CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho faces a reunion with the club where he made his name after his team were grouped with Porto on a day of mixed fortunes for English clubs in the Champions League draw.
The Blues will also meet Ukrainian title winners Dynamo Kiev – a fixture that necessitates a 2,600-mile round trip – and Israeli champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv in a straightforward looking Group G.
Arsenal received what appears to be a tougher draw which includes German giants Bayern Munich, who have knocked the Gunners out of the competition twice in the last three years.
Manchester City, so often dealt tough fixtures in this competition, were left cursing their luck again after getting Italian champions Juventus and Sevilla, winners of back-to-back Europa Leagues.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, whose side booked their passage with a 7-1 aggregate win over Club Brugges on Wednesday, is set for a return to his native Holland to play PSV Eindhoven.
Mourinho, who took charge of Chelsea for the first time weeks after guiding modest Porto to the pinnacle of European competition in 2004, will return to his former club for the second time as Blues manager.
The teams also met in the last 16 in 2007, when Mourinho’s Chelsea narrowly progressed 3-2 on aggregate after midfielder Michael Ballack scored a late winner at Stamford Bridge.
Their trip to Kiev, who are managed by former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov, on 27 October, comes just days before the Premier League champions host Liverpool.
Arsenal, who have come undone against Bayern repeatedly but can at least console themselves that they cannot meet the Bavarians in the last 16 this time, also meet another familiar foe in Olympiacos.
The Greek club, who have faced Arsenal six times since 2009 – winning all three at home and losing all three in London – have been cleared to take part despite domestic match-fixing allegations. They are joined in Group F by Dinamo Zagreb, Croatian champions for the last 10 years in a row.
City, who drew with Juve twice in the 2009-10 Europa League and have never met Sevilla in a competitive fixture, also face Borussia Moenchengladbach, third in Germany last term, in Group D.
United’s draw sees an immediate return to former club PSV for new signing Memphis Depay. Van Gaal’s men also meet CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg – two teams they beat in during 2009-10 campaign – in Group B.
Holders Barcelona were drawn with Bayer Leverkusen, BATE Borisov and Roma.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP DRAW
▀ Real Madrid
▀ At Madrid
▀ B Leverkusen
▀ BATE Borisov