Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League Group stage thanks to a 1-0 away win at Ajax with a goal by Vivianne Miedema, so who could they get in the Champions League draw?.
It was certainly another tough game against Ajax that was settled by a world-class strike from Miedema. The game will also be remembered for the controversies about the goal size, and also on the injury to Beth Mead late in the game.
Arsenal tried to make a concussion substitution because Mead was not fit to continue but they had already used their three possible windows during the game.
The substitution was refused as per the UEFA rules.
I emailed UEFA about it and received the following answer: “The trial of concussion substitutions as part of the Laws of the Game are under the jurisdiction of IFAB. The concussion substitutions were trialled at the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Hungary/Slovenia.
“They had also been planned for the Under-17 and Under-19 finals men’s and women’s in 2020/21, but unfortunately those competitions had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
“There are currently no UEFA competitions where concussion substitutions are being trialled. For further questions on the trials and further steps, we kindly refer you to IFAB.
“Full information on UEFA’s concussion awareness campaign charter and head injury procedure for UEFA club and national team matches can be found here.”
So, Arsenal ended up finishing the game with 10 players, as they did the right thing to protect the player’s health and took Mead off.
It could have been a controversial moment had Ajax scored an equaliser and, potentially, a winner against 10 Arsenal players.
Some Arsenal fans also questioned why the referee only booked the Ajax defender and did not send her off for serious foul play.
The most bizzarre thing is had the game to extra time, Arsenal would have been able to get a sub in for Mead and come back to 11 players, as you can make an extra substitution and go up to six substitutes in total.
Champions League draw
Arsenal will be seeded in pot 2 for the draw that will take place on Monday at 12pm UK time.
Here are the four pots with Pot 1 being the holders and Champions of the top three associations.
Although, this season the holders were one of the top three champions, so the fourth association champions, Barcelona, qualified for the Group stage directly.
Champions League draw Pot 1
- Lyon (FRA, holders) 128.666 co-efficient
- Barcelona (ESP) 112.233
- Wolfsburg (GER) 102.133
- Chelsea (ENG) 78.200
The opponents in Pot 1 are well known and Arsenal lost last season to both Barcelona and Wolfsburg, while Lyon are the holders.
We cannot draw Chelsea.
If we look for variety of opposition, playing Lyon would be the most interesting draw, especially as they have a few injury problems right now.
Champions League draw Pot 2
- Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 85.666
- Bayern München (GER) 84.133
- Slavia Praha (CZE) 47.766
- Arsenal (ENG) 39.200
We obviously cannot draw any Pot 2 teams.
Champions League draw Pot 3
- Rosengård (SWE) 38.833
- Juventus (ITA) 30.900
- Real Madrid (ESP) 26.233
- St. Pölten (AUT) 25.700
All four teams in Pot 3 are beatable.
Juventus would be nice to see Joe Montemurro return to the club.
Real Madrid are improving with many good signings this summer in midfield and attack.
Rosengård are Jonas Eidevall’s previous team, so a known quantity for the manager.
Sankt Pölten are the weakest team of the pot and it would be a nice away trip for the fans, too.
Champions League draw Pot 4
- Zürich (SUI) 22.500
- Vllaznia (ALB) 14.400
- Benfica (POR) 13.600
- Roma (ITA) 5.900
The Swiss team are regulars in the competition, and the same can be said of the Albanian team who have reached the group stage for the first time.
Benfica were in the group stage last season and caused problems for many teams.
Roma are debutants in the competition.
Vllaznia would certainly the be the most interesting away trip for the fans, while Lisbon and Rome are certainly great tourist hotspots.
Arsenal should definitely beat those pot 4 teams.
The full calendar is as follows:
Champions League draw – Group stage
- 13:00 CET, 3 October, Nyon
Champions League Group stage
- Matchday 1: 19/20 October
- Matchday 2: 26/27 October
- Matchday 3: 23/24 November
- Matchday 4: 7/8 December
- Matchday 5: 15/16 December
- Matchday 6: 21/22 December
Champions League Quarter-final & semi-final draw
- 13:00 CET, 20 January, Nyon
Champions League Quarter-finals
- First leg: 21/22 March
- Second leg: 29/30 March
Champions League Semi-finals
- First leg: 22/23 April
- Second leg: 29/30 April
Champions League Final (PSV Stadion, Eindhoven)
- 3 or 4 June tbc
There was a strong away fan contingent in Amsterdam, local and English and making the final in Eindhoven would certainly please the Dutch fans’ army.