The draw for the knockout stages of the Champions League has been made.
The draw has produced some mouthwatering ties with Chelsea’s encounter with Barcelona arguably the pick of the bunch.
Another Anglo-Spanish tie sees Arsenal face Real Madrid for a place in the last eight.
The other big game in the round will be between Bayern Munich and Milan.
Holders Liverpool have been drawn to play Manchester United’s conquerors Benfica.
arcelona and Juventus were made joint favourites to win the Champions League after the draw for the first knockout stage on Friday.
Juventus, who play Werder Bremen and Barcelonahave been made 5/1 favourites by bookmakers William HIll.
Chelsea are 6/1 with Inter and Lyon 8/1. Holders Liverpool are 11/1, last season’s losing finallists Milan are 9/1.
Chelsea’s meeting with Barcelona will bring back memories of last season’s epic encounter in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho accused Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard of influencing referee Anders Frisk after a 2-1 defeat in the Camp Nou that saw Chelsea striker Didier Drogba sent off. The allegation ultimately led to referee Anders Frisk retiring from the game after he was subjected to a hate mail campaign by angry Chelsea fans.
Chelsea won 4-2 in the second leg at Stamford Bridge to go through.
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is hopeful that lasst season’s dramatic tie will not overshadow this season’s meeting.
“We want to put that behind us now,” he said. “We want to look forward. We had two fantastic games against them last year. Memorable.
“Even in rehearsal we got Barcelona so I didn’t think lightning would strike twice.
“But at this stage in the competition you expect to get a big team and we have got one. At the moment they are as hot as we are in the UK.”
Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein was delighted with the draw.
“Pure showbusiness,” he told the BBC. “It’s fantastic. It’s one of the draws of the round.
“We have never played Real Madrid before in Europe but, of course, they are one of the great teams of Europe.
“Never under-estimate Real Madrid because they are one of the very best. I suppose it’s what everyone dreams of.
“We would have loved to have played them in the final and we would love to get to Paris as a lot of our boys know the way there very well. But now we’ll have to do it the hard way.”
Chelsea v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Arsenal
Werder Bremen v Juventus
Bayern Munich v Milan
PSV Eindhoven v Lyon
Ajax v Internazionale
Benfica v Liverpool
Rangers v Villarreal
(Ties to be played 21/22 February and 7/8 March)
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