Take your pick: Arsenal or Barca in the last four
Arsenal face Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals in a repeat of the 2006 final won by the Spanish giants.sports Updated: Mar 20, 2010 00:07 IST
Arsenal face Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals in a repeat of the 2006 final won by the Spanish giants.
Manchester United, beaten by Barcelona in last year's final, face Bayern Munich, Inter Milan are up against CSKA Moscow and Lyon were pitted against fellow French side Bordeaux in the draw made here on Friday.
The first legs are scheduled for March 30/31, with the second legs on April 6/7.
The semifinal draw was also held, with the winner of the United and Bayern tie meeting Lyon or Bordeaux, and Inter or CSKA playing Arsenal or Barca.
For Arsenal, the draw offers up a chance to gain revenge on missing out to Barcelona 2-1 at the Stade de France in Paris four years ago.
It will also mean a return to the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal old boy Thierry Henry.
The Gunners motored into the last eight this time around with a 5-0 thrashing of 2004 winners Porto on Tuesday for a 6-2 aggregate victory.
Arsenal secretary David Miles said: “This draw gives us what it gives us — we can only play and hopefully beat what's in front of us.
“Actually we owe Barcelona one — if that's the word. We'll be up for it — and we are looking to get a couple of decent results.”
For three-time winners Manchester United, Friday's draw meant they cross swords again with Bayern, the team they beat with two injury-time goals at the Camp Nou for the 1999 title.
But two years later Bayern beat United in the quarterfinals to go on to lift the trophy themselves. “It's a tough but also very exciting draw,” said Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“United are at the summit of European football and we will have to play at our best level, and even higher, to make it to the semifinals.”
United secretary Ken Ramsden, mindful of either Lyon or Bordeaux waiting in the last four, was upbeat, saying: “If we chose the draw this would be a good draw — but there will be no complacency at Old Trafford.”
The final is being staged at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium on May 22, the first time on a Saturday.
Real's dream of lifting a tenth trophy on home turf were dashed by Lyon this week, with the former French champions' reward a date with Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas commented: “It's very special. At least it means there will be a French club in the semi-finals. It will also be a clash between the reigning (French) champions and the champions of the season before.”
Jose Mourinho's Inter face a trip to first time quarter-finalists CSKA Moscow before the return leg. Friday's draw was made by UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and the ambassador for the Madrid final, Emilio Butragueno.
First Published: Mar 20, 2010 00:06 IST