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Arsenal Faces Milan in Champions League; Barca Plays Bayer

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Defending champion Barcelona will play Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan faces Arsenal in the Champions League after today’s draw for the round of 16.

Chelsea, the only other English team left after Manchester City and Manchester United were eliminated, meets Napoli. Record nine-time champion Real Madrid travels to Moscow for the first of its two-match showdown with CSKA.

“We have to break our bad tradition with Arsenal and especially with England clubs,” Milan director Umberto Gandini said after the teams were paired. Milan, a seven-time champion, was eliminated by the Gunners the last time the teams met in 2008. “It’s an exciting fixture and we are very determined.”

Arsenal’s run against Italian teams means it will enter the matches with conviction, said club secretary David Miles. “We have a good record against Italian clubs, having knocked out Roma and Inter, including a 5-1 win in San Siro. It’s going to be tough but we’re confident,” he said.

Chelsea, a finalist in 2008, faces in Napoli a team that finished ahead of Premier League leader Manchester City in the group phase.

Inter Milan, champion two seasons ago, plays Marseille and Cyprus’ APOEL will play Lyon. Zenit St. Petersburg takes on Benfica and Basel, which eliminated Manchester United, hosts Bayern Munich.

The two-game round, which matches the winners and runners-up of the group stage, will be played in February and March. The runners-up host the opening match, with the group winners hosting the deciding game.


     RUNNERS UP                     GROUP WINNERS
     AC Milan           vs          Arsenal
     Lyon               vs          APOEL
     Napoli             vs          Chelsea
     Basel              vs          Bayern
     Leverkusen         vs          Barcelona
     CSKA Moscow        vs          Real Madrid
     Zenit              vs          Benfica
     Marseille          vs          Inter Milan

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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