The draw for the Quarter Final Stages of this season’s Champions League was made this morning and didn’t disappoint in offering some mouth watering clashes.
Arsenal were drawn against Barcelona in what is the pick of the round’s ties. The match-up is a repeat of the 2006 final in which the Spaniards ultimately emerged successful. Neither team are exactly staunch proponents of a long-ball game and fans can no doubt look forward to some concentrated spells of neat passing and silky build up play over the two legs. The clash also means a return to Arsenal for former hero Thierry Henry and may also afford Barca a close up inspection of Cesc Fabregas, with whom they are strongly linked in terms of a summer move.
Another past final was replicated as Manchester United face up to Bayern Munich, with the dramatic conclusion of the 1999 decider still bound to be fresh in the minds of the fans and players of both sides. Crucially, unlike Arsenal, United have the advantage of a second leg on home turf meaning that a solid result in the first leg will see them in pole position to proceed.
Elsewhere, Chelsea’s conquerers Inter Milan take on last eight debutants CSKA Moscow and the final clash is an all French affair as Lyon, who shocked big spenders Real Madrid in the last sixteen, come up against Ligue 1 counterparts Bordeaux.
The draw for the semi-finals was also carried out and means that a repeat of last year’s final between Manchester United and Barcelona, or indeed an all-England decider is possible.
Quarter Final Draw (First legs to be played on March 30/31 and the second legs on April 6/7)
Lyon v Bordeaux
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
Arsenal v Barcelona
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow
Semi Final Draw (first legs to be played on April 20/21 and the second legs on April 27/28)
Bayern Munich/Manchester United v Lyon/Bordeaux
Inter Milan/CSKA Moscow v Arsenal/Barcelona