Title-holders Barca draw Arsenal

Quarter-final draw keeps Catalan club and Man Utd on course for repeat of 2009 final.

    Inter Milan knocked out Chelsea after a single goal from Samuel Eto'o in the second leg [AFP]

    "This will be the most spectacular of all the quarter-finals in terms of football," Txiki Begiristain, Barca's sporting director, told the club's website.

    "These are two teams that play open football and the match will be a duel to keep hold of the ball."

    Thierry Henry, then Arsenal captain, will face an emotional return to North London when the first-leg of the tie is played on March 31.

    'Attractive draw'

    Quarter-final fixtures

    First legs:

    Tuesday March 30
     Bayern Munich v Man Utd 
     Lyon v Bordeaux

    Wednesday March 31
     Arsenal v Barcelona
     Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow

    Second legs:

    Tuesday April 6
     Barcelona v Arsenal
     CSKA Moscow v Inter Milan

    Wednesday April 7
     Bayern Munich v Man Utd  Bordeaux v Lyon

    Manchester United and Bayern Munich play each other for the first time since their 1999 final in which the Red Devils broke Bayern hearts by scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to grab a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat .

    "This is a very difficult but also attractive draw," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's general director, said on his club website.

    "Manchester are a team that is up there at the very top. We will have to reach our limits and even exceed them if we want to progress.

    "Manchester are the favourites and that is where it is attractive in that we can trip up the favourite."

    The victor of the United-Bayern match will play the winners of the Lyon-Bordeaux game.

    All-French match

    Lyon will be favorities to progress from their quarter-final after knocking-out a Madrid side littered with multi-million dollar summer signings.

    Jean-Michel Aulas, the Lyon president, said on Eurosport: "It will be a peculiar tie, but it will mean there will be a French side in the last four for the first time since Monaco [in 2004]."

    Inter will be grateful that they avoided both Manchester United and Barcelona, although Ernesto Paolillo, their chief executive, reacted cautiously to the draw against the Russians, who finished fifth in their domestic league last year.

    "This isn't an easy tie. It would be wrong to underestimate it for two reasons," Paolillo told Sky television.

    "First CSKA Moscow are at the start of their season [in Russia]. So they are rested and fresher than any other team at the moment," he said.

    "Secondly, they play on a synthetic pitch, which favours less technical teams because players have less control of the ball."

    The first legs of the ties will be played on March 30 and 31, with the second legs slated for April 6 and 7.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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