All four English teams progressed in the Champions League, Arsenal did it the hard way, winning 7-6 in a penalty shoot out and are joined by Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Porto in next week's draw . I am never entirely sure how random these "draws"are at UEFA and would not be surprised if the EPL sides were paired this time round, although my strongest feeling is that Bayern will get a favourable pairing. It is easy to assume that everyone wants to avoid Barcelona, who can be unplayable on a going day, but maybe United, Chelsea and Liverpool would prefer the Catalan giants, to the intense rivalry that goes with facing each other.
It is back to the drawing board for the Italian clubs and even a casual observer of Serie A will soon realise that they are a long way short of the best that England and Spain has to offer. Although the EPL has four representatives in the last eight, compared to just two from La Liga and despite the fact that Liverpool walloped Real Madrid, I still rate the overall standard in Spain higher and the two leagues are head and shoulders above the rest of Europe, it is very hard to see this changing anytime soon
UEFA Cup takes centre stage today and I sent subscribers four selections back on Tuesday, three have remained fairly stable in the market, the fourth has been well supported. I am intending to put a couple of these on the blog later today , so please check back.