Ah, winning your Champions League group.
That means you can sit back and enjoy the draw for the knockout stage knowing you are likely to pick one of the lower ranked teams, right?
Well no that is not quite the case for the five English teams who qualified for the first knockout round.
And it’s even worse for Chelsea who came second.
It is the first time any country has had five representatives in Europe’s top competition in February.
Liverpool scored the most goals in the group stage ever, Spurs qualified first in a group containing Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund and Man City played some great football on the way to beating Napoli at the Stadio San Poalo.
Chelsea drew with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday to end falling behind Roma and United had to come from a goal down to beat CSKA Moscow.
But the Champions League draw rules, in which no one can play a team from the same country and no side they played in the group stages, coupled with some of the European heavyweights qualifying in second means the English sides could get some real horror draws.
Chelsea have it the worst of the bunch with their options limited to facing either PSG, who knocked them out the last two years running, Barcelona or Turkish side Besiktas.
After doing all the hard work to finish first in their group Spurs could be handed a last-16 tie against Bayern Munich or Juventus.
On current form a match against the Bavarians could end in an ‘Arsenal-esque’ result (see last year’s round of 16).
On the other hand for Spurs, ties against Basel, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto all represent good opportunities to progress.
United, Liverpool and Man City could all face either Bayern or Juve in the next round.
This table shows the all the probabilities and it’s bad news for Chelsea…
Here are the possibilities in full:
LIVERPOOL: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk
MAN UNITED: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla
MAN CITY: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Porto, Real Madrid
SPURS: Basel Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto
CHELSEA: PSG, Barcelona, Besiktas
The draw will be held on Monday morning in Switzerland.
Bayern and Juve are obviously the ones that everyone will want to avoid but a trip to Donetsk, who just beat Pep’s City side, will not be straightforward at all.
Chelsea will be praying they get Besiktas out of their possible draws.
That’s what happens when you finish second.