Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry could barely conceal his disappointment after the Champions League quarter-final draw.
The draw pits Liverpool against Arsenal and with a Premier League meeting involving the teams sandwiched between the Champions League encounters, Parry acknowledges that the teams will hold few surprises for each other.
“I think we’d hoped to avoid an English team. But, statistically, an all-English tie was bound to happen and it’s happened to us. I guess at least we’ve avoided a trip to Turkey.
“But, statistically, an all-English tie was bound to happen and it’s happened to us. I guess at least we’ve avoided a trip to Turkey.
“We’re also playing Arsenal in the league in between the quarter-final legs so that will be interesting. I don’t think there will be any surprises for either side in those games.
“We’ll take each match as it comes but, of course, we’ve noticed we might also face another English side (Chelsea) in the last four as well.”
Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman added: “I think we’d have preferred European competition. Liverpool are a great team and are fantastic in this competition and, with three games against them in a week, I’m sure the tactics in each tie will be under close scutiny.”
“It should make for compelling viewing and, after the way we played against Milan, we must have a lot of belief that we can go all the way.”
Manchester United have be drawn to face Roma in a repeat of last season’s quarter-final encounter that culminated in a 7-1 thrashing for the Italian side at Old Trafford.
Manchester United club secretary Ken Ramsden said: “It’s a good draw for us, I think.
“As a fan I’m happy we’re playing continental opposition and we have a good record against them too. I’m sure the manager will also be happy that we’re playing at home in the second leg so we’re content with that.”
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was relieved to have avoided an English side in the draw, and was happy to be facing Turkish outfit Fenerbahce.
“I’m delighted,” he said. “There are no easy draws at this stage, but we wanted to avoid an English side and we’ve done that.
“Despite a couple of disappointing results of late, we’ve complete confidence in the team and coaching staff to ensure we have a good end to the season.”