Last ever Champions League group stage starts as Man City defend title
Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 15, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR ‘LIVE’ SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 120 IMAGES. AN ADDITIONAL 40 IMAGES MAY BE USED IN EXTRA TIME. NO VIDEO EMULATION. SOCIAL MEDIA IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 120 IMAGES. AN ADDITIONAL 40 IMAGES MAY BE USED IN EXTRA TIME. NO USE IN BETTING PUBLICATIONS, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Manchester City begin their defence of the Champions League on Tuesday when the group stage kicks off in the last season in its current format as Europe’s elite club competition gets ready for a radical change.
Unveiled by UEFA in 2021 at the height of the crisis which saw a group of 12 clubs announce a breakaway Super League before promptly abandoning the project, the new-look Champions League will begin next year.
It will see the number of clubs involved in the competition proper increase from 32 to 36, with all participants going into a single league in which teams will play eight games — up from the current