Arsenal draw Barcelona in the Champions League
Friday 19 March 2010
Manchester United and Arsenal both face repeats of previous Champions League finals in this season's quarter-finals - but United will be much happier with the task at hand.
United were today drawn to face Bayern Munich in the last eight in a repeat of the 1999 final which they won in dramatic circumstances to seal an historic treble.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side will be at home in the second leg and also know they could face the winner of the all-French quarter-final between Lyon and Bordeaux in the semis.
In stark contrast, Arsenal drew favourites and holders Barcelona, and could then face Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in the last four if Chelsea's conquerors dispose of CSKA Moscow.
United boss Ferguson said: "The history of playing Bayern in past European ties tells you it's going to be a very difficult tie for us.
"It'll be a fantastic atmosphere in both games. They have a great stadium and good pitch and we're up against a good, experienced team.
"Hopefully we'll have everyone we need for the game and we've got a good chance."
Manchester United club secretary Ken Ramsden admitted the Red Devils had received a favourable draw.
"If we chose the draw this would be a good draw but the games are there to be won and we're a long way from the final yet," he said. "I'm sure there'll be no complacency at Old Trafford."
Former Bayern midfielder Owen Hargreaves is ineligible to play against his former club but Ramsden added: "I'm sure it will add an extra dimension for him.
"I'm sure he'll want to be in Munich whether he's playing or not. It adds another element to a very attractive game already."
Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final and club secretary David Miles admitted the Gunners had landed the team everyone wanted to avoid.
"I'm sure the other clubs felt the same thing," Miles said. "But, having said that, the draw gives it what it gives us, we can only play, and hopefully beat, what's in front of us.
"We're looking forward to two fantastic games, which I'm sure they will be. We owe Barcelona one and we'll certainly be up for it and looking to get a couple of decent results."
Manager Arsene Wenger added: "I believe we will not be favourites but for me it will be a 50-50 game. That's how we have to take it.
"Of course they are a good side, so are we. It will be an interesting, exciting game. We have to make sure we have the belief and focus right."
The tie will have added significance for Arsenal captain and former Barca trainee Cesc Fabregas, who is often linked with a move back to the Nou Camp.
And Miles added on Sky Sports News: "I'm sure that will give him extra resolve.
"It's the team where he was born and I'm sure as captain of Arsenal he will certainly be up for it and be looking to progress to the semi-finals."
Draw for the Champions League quarter-finals:
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow
Arsenal v Barcelona
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
Lyon v Bordeaux
The first legs will be played on March 30/31 and the second legs on April 6/7.
Draw for the Champions League semi-finals:
Inter/CSKA Moscow v Arsenal/Barcelona
Bayern/ Man United v Lyon/Bordeaux
The first legs will be played on April 20/21 and the second legs on April 27/28.
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