Arsenal chief admits Barca was worst draw

Date published: Monday 14th December 2015 1:53

Arsenal Football365

Drawing Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League was the worst case scenario for most Arsenal fans, admits the club’s secretary.

The Gunners have beaten the defending champions just once in seven meetings and even that was not enough to prevent an aggregate defeat in the knockout stages in 2011, their most recent encounter.

“On the back of the great win in Athens we were hoping for a good draw today and I think it’s the tie of the round,” Miles told BT Sport.

“It’s not going to be easy and it’s the team that most Arsenal fans would have wanted to avoid at this stage but it’s up to us to make a good fist of it.

“We’ve got our own world-class players and certainly we’ll go in for this.

“It should be two fantastic games and we’re very much looking forward to it.”

Barcelona director Albert Soler is looking forward to a feast of football over the two legs.

“Football fans will enjoy themselves, we’re two sides that play similar styles with a similar understanding of the game,” he told UEFA.com.

“They will be two great games. We must have maximum respect for Arsenal, they’re a great side and although we will have a difficult task facing us, it will be a guaranteed spectacle of football.

“Arsenal are not the favourites here but we do not consider ourselves outright favourites either. We are not taking anything for granted in this fixture.”

Former Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain admits he was thankful his current employers Manchester City were guaranteed to miss out on a reunion with the Catalans as both progressed as group winners.

Instead City got Dynamo Kiev, where the away leg will be played behind closed doors due to UEFA racism sanctions.

“I was so happy this morning knowing that we wouldn’t have Barcelona again!” Begiristain told Eurosport.

“There is a great danger when you go to a draw – Dynamo Kiev they have been in a very tough group phase with Porto and Chelsea.

“They have shown they are a good team and for us the challenge is to improve in this competition and move forward.”

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