MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Barcelona and Chelsea were drawn into the same first-round group Thursday night in the European Champions League and will meet for the third straight season.
Barcelona beat Chelsea in the second round last year en route to the title after losing to the Blues in the same round in 2004-05. Germany's Werder Bremen and Bulgaria's Levski Sofia also were drawn into Group A. The tournament starts Sept. 12, and the top two teams in each of eight groups advance to the second round.
Six-time champion AC Milan is in what appears to be the easiest group along with Lille, AEK Athens and Anderlecht. AC Milan was initially banned from the tournament as part of its penalty resulting from Italy's matchfixing scandal, then was put in the third qualifying round and advanced.
Each matchday, ESPN 2 will feature live games at 2:30 EST on Tuesday and Wednesday, while ESPN Deportes will provide 10 games per matchday -- a total of 89 during the course of the season -- in the premier club soccer competition in the world, the UEFA Champions League. Coverage begins September 12th."
(Additional note: ESPN Classic will also carry games on at 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday and Wednesday.)
Manchester United and Scottish champion Glasgow Celtic are in Group F with Benfica and Copenhagen. Liverpool is in Group C with PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux and Galatasaray, and Arsenal is in Group G with CSKA Moscow, Hamburg SV and Porto.
Former champions Internazionale of Milan and Bayern Munich were drawn into Group B along with Sporting Lisbon and Spartak Moscow.
Nine-time winner Real Madrid is in Group E with French champion Lyon, Steaua Bucharest and Dynamo Kiev.
AS Roma is in Group D with Valencia, Olympiakos and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press