Football

Wenger has no ulterior motive

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Arsene Wenger insists "revenge is not on my mind" after his Arsenal side were drawn against the Barcelona side who destroyed them in the Champions League last season.

The Gunners' manager and players had spoken of their desire for a rematch with the much-admired Catalans, and their wish was granted in the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Wenger said: "Revenge is not on my mind. We want to qualify and we want to knock them out. So is it difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Yes."

Tottenham also face a stiff test, against AC Milan, in their first experience of the knockout rounds while Chelsea were given arguably the easiest draw of the round against Danish champions FC Copenhagen, and Manchester United will play Marseille.

The other ties see Lyon take on Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, and there will be a repeat of last season's final when Inter Milan, now managed by Rafael Benitez, face Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Valencia will play Schalke and Roma have to overcome Shakhtar Donetsk.

Arsenal v Barcelona is the outstanding tie of the round, on paper at least, and Wenger said added: "Barcelona are certainly the favourites [for the competition] and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game.

"I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that."

The match will also give Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas the chance to face his former club at the Nou Camp - he missed the away leg last year with a cracked bone in his fibula.

Spurs were top scorers in the group stage but in Milan they will face a side currently six points clear at the top of Serie A and with plenty of Champions League experience in their ranks.

Harry Redknapp has already seen his team see off holders Inter in their group, and the Tottenham manager said: "They are leading the league in Italy but it has the makings of a great game over two legs."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
European News
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
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