Champions League Draw: Arsenal vs Roma…

We will play AS Roma in the Champions League last 16. The draw took place at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland today and the draw in full is as follows:

Arsenal v AS Roma

Chelsea v Juventus
Villarreal v Panathinaikos
Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid v FC Porto
Lyon v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Liverpool
Inter Milan v Manchester United

The details of the games are:

1st leg
Arsenal v AS Roma
Tuesday 24th February 2009

Kick Off 7.45 (UK time)
At Emirates Stadium, London

2nd leg
AS Roma v Arsenal
Wednesday 11th March 2009
Kick Off 7.45 (UK time)
At Stadio Olimpico, Rome

So, Roma huh? I thought we’d get Barcelona. I really thought we would get Barce. There are some real crackers in the draw – Inter Milan under the guidance of Jose Mourinho versus Man United and of course, Real Madrid vs Liverpool. Amazing draw.

We’ve got Roma and they’re not easy – but I would have preferred them to Inter, Juve, Barce or Bayern. Even Pathaniakos would be harder than we think, so I’ll settle for Roma. But we’ll have to be at our best to beat them. Roma have played well this season – and are a much better team than the one that Man United beat 6 – 1. Totti is in the form of his life and players like Aqualini and De Rossi are really shining. They also boast former Gunner – Baptista and former Liverpool player Riise…

Charlie Nicholas has just been speaking about the draw on Sky Sports News and had this to say:

“It is a good draw for Arsenal. I was shaking my head because Barcelona were still in and I thought we were going to get them. Barcelona was a good one to avoid but it is still one of those games that will be awkward – we know that – but I think it is the type of team that suit the Arsenal.  Arsenal can pass and take their time. Roma are quiet a physical team when they have to be and can look after themselves.  Totti is their outstanding players, they have Riise who we know from Liverpool days as well as Batista who was at Arsenal for a loan period.”

Danny Fizman has been also been talking about the draw and has also insisted there is money to spend. We all “know” there is money to spend, but will it be spent or is Arsene saving up for a rainy day (aka “something special”)…

Mr Fizman said:

“I think it’s a good draw for us. We have stayed away from the favourites and we have also stayed away from Panathinaikos which would have meant a long trip for us. We have a good record against Roma, Thierry (Henry) scored a hat-trick there some six/seven years ago, so we are pleased with the draw. It’s the old cliché ‘there are no easy games’ and it isn’t an easy game, but you have to look beyond how strong or weak the team is – they’re all strong – and we looking purely at logistics.”

“It’s an exciting draw – exciting for our fans. I am happy that we are not playing Juventus because I believe they are in the process of rebuilding a new stadium and it’s limited capacity at the moment, so at least our fans will have the chance to go to Rome. Hopefully we will do it twice!”

Exciting times? Are you happy with the draw?]]>

  • pissed off

    < ![CDATA[What a draw, Amazing, absolutely amazing, Arsenal Roma will be really tight.

    The real deal for me will be Inter vs ManU. DEV thanks for ur info.]]>

  • zohaib

    hooooooooly

  • pissed off

    Why is the draw bw Premiership teams and Italian teams. Something must ve happened.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[is as roma a good draw ?

    would panathinaikos have been better for us ?]]>

  • Debs

    don’t think Panathinaikos would have been better, Zohaib, cos I think the players might have underestimated them. But I guess obviously Gilberto would have loved to play against us. i think Roma’s alright- not extremely difficult and not easy. Let’s see how the boys handle it I guess…

  • Fabrez!

    Really tasty draw…the other Prem teams have harder draws than us for sure…but Roma definitely have some quality about them…so we must be cautious yet confident, play our game and as Arsene wud say’ “express our strengths” lol But i think i’m happiest with this draw…i really really felt as if Henry was going to make a return to the Emirates for this draw but it’s good we don’t have to play them…well for now anyway! And Panathinaikos wud not have been better….agreed Debs…plus the distance would have been tough with domestic responisbilities being of utmost importance at that time too…less travelling the better.

  • Fabrez!

    I have the funny feeling that only 2 of the 4 English sides would make it to the next round…if all do, that wud b something!

  • Debs

    hopefully Fabrez, we’ll be one of the 2! I hope Real do one over Liverpool for us, although I wouldn’t mind us knocking them out ourselves in the next round!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[fabrez - keep in mind, even though the draws have been made today, the next round of matches is in feb, 2 months away. so who's to say henry wudnt have been injured had he been facing us.

    by the time we play the knockout stages, eduardo should be in some sort of form, hopefully. and walcott might just come back. rosicky'll probably miss both matches against roma. so provided we don't get more injuries, we should at least have no squad shortages. again hopefully.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[just read something on skysports. they'v stated that its The Daily Mail thats reporting that Lady Nina Bracewell Smith is shocked at the way the arsenal board has treated her and that she has been forced out.

    sounds like the media's up to its mischief again. dev you were right about the papers making it a huge deal. what do you think though ? any truth to the story ?

    also, danny fiszman's said we have money to spend in jan if wenger wants to. ooooooo ..............]]>

  • devday

    Apparently, it may be true – the story about Lady Bracewell-Smith being kicked off the board. Apparently, the reasons were due to footballing reasons – but ultimately, there is something weird going on upstairs.

  • raj

    Paris to your very dull reply on the proceedings on at arsenal i think Its a bit simplistic to say the title is there for the taking. There are no whipping boys in the league this year. On paper, the only area we are weaker is central mifield. Most people didn’t rate Hleb, so you can’t blame Wenger for selling him. Nasri looks a better player. Walcott is coming through, as is Djourou. Almunia is no worse than Lehmann. Its shades of grey really. If we could ever get our first XI out and playing for 10 games in a row, then who knows where we would be. Even the mighty spenders like Chelsea struggle with a big injury list.

  • ochko

    arsenal will win at 1st leg.i’m beleive.arsenal is world’s best team

  • Debs

    I hope this doesn’t filter down to the team, cos we’ve got enough problems as it is right now. It looks like our days as an English-owned club are numbered…

  • c.ronaldo

    < ![CDATA[what!!!!?????
    arsenal is good team.i always want to play against arsenal fc]]>

  • c.ronaldo

    hey Debs who r u

  • alessio

    < ![CDATA[hey guys so sure we are gonna be a "not so a difficult draw"...i'm a roma supporter and i'm very glad to face gunners, we'll go trough 4 sure,y just wanted to avoid spanish sides!
    arsenal is a good team but miss experience,the same we've got in the recent draws against MANU and we are strongers defenitely!
    i live in archway,close to emirates arena,i'll be inside that day...
    FORZA ROMA]]>

  • Fabrez!

    Yeah Zohaib…i see wat u mean with Henry. And now is sooooo not the time to be having drama upstairs… I remember how much similar drama affected Liverpool last season…we’ve got to ensure it doesn’t affect the the team but i’m thinkin AW is capable of preotecting the players…

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[I'm just glad we have avoided Barca for now.

    Roma will not be easy, but we know they are a team that likes to play football and that means these games will suit Arsenal.

    Last season Roma looked like contenders to win the league, but they went off the boil a bit (a little like us). This season they're not looking good in the league (mid-table) but they definately have the quality to come back into it (a little like us).

    Can't wait til Feb, might get some tickets for this one. Couldn't get near the Milan game last year!]]>

  • McClone

    Dev, you organising a WOA group excursion again?

  • devday

    Yes indeed. I missed the Milan away game last year – JAT and the gang went – they said it was absolutely crazy!

  • zohaib

    this is just brilliant. we’re having a rubbish season on the pitch anyways, and now there’s trouble in the boardroom. which may in turn affect the performance on the pitch against liverpool tomoro. just brilliant. wat else could go wrong ?! (usmanov buying us ? hopefully not)

  • Hmmm

    < ![CDATA[Arsene saving for a rainy day aka something special...

    well if that something special is a new yacht for his wife, then maybe, because it certainly isn't anyone with any kind of reputation to strenthen Arsenal.

    No depth to the squad
    No trophies in how long?
    Any chance of winning the CL...lol yea right!

    No Trophies...No Respect]]>

  • azad

    i am going for roma ya definitely….arsenal are very very strong at emirates,but second leg is really too much for them…roma may lose at emirates,but at olimpico roma will eventually do it..i think this is the toughest of all english oppositions