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Home > Sports > Football > UEFA Champions League 2005-06 > Reuters > Report

Arsenal face Juventus in quarters

March 10, 2006 18:50 IST
Last Updated: March 10, 2006 18:53 IST

Favourites Barcelona will meet Benfica in the quarter-finals of the Champions League following Friday's draw in Paris.

Six-times European champions AC Milan, who lost last year's final to Liverpool on penalties following a scintillating 3-3 draw after extra time, face Olympique Lyon who have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals.

Juventus, who scraped into the last eight thanks to a goalkeeping blunder by Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese on Tuesday, meet Arsenal, England's only representatives.

The first leg is at Highbury where France midfielder Patrick Vieira will mark his return to his former club.

Newcomers Villarreal face the winners of the first knockout round tie between Inter Milan and Ajax, who play their second leg next Tuesday with the first leg score 2-2.

The quarter-final first leg matches will be played on March 28 and 29 with the returns on April 4 and 5.

Benfica eliminated holders Liverpool in the first knockout round this week.

Should both Barcelona, who lost the 1961 European Cup final to Benfica, and Milan progress to the semi-finals they will meet in a repeat of the 1994 final won 4-0 by the Italian side.

The semi-finals are scheduled for April 18/19 and 25/26 and the final at the Stade de France on May 17


Frank Rijkaard's fine Barcelona side, who eliminated Chelsea in the glamour tie of the previous round, have met Benfica twice since the 1961 final, drawing away and winning at home on their way to their only European Cup success in 1992.

Barcelona will come up against their former defender Ronald Koeman. He scored the only goal in the 1992 final against Sampdoria at Wembley and will be in charge of Benfica in a tie featuring two Dutch coaches.

Twice champions Juventus have met Arsenal four times with the English club 2-1 ahead in wins. Arsenal beat the Italian team 3-1 at Highbury in a group stage match in December 2001.

"They don't come much more glamorous than will be nice to see Patrick Vieira back at Highbury, he will get a warm reception," Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein told Sky Sports News.

"This is a big stepping stone for the club. We have never gone beyond the quarter-finals before, but there is a lot of confidence running through the team, the players are emerging together and it's an exciting time for the club."

Vieira transferred to Juventus in the close season.

Inter have won the European Cup twice and president Giacinto Facchetti said: "At the moment we're focused on Ajax. That's an obstacle we've got to overcome before we think any further ahead.

"At least the draw means that we won't meet Milan. We've met them twice in the last few seasons and lost twice, so that was a game we definitely wanted to avoid."

Villarreal president Fernando Roig, whose team continued their impressive first season in the competition by eliminating Rangers in the previous round, said: "Obviously we don't know who we are playing yet, but my first impressions are good.

"The other thing is that the possibility of an all-Spanish final is still open which is good."

Draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League:

Arsenal v Juventus
Olympique Lyon v AC Milan
Inter Milan or Ajax v Villarreal
Benfica v Barcelona

Semi-final draw:
Arsenal or Juventus v Inter Milan or Ajax or Villarreal
Olympique Lyon or AC Milan v Benfica or Barcelona

(Quarter-final first legs to be played on March 28-29, second legs on April 4-5)

(Semi-finals first legs to be played on April 18-19, seconds legs April 25-26)

UEFA Champions League 2005-06: The Complete Coverage
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