Last week, I had ended a post looking forward to the Champions League draws by predicting that United could draw Roma again in the quarterfinals of the Champions League this year. And that this would settle all doubts about whether the draws are doctored. Surely now, this confirms everything.
The pick of the draw though is the Arsenal-Liverpool tie. That should be enthralling! The Gunners, who have done so well this season in the Premier League with their young squad, knocked holders AC Milan out of the competition in the previous round. Liverpool’s all-but-dead season relies on winning the Champions League. I am torn between picking which of these would come good – Benitez’s tactical nous, or Wenger’s philosophy of flowing football. The return leg is at Anfield; so if I had to pick a winner, I would say Liverpool. (Come to think of it, had the Milanese teams knocked out their English opponents, this tie would have been the Milan derby.)
Chelsea, I had written, might get an easy tie. Fenerbahce, good luck to them, is as easy as it gets. So there is the mouthwatering prospect of an all-English semifinal tie. It could be a Liverpool-Chelsea semifinal, which is now almost a routine annual affair. Or a London derby involving the Gunners.
Barcelona have drawn Schalke, and should be pleased. If the ties turn out as I think, we could have a situation similar to last year, with Barcelona replacing Milan in the semis. I’m already looking forward to the Barca-United clash!
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