Manchester United ‘ought to be pleased’ at Group A Champions League draw, claims Michael Owen

By David Aspinall

Manchester United ‘ought to be pleased’ at their Champions League group draw, claims former striker Michael Owen.

In Group A the Reds will face Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen from Germany and Spain’s Real Sociedad.

The 2008 winners successfully dodged the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

Owen, who took part in yesterday’s draw, tweeted: “What do we all think of The Champions League Draw? Chelsea, City and United ought to be pleased but toughies for Arsenal and Celtic.”

Shakhtar Donetsk won the Europa League, then in its final year as the UEFA Cup, in 2009 and completed a domestic treble last season.

They have since lost some of their star players, including Fernandinho to Manchester City, but have added quality with the likes of Brazilians wunderkind Bernard.

Bayer Leverkusen were runners up in this competition in 2002 when, with players like Michael Ballack in their team, they lost to Real Madrid 2-1, and have started their Bundesliga season with three victories.

Real Sociedad may not have been in Europe’s premier club competition since the 2002/2003 season but they qualified comfortably with a 4-0 aggregate victory against French giants Olympique Lyonnais.

Fans reaction to the draw was relatively positive.

@fermanagh4sam tweeted: “Not a bad group for Moyes to cut his Champions League teeth on!”

United start their campaign at Old Trafford against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday September 17, followed by an away trip to Donetsk on Wednesday October 2.

Picture courtesy of Michael Kjaer, with thanks.

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