CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF SIXTEEN DRAW
The Round of Sixteen draw for the UEFA Champions League has set the table for some interesting match-ups when the knockout rounds of the tournament begin in February.
Barcelona and Arsenal will renew their rivalry as the two sides were drawn together again after having met in the Quarterfinals stages last season. Barca won the 6-3 on aggregate, and also beat the Gunners 2-1 in the 2006 Champions League Final.
“Arsenal frighten me, but that is true of all the clubs in the draw.” Barca manager Pep Guardiola told the press. “I see difficulties in all of them. I will be a little calmer when I start to watch their games, if I can see any weaknesses.”
Arsene Wenger was not at all surprised to get Barcelona, as he predicted the tie as he joked with the media yesterday. “I know who we will get., at this level, you need connections.”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp was diplomatic about his clubs tough draw against AC Milan in their first ever Round of Sixteen match. “It is not the worst draw for me. A tough draw but it will be a great game. That’s what you want. Great games.”
Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri didn’t seem to think Group Winners Spurs would be much of a threat. “Tottenham is probably a very good team but among the possible rivals we could have faced, they are in theory one of the less difficult sides. But all the sides that have made it to the knockout round are nevertheless strong teams.”
Manchester United and Chelsea received favorable draws against arguably the weakest clubs in the sixteen team field, drawing Olyimpique Marseille and FC Copenhagen respectively.
Holders Inter Milan were paired with German giants Bayern Munich and Jose Morinho and Real Madrid were matched with French side Olympique Lyon.
The First Leg of the Round of Sixteen will be played February 15/16 and 22/23 with the return dates scheduled for March 8/9 and 15/16. The 2011 Champions League Final will be played at Wembly Stadium in London, England on May 28.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF SIXTEEN COMPLETE DRAW
AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur
Valencia v Schalke 04
Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
Olympique Lyon v Real Madrid
Arsenal v Barcelona
Olympique Marseille v Manchester United
Chelsea v FC Copenhagen