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Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010

Arsenal draw favourites Barcelona in Champions League

Thierry Henry playing for Arsenal
Thierry Henry tasted defeat in Arsenal colours in 2006

Arsenal face a Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona in a mouthwatering repeat of the 2006 final.

And Manchester United's pairing with Bayern Munich will evoke memories of the Red Devils' triumph in 1999.

Should they progress, United will face either Lyon or Bordeaux while Arsenal would take on the winners of Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow's tie.

The quarter-final first legs will be played on 30 and 31 March with the return fixtures on 6 and 7 April.

The draw pits Barcelona striker Thierry Henry against his former club for the first time since he made a £16m switch to the Catalan side in June 2007.

The France international, who will return to the Emirates for the first leg on Wednesday 31 March, was denied victory in his home city of Paris as part of the Gunners side that lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the final four years ago.


Barcelona have been in fearsome form with a 5-1 aggregate victory over Stuttgart in the last 16 of the competition on Wednesday following a 3-0 victory over Valencia in their domestic league at the weekend.

Arsenal, who lie two points off the top of the Premier League, will travel to the Nou Camp on Tuesday 6 April.

"We respect what Barcelona have done but competition is about what you do tomorrow," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"I believe what is important is that on the day everyone sees a good game and we win it.

"We are focused on us, not our opponents. In the quarter-finals you are bound to meet a good team and Barca are a good team.

"If you go to the bookmakers and try to place a few pounds, you will see that we are not favourites against Barcelona.

"Of course they are a good side, but so are we. For me, we have a 50-50 game - if we turn up with our best performance we have a good chance to beat them.

"It will be an interesting, exciting game. We have to make sure we have the belief and focus right."

Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain also predicted a memorable encounter as his side take on the Premier League's top-scorers.

"This will be the most spectacular of all the quarter-finals in terms of football," he said.

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

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich's progress to the last eight was less emphatic with an Arjen Robben long-range strike delivering an away-goals win over Fiorentina.

Louis Van Gaal's side are unbeaten at the Allianz Arena in the league and will hope to maintain that record and build an advantage over United in the first leg on Tuesday 30 March.

Phil McNulty

"The history of playing Bayern in past European ties tells you it's going to be a very difficult tie for us," said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It'll be a fantastic atmosphere in both games. They have a great stadium and a good pitch and we're up against a good experienced team.

Two late goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer ended Manchester United's 31-year wait for a second European Cup in the 1999 final between the two sides and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admits they are favourites once more.

"Manchester are a team who are ranked right at the top," he said.

Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben struck a minute after Stevan Jovetic put Fiorentina ahead

"Manchester are the favourites, but that is where the attraction lies, to try to beat a favourite."

If his side prevail again, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will face his former player Laurent Blanc in the opposing dugout if Bordeaux overcome fellow French side Lyon.

CSKA Moscow, who became the first Russian side to win European silverware with their Uefa Cup win in 2005, will be underdogs against Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in the other quarter-final.

Inter were at their clinical best as they knocked out Mourinho's former club Chelsea in the last round, their 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge giving them a 3-1 aggregate win.


1st leg:

Tuesday 30 March:
Lyon v Bordeaux
Bayern Munich v Manchester United

Wednesday 31 March:
Arsenal v Barcelona
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow

2nd leg:

Tuesday 6 April:
Barcelona v Arsenal
CSKA Moscow v Inter Milan

Wednesday 7 April:
Bordeaux v Lyon
Manchester United v Bayern Munich


1st leg:

Tuesday 20 April: Inter Milan/CSKA Moscow v Arsenal/Barcelona

Wednesday 21 April: Bayern Munich/Manchester United v Lyon/Bordeaux

2nd leg:

Tuesday 27 April: Lyon/Bordeaux v Bayern Munich/Manchester United

Wednesday 28 April: Arsenal/Barcelona v Inter Milan/CSKA Moscow

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see also
European draws - as they happened
19 Mar 10 |  Football
Barcelona 4-0 Stuttgart (agg 5-1)
17 Mar 10 |  Europe
Bordeaux 2-1 Olympiakos (agg 3-1)
17 Mar 10 |  Europe
Chelsea 0-1 Inter Milan (agg 1-3)
16 Mar 10 |  Europe
Sevilla 1-2 CSKA Moscow (agg 2-3)
16 Mar 10 |  Europe
Man Utd 4-0 AC Milan (agg 7-2)
10 Mar 10 |  Europe
Real Madrid 1-1 Lyon (agg 1-2)
10 Mar 10 |  Europe
Arsenal 5-0 Porto (6-2)
09 Mar 10 |  Europe
Fiorentina 3-2 B Munich (4-4)
09 Mar 10 |  Europe
Fulham 4-1 Juventus (agg 5-4)
18 Mar 10 |  Europe
Liverpool 3-0 Lille (agg 3-1)
18 Mar 10 |  Europe

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