United star 'surprised' at City's 3-2 Bayern win: Still finished 2nd

Rafael 2

Manchester United defender speaks out over possible Champions League pairings in knockout stage of 16.

The possible opponents for Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16 ranges from traditional powerhouse club AC Milan, to mid-Bundesliga table threatened FC Schalke, dark horses Zenit St Petersburg, spirited Turkey representatives Galatasaray and - the one currently favoured by 40% of fans polled by the club's official website - Olympiacos.

The mixed pot is reward for topping Group A of the competition as, if they finished as runners-up, like Premier League leaders Arsenal, then trips to Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain or last season's tournament winners Bayern Munich: 'It was important to come first in the group,' said defender Rafael when speaking to ManUtd.com. 

In three Champions League outings this season, Rafael has completed 85% of his passes, registered seven defensive actions whilst creating two chances in the attacking end. He has also helped earn two clean sheets, only seeing one goal slip into their own net, during a trip to Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in early October.

On the potential of drawing Milan when the announcement is made on Monday, December 16 in Nyon, Switzerland, the Brazilian said: 'I can remember last season when we also won the group and yet we played Real Madrid. I hope something like that doesn't happen again but we can take anyone.'

When United beat Shakthar at Old Trafford on Tuesday, City were colliding with Bayern in Germany. After 12 minutes, though, Munich were ahead by two goals as the visitors suffered a nightmare start - much to the delight of Untied fans - however, City got a goal back before the break before scoring twice in three minutes in the second half to get ahead and, eventually claim the win.

Rafael said the result was a 'surprise'.

He said: 'I've seen Manchester City won 3-2 against Bayern Munich, which is a surprise, but City finished second.'

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