Three matches stood out in particular following the UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon on Friday. Liverpool drew two-time Italian champion Inter Milan, Spanish champ Real Madrid was paired with Italian giant Roma, and EPL leader Arsenal will square off against World and European club champion AC Milan. The other second round matches are as follows: Manchester United-Lyon, Barcelona-Celtic, Chelsea-Olympiakos, Sevilla-Fenerbahce and FC Porto-Schalke. Reactions were mixed.
"If you want to win the Champions League, you have to knock big teams out, and Milan are a very big team," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "They are the world champions, the European champions, but I believe that we can do it." Opposite number Carlo Ancelotti sounded far more worried, calling Arsenal "one of the scariest sides in this draw," adding, "They are technically superior to Liverpool, but they don't have the same level of experience in this competition."
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry called the Reds' showdown with Inter "a big one," insisting there are no easy draws at this stage. His Inter counterpart, Ernesto Paolillo, described Liverpool as "the strongest team" the Italians could have drawn, adding, "The history is in favor of Liverpool but our team has been in good form so I hope we will be in the right condition to win this match."