It's been a busy morning and we've all joined forces on the previous posts, whilst the draw was revealed and partaken in the nail biting slow one by one selection.
So we've got Villareal, and I have to say I am happy with the tie, no doubt. Villareal and Porto were the two weakest teams in the last 8 and Villareal probably weaker than Porto, so we've got a good deal. We do have to tendancy to not play well when we're favourites but this year I think we've learnt a lot. We've nearly been out of the Champions League when we really should have sown it up - we've nearly been languishing 5th and somehow got back to 4th in the league.
This draw is a draw in our favour. Yes, we can beat Villareal and yes I believe, Manchester United will beat Porto. So that would leave a mouth-watering tie against Manchester United in the semi-finals of the Champions League. It will be epic.
Ivan Gazidis was the first to speak about it...
“Villarreal are going to be a real challenge. We have a young team, and we believe in the quality of our team, but every step in this journey is a challenge for us. We are laser-focused on the next round. We think we can get a result, but when we played them in 2006 we only just squeaked by. It will be a difficult test.
“The one thing we do believe in is not just the quality of the team, but also the character of our team. I think we saw that in the really difficult environment in Rome. Young player after young player made their penalty kicks when they had to. And we will have to draw on those reserves of character to get past Villarreal.
“We have never lost belief in ourselves. We have a superb group of young players. We still believe there is a potential for a really great season for us. We can beat anybody on our day. But we can’t think beyond Villarreal. We will worry about the next step if we can get by the Yellow Submarine.
“In 2006 we missed out on this trophy by a nose. It might be our year this year. But it is not going to happen just because we want it to. Don’t underestimate the depth of character we have.”
Put all of this in your diary!
Quarter Finals: 1st leg
Villarreal CF v Arsenal
At Estadio El Madrigal
Tuesday 7th April 2009
Quarter Final: 2nd leg
Arsenal v Villarreal CF
At Emirates Stadium
Wednesday 15th April 2009
and the dates and times for the semi’s are:
Semi Final: 1st leg
Manchester United v Arsenal
Wednesday 29th April 2009
Semi Final: 2nd leg
Arsenal v Manchester United
Tuesday 5th May 2009
All matches kick off 19.45 UK time]]>