Champions League

'Barca difficult but beatable'

2010-12-17 17:32
Arsene Wenger (Gallo Images)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his team can beat Barcelona after the Gunners were drawn against the Spanish giants in yet another Champions League showdown on Friday.

Barcelona defeated Arsenal in the 2006 final in Paris before sweeping aside the English club 6-3 on aggregate in last year's quarter-finals, and will start as huge favourites for next February's last 16 clash.

Speaking on Arsenal's official website after Friday's draw, Wenger acknowledged his team faced a daunting draw but said victory was possible.

"My reaction is very simple -- difficult but possible," Wenger told, denying the Gunners would have a score to settle after their recent defeats to Barca in the competition.

"Revenge is not on my mind. We want to qualify and we want to knock them out. So is it difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Yes.

"Barcelona are certainly the favourites (for the competition) and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game," Wenger added.

In last season's tie, Arsenal fought back from 2-0 down at home to draw the first leg 2-2 and then took an improbable lead in the Nou Camp before Lionel Messi struck four times to seal a 4-1 victory.

Wenger believes his side have improved since last season.

"I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that," he said.

"(But) it is too early to speak about this game concretely. You can just speak about the draw. The whole context might be completely different in two months. We don't know what we will do and how we will feel."

While Arsenal were handed the toughest draw of the English clubs, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was adamant his team would not take anything for granted in their meeting with French side Marseille.

"Marseille are a handful at their own ground, their fantastic atmosphere and incredible support guarantees that," Ferguson told MUTV.

"They've had a good change in fortunes in the last two or three years, after a dry spell, and think it'll be a difficult tie.

"Didier Deschamps is the coach there, and they've got one of our old players in Gabriel Heinze so it'll be nice to see him."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp meanwhile said his side would relish the prospect of a return to the San Siro to face AC Milan after playing Inter Milan at the famous venue during the group phase.

"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," Redknapp said.

"A tough draw but it will be a great game. That's what you want. Great games."

Chelsea meanwhile were rewarded with the plum draw, a tie against minnows FC Copenhagen, the first Danish side ever to reach the last 16.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay insisted however there would be no complacency from the English champions however.

"There's no easy games at this stage and we'll be very careful," Gourlay told the club's website.

"They've played 10 games so far in the Champions league with qualifying, and were second to Barcelona, so they're a very, very good side and well clear in their domestic league."



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay
20 October 2015
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Roma, BayArena 20:45
BATE Borisov v Barcelona, Borisov Arena 20:45
Arsenal v FC Bayern Munchen, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Porto v Maccabi Tel Aviv, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Olympiakos, Maksimir 20:45
Valencia CF v KAA Gent, Mestalla 20:45
Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon, Petrovski Stadium 20:45
21 October 2015
CSKA Moscow v Manchester United, Arena Khimki 20:45
Manchester City v Sevilla, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Juventus v Borussia Monchengladbach, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 20:45
Malmo FF v Shakhtar Donetsk, Swedbank Stadion 20:45
Galatasaray v Benfica, Turk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atletico de Madrid v FC Astana, Vicente Calderon 20:45
VfL Wolfsburg v PSV, Volkswagen Arena 20:45
03 November 2015
FC Astana v Atletico de Madrid, Astana Arena 17:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Malmo FF, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Juventus, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Galatasaray, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow, Old Trafford 21:45
PSV v VfL Wolfsburg, Philips Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Manchester City, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
04 November 2015
FC Bayern Munchen v Arsenal, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v FC Porto, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v BATE Borisov, Camp Nou 21:45
Olympiakos v Dinamo Zagreb, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 21:45
KAA Gent v Valencia CF, Ghelamco Arena 21:45
Roma v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Olimpico 21:45
Lyon v Zenit St Petersburg, Stade de Gerland 21:45
Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Stamford Bridge 21:45
24 November 2015
BATE Borisov v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borisov Arena 19:00
Zenit St Petersburg v Valencia CF, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
FC Bayern Munchen v Olympiakos, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v Chelsea, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v Roma, Camp Nou 21:45
Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb, Emirates Stadium 21:45
FC Porto v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Lyon v KAA Gent, Stade de Gerland 21:45
25 November 2015
FC Astana v Benfica, Astana Arena 17:00
CSKA Moscow v VfL Wolfsburg, Arena Khimki 19:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Sevilla, Borussia-Park 21:45
Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v PSV, Old Trafford 21:45
Malmo FF v Paris Saint-Germain, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Atletico de Madrid v Galatasaray, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

/World Cup
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.