightest of campaigns, but finished first ahead of Dynamo Kiev, Porto and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, beating Porto on the final match to clinch their spot in the round of 16.
It’s been a very long time since Dynamo Kiev have enjoyed Champions League success. Their 1-0 win against Maccabi Tel-Aviv made sure they finish second behind Chelsea and leave the Europa League berth to Porto.
Didn’t lose once during the group stage, their draws coming in Roma and Leverkusen, while BATE didn’t really pose any problem. Conceded just 4 goals in the campaign.
The biggest surprise of the group stage as Gent finish behind Zenit but ahead of Lyon and Valencia to make into the round of 16 for the first time, beating Zenit 2-0 on their final match.
Last season’s finalists beat Manchester City twice to make sure they didn’t have to put any pressure on themselves in the final matchday, leaving Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach behind.
Qualify from first place despite losing twice to Juventus, completing a double over Sevilla and Monchengladbach to continue slowly building their CV in Europe.
Finished behind Real Madrid but way ahead of Malmo and Shakhtar Donetsk in a very easy group stage for the French champions.
It’s been a few rough years for Eindhoven in Europe, but the Dutch champions finished second in a group that included Wolfsburg, Manchester United and CSKA Moscow.
First place, five wins, one draw, 19 goals, 3 conceded in an almost flawless group stage.
Didn’t let the 6-1 loss against Barcelona get to them, still finishing second ahead of Leverkusen and BATE, although getting just six points in the slightly disasppointing campaign.
Finished first in a group that included Manchester United (out) and PSV (second), concluding the group stage with a fantastic 3-2 win at home against the Red Devils.
Almost perfect, with five wins in six matches to finish ahead of Gent, Lyon and Valencia as they once again get a relatively easy group to wade through and qualify.