Lucas Moura of PSG celebrates scoring his side’s second goal against Arsenal.
Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday left its hopes of finishing as Group A winner hanging by a thread.
The Gunners have paid a heavy price for finishing runners-up in recent seasons, twice being drawn against Bayern Munich and twice against Barcelona in the last 16.
Logic suggests finishing top is beneficial as group winners cannot face each other in the first knockout round. Barcelona, Monaco and Leicester City are all confirmed as group winners but former winners Bayern Munich and Porto cannot top their respective groups.
Real Madrid and Juventus could also possibly finish as runners-up so this season’s first knockout round could produce some clashes between favorites.
“I don’t know if it’s good or bad (to finish second),” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Wednesday. “You can’t guess until you know the draw.”
In total 12 teams are through to the last 16, with seven more vying for the four remaining berths when the group stage concludes on December 6-7.
Here is a rundown of the eight groups with the qualifiers and qualification scenarios:
Group A: PSG and Arsenal both qualified. PSG will win the group if it beats Ludogorets or matches Arsenal’s result against Basel in the final games.
Group B: Two from Benfica, Napoli and Besiktas will qualify. All three could still top the group. Third-placed Besiktas will reach the last 16 if it beats Dynamo Kiev. Benfica needs to beat Napoli to be sure of going through. A draw would suit both if Besiktas draws with Kiev.
Group C: Clear cut. Barcelona has won the group. Manchester City is through as runner-up.
Group D: Atletico Madrid cannot be caught by Bayern Munich at the top. Both are through.
Group E: Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen have qualified with a game to spare. Monaco as the winner and Leverkusen second.
Group F: Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid have qualified. Real must beat Dortmund at home next to overtake the Bundesliga side as group winner.
Group G: Leicester City has won the group. Porto will go through as runner-up with a home win against Leicester. Failure to win would let in FC Copenhagen if it beats Club Brugge.
Group H: Juventus has qualified and will do so as group winner if it beats Dinamo Zagreb at home next. Sevilla will qualify as runner-up providing it avoids a two-goal defeat in its final game at Olympique Lyon which must win well to scrape into the last 16 on head-to-head.