In recent years, there has been a growing trend of smaller clubs earning shock results against illustrious, high-spending heavyweights. A year ago, Cypriot side APOEL advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals; the year before, Schalke stormed past holders Inter en route to the semifinals.
This season, many of Europe’s traditional powers have struggled against supposedly lesser teams. Barcelona nearly succumbed to an embarrassing home defeat against Spartak Moscow, while Manchester United had the woodwork to thank for preserving their narrow win against Galatasaray.
Last Tuesday, Bayern Munich were not as fortunate as United, however, and were forced to accept a humiliating 3-1 loss to BATE, a side listed at No. 54 in the UEFA club rankings.
Despite being drawn into an ostensibly manageable group, Bayern are far from clinching progress to the knockout rounds. However, the Bavarians are not the only big team facing a tricky path to the Round of 16...