Team Matchups Released Today for Knockout Round of UEFA Champions League

NYON Switzerland - 12/17/04 - (From UEFA.Com) - The draw for the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League was one of the most memorable in years with three of the eight ties featuring two former winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup.

The first-leg matches will be played on February 22 & 23 with the return legs on March 8 & 9.

The first knockout round will be followed by the quarter-finals semi-finals and then the final which will take place in Istanbul Turkey on May 25.

2004/05 UEFA Champions League - First knockout round.Team named first play at home in first leg.
1. Real Madrid CF v Juventus FC
2. FC Porto v FC Internazionale Milano
3. FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC
4. Werder Bremen v Olympique Lyonnais
5. Liverpool FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
6. PSV Eindhoven v AS Monaco FC
7. Manchester United FC v AC Milan
8. FC Bayern München v Arsenal FC

Check out the matchups below as previews the action with quotes from the different clubs! And then scroll to the bottom of this page for interesting facts and figures. (The teams named first will play at home in first leg.)

Manchester United FC v AC Milan
"You'd have to go a long way to find a more exciting prospect than Manchester United versus AC Milan. It's been a long time since we played Milan in a competitive game. I think it was in 1968/69 after we'd won the European Cup. We've had good results in recent years against Italian clubs. I just hope we can carry this forward against Milan. When we won the European Cup in 1999 we played two Italian teams at home in the first leg and still got through."
- United secretary Ken Merrett.

"It will be a tough game because they're a great team but it will be nice to go back to Old Trafford where we won the Champions League in 2003 and try to make another good memory there. But the first reaction is they're a great team one of the biggest in Europe if not the world."
- Milan director Umberto Gandini.

FC Bayern München v Arsenal FC
"We have fond memories of Arsenal because we drew with them at Highbury and beat them in the Olympiastadion in 2001 when we went on to win the competition. It will be a testing encounter and we are looking forward to the match."
- Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"The draw could have been easier although I don't think Bayern were the strongest side we could have faced. It will be particularly interesting for Jens Lehmann our [German] goalkeeper and I'm sure he can give us a few pointers as to what we can expect from Bayern. We're both big clubs and ideally we would have met at a later stage but I'm sure the manager will be confident we can win the match and make it through to the last eight."
- Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein

Real Madrid CF v Juventus FC
"Madrid were one of the teams we didn't want to play. I hope they didn't want to play us either. It is going to be very difficult. They are a team of many talents. We have met many times before and lost the final to them in 1998. It is a clash of two of the strongest teams. Maybe the final has come too early this season."
- Juventus vice-president Roberto Bettega.

"This encounter has all the ingredients of a final. I am sure it will be a hugely attractive match for fans and players alike. Of course it presents a huge challenge but I am sure our players will rise to it. Both clubs have met on numerous occasions over recent years. Two seasons ago they defeated us in the semi-finals but in 1998 we beat them in the final. In 1996 they knocked us out in the quarter-finals. In short we know each other very well."
- Madrid sporting director Emilio Butragueño.

FC Porto v FC Internazionale Milano
"There are five or six big matches in this round and this is one of them. I think it will be a spectacular game with a lot of goals in two amazing venues: the Estádio do Dragão and the San Siro. Inter are a big European club with great attacking talent and fantastic players."
- Porto coach Víctor Fernández.

"It will be a great match. They have had a lot of changes since last season but let's see what happens between now and February. Our mentality works better in the Champions League than in Serie A because in Italy we play teams who are better prepared tactically and we can't achieve the same results that we have had in the Champions League."
- Inter president Giacinto Facchetti.

FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC
"It's a very very attractive draw. Just imagine how this match is going to appeal to the people who will be coming to watch both games. It's a shame we have to wait until February because I could play a match like this tomorrow. But it's also good that we will have some time to rest and study them a little."
- Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández.

"It's the draw José Mourinho wanted. It will be an emotional time to go and visit his old club. It should be particularly interesting for the two players from our club who played with Deco at Porto last season [Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira]. They may be able to give an insight into how to stop Deco. Chelsea always play well away so it's good to have the first game away from home to start the fixture off well. But we do not fear anyone."
- Chelsea club secretary David Barnard.

Werder Bremen v Olympique Lyonnais
"Lyon are an experienced Champions League side. They haven't managed to go all the way yet but they have still made a name for themselves. It won't be easy but we knew that before the draw. We are happy with the draw even though I would have liked to take on one of the English teams."
- Bremen captain Frank Baumann.

"Bremen is an exciting draw for everyone because they knocked us out of the last 16 in the UEFA Cup five years ago. We won 3-0 in Lyon but they beat us 4-0 at their place in the return. That elimination has left its mark. We also met them in a friendly before the start of the season. We led 3-0 but they came back to draw 3-3 with the help of a magnificent goal from [Johan] Micoud."
- Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Liverpool FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
"We are happy enough. We don't fear any team at this stage. Hopefully we can do a bit better against Leverkusen than the last time we played them. It is not easy but I'm pleased we didn't get one of the Italian clubs. It is a massive boost to be through to last 16. People have been talking about finances but it is a pure football boost. It keeps the second half of the season alive."
- Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry.

"We all still remember the tie against Liverpool in 2001/02 when we won 4-2 at home in the quarter-finals. It was a great game for us and for the fans. I am really looking forward to the match because playing at Anfield is always something special."
- Leverkusen captain Jens Nowotny.

PSV Eindhoven v AS Monaco FC
"If I had been asked before the draw I would have chosen Monaco or Leverkusen. I have seen Monaco on television and I think it will be a difficult match. But I would prefer to play them than Chelsea or an Italian side. This is a positive draw. No doubt we will be learning about them in the next few weeks."
- PSV defender Wilfred Bouma.

"At this stage there are no small teams. I will tell you whether it was a good draw after the second leg. We are going to have to play to the absolute best of our abilities. There is no room for error. But there are teams like Bayern Real Madrid and Barcelona who would have worried us more so PSV is an excellent draw."
- Monaco vice-president Gérard Brianti

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The league leaders in England and Spain will meet in the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League after Chelsea FC were paired with FC Barcelona.

Chelsea have never won the European Champion Clubs' Cup but were rated favourites to lift the trophy in Istanbul after being galvanised by José Mourinho - the man who steered FC Porto to an unexpected triumph in this competition last season. Their ambitions will face a stern test however as Barça have a nine-point lead in the Primera División and look well placed to repeat their European Cup success of 1992.

The draw in Nyon Switzerland threw up a number of other fascinating draws not least the coming together of Real Madrid CF and a Juventus FC team coached by former Santiago Bernabéu incumbent Fabio Capello and AC Milan against Manchester United FC. "We've never played against them under my tenure and it should be a great match said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Arsenal FC goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will come face to face with his rival for the Germany No. 1 jersey FC Bayern München's Oliver Kahn after the English champions were paired with the Bundesliga leaders while Liverpool FC drew the side which knocked them out at the quarter-final stage in 2002 Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Porto avoided becoming the first Champions League winners to fail to negotiate the next season's group stage as Benni McCarthy revived their campaign with an 86th-minute goal against Chelsea on Matchday 6. Their reward is a tie against fellow two-time winners FC Internazionale Milano who are unbeaten this season.

French champions Olympique Lyonnais take on their German counterparts Werder Bremen while 2004 runners-up AS Monaco FC's tie against PSV Eindhoven completes the draw. Teams who met in the group stage or those from the same country could not be drawn together.

With their neighbours Milan also playing at home in their return match Inter's second leg will be staged a week later on March 15 as UEFA rules do not allow for two games in the same stadium on consecutive days.


Saturday, September 16