Saturday 24 March 2018

Champions League draw: Arsenal to face Barcelona

Arsenal face a stiff task in the last 16 of the Champions League after they were today drawn against Spanish champions Barcelona.

Barcelona eliminated Arsenal in the quarter-finals last season thanks to a virtuoso display by Lionel Messi and are the bookmakers' favourites again following last month's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid.

Tottenham, top scorers in the group stage, also face a stiff test, against AC Milan, in their first experience of the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Milan are currently six points clear at the top of Serie A and with plenty of Champions League experience in their ranks.

Chelsea were given arguably the easiest draw of the round, up against Danish champions FC Copenhagen, while Manchester United will play Marseille.

The other ties see Lyon take on Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, holders Inter, now managed by Rafa Benitez, will face Bayern Munich, Valencia will play Schalke and Roma have to overcome Shakhtar Donetsk.

Spurs have already beaten holders Inter in the group stage and manager Harry Redknapp was quietly confident about being drawn against AC Milan.

Redknapp said: "It will be a great game. I would have taken AC Milan before the draw. They are leading the league in Italy but it has the makings of a great game over two legs. I'm looking forward to it."

Asked if the experience of the San Siro was an advantage he replied: "No. They are different players. It would be a fantastic occasion. 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."

He insisted his side, who have 10 matches domestically before Europe resumes, would be concentrating on the Premier League.

"It's a way off," added Redknapp. "We can put it to one side and concentrate on the league for now.

"It's fantastic for us to be involved in the Champions League. Our first dream was to get into it. To make the group stage was great.

"Then to win the group in possibly the hardest group of all was fantastic."

Spurs were beaten 4-3 by Inter in Italy but came back from 4-0 down thanks to a brilliant hat-trick by Gareth Bale. They then beat Benitez's side 3-1 at White Hart Lane.

The drwa in full:

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur

Valencia v Schalke

Inter Milan v Bayern Munich

Lyon v Real Madrid

Arsenal v Barcelona

Marseille v Manchester United

Copenhagen v Chelsea

The first legs will be played on February 15/16/22/23 with the second legs on March 8/9/15/16.

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