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Drawn from memory Champions League draw produces exactly the same pairings as dress rehearsal – at odds of a staggering 2,000,000-1
Bookmakers say they would have only offered odds of 5,000-1 of the incident occurringThe order in which the ties were drawn was different, but the pairings were identicalOdds would be affected by the order due to rules over which teams can face each other at this stage of the tournament
15:26 GMT, 21 December 2012
As one of sport's most prestigious competitions all eyes were on yesterday's draw for the knock-out phase of the Champions League.
And they would have witnessed something quite remarkable.
To ensure that everything went smoothly UEFA chiefs had first staged a dress rehearsal. And they were left astonished as the real draw ending up producing exactly the same fixtures as those pulled out during the rehearsal
Ties included mouth-watering match-ups such as AC Milan v Barcelona and Real Madrid v Manchester United.
Leading football statisticians Opta say the likelihood of such an event happening is 2,160,900-1, leaving some football conspiracy theorists wondering whether there had been some kind of fix.
What are the odds The fixtures in rehearsal, pictured, were the same as the proper draw , below
The draw in full: The fixtures were decided in Nyon, Switzerland
NOW SHOW YOUR WORKING!
According to football statisticians Opta the odds of the draw happening again are 2,160,900-1.
The mathematics is made difficult by the fact that teams are not allowed to be drawn against one of their opponents from the group stage, or a club that plays in the same country.
This means that the odds actually change every time a pairing is drawn.
But, disregarding the order, the odds of the same eight pairings being drawn were made are based on the fact there were four group winners who had seven potential opponents in the next round, two group winners who had six potential opponents, while twoothers had just 5 teams they could be drawn against in the first knock-out phase.
Hence the formula used by Opta was:
7 to the power 4 x 6 to the power 2 x 5 to the power 2 = 2,160,900-1
Although the order in which the ties were drawn was different, the pairings were identical. Football statisticians have been arguing over the odds of such an occurrence happening.
The mathematics are complicated
because of rules preventing teams from the same nations competing against each other at this stage of the tournament, or
clubs facing rivals from their own group stage.
Bookmakers say they would only offer punters odds of 5,000-1 on such an eventuality, but some have suggested the odds are as
extreme as nearly 2,000,000-1.
The draw for the last 16 pitted Manchester United with Spanish giants Real Madrid. United's classic
tie with Real, the first leg is scheduled for the Bernabeu on February
13, will see the return of Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since he
quit Old Trafford for 80million in 2009.
Incredible: Fans were stunned to discover the draw matched the rehearsal
Arsenal facing last season's beaten finalists Bayern Munich and Neil
Lennon's Celtic heroes coming up against Juventus it is possible there
will be no British clubs in the quarter-finals for the first time since
The Champions League, previously
called the European Champion Clubs' Cup, is an annual continental club
football competition which has been taking place since 1955 for Europe's
hugely anticipated each year and the final of last year's tournament was
the most watched final yet, with 178.7 million viewers on TV.
The tournament involves a number of stages, which includes qualifying rounds, a group stage and then a final knockout phase.
Real Madrid are the most successful team in the competition's history after winning the tournament nine times.
Reunion: The draw means that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured with girlfriend Irina Shayk, is set to play against his former team Manchester United
Bouncing back Manchester United, pictured, and Arsenal lost their final group stage games
VIDEO Watch both of the draws being made…
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