London, March 15: Arsenal have been drawn against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Champions League while Manchester United will face AS Roma a year after violence marred their stunning demolition of the Italian club in the same competition.
Chelsea were given the most favourable draw of the English clubs with a tie against Fenerbahce, while Barcelona play Schalke O4 in the remaining fixture. The draw means that Liverpool and Arsenal will play each other three times in succession at the start of April, with the quarter-final matches straddling a Premier League encounter at Highbury on April 5.
Arsenal will host the first leg of their match at the Emirates Stadium, while United and Chelsea have been given the slight advantage of second legs at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge respectively
Arsenal and Liverpool have never before faced each other in European competition, but the platform has been set for a familiar all-England semi-final.
Should the Anfield club and Chelsea make it through to the last four, they will face each other at that stage of the tournament for the third time in four years, with Rafael Benitez's side having won the past two meetings.
The quarter-final line-up
Arsenal v Liverpool
Roma v Manchester United
Schalke v Barcelona
Fenerbahce v Chelsea
If United see off Roma - who they thrashed 7-1 at Old Trafford in the last eight a year ago - they would take on the winner of Schalke versus Barcelona in the semi-finals.
The quarter-finals will be played on April 1/2 and 8/9.
Rick Parry, the Liverpool chief executive, admitted that Arsenal were not the team he had hoped to face. The clubs were the first two names out of the hat.
He said: “We"d hoped to avoid the English teams at this stage but statistically there were bound to be two coming together and unfortunately it"s us."
Parry does not expect the two games to differ from their league meetings. “It"ll be very similar," he added. “We know them extremely well and they know us.
“The three games are going to very, very tight. I don"t think the Champions League is going to be any different, it"s tough. We've successfully avoided a trip to Turkey, so that"s a bonus.