Champions’ League quarter-finals draw

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
March 12th, 2004 • 12:53 am

Just how many times will Arsenal have to play the same teams over and over again this year?

After the ridiculous run of four games against Middlesborough (FA Cup, Carling Cup, and EPL) earlier this year, Arsenal, who qualified quite brilliantly for the Champions’ League quarter-finals earlier this week and have become the bookies’ favourites to win the trophy this year, have drawn Chelsea yet again.

This is really quite unfortunate! Not because it reduces Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals — after all, given their recent track record against their London rivals (they haven’t lost against them in 16 games), they have a good chance of beating them over two legs, with the second leg at home at Highbury. And Chelsea haven’t been nearly as impressive in the manner in which they qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions’ League themselves.

But Arsenal already played Chelsea twice in the EPL, of course, and also once in the FA Cup this year. They won all three games with a 2-1 score. Now they have to play them twice more. A draw against a foreign team would simply have been much more interesting. And it probably means that we won’t get to see the games here in Canada, since the coverage of the Champions’ League by our sports networks is extremely poor and usually focuses on Real Madrid or other Italian/Spanish teams.

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