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Champions League: Tough Draws for Liverpool, Real Madrid

The Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland, produced two standout matches for the tournament's second round. The headliner pits 2005 winner Liverpool against last year's champion Barcelona, while Real Madrid will play Bayern Munich for the 17th time in the competition. The English Premier League's other teams will be very satisfied with what appear to be easy draws: Manchester United faces French minnow Lille, Arsenal will travel to PSV Eindhoven, where the Gunners last won, 4-0, in 2002, and Chelsea heads to Portugal where Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho will face his old club FC Porto. Elsewhere, heavily favored Lyon has a tough draw against Serie A pretender AS Roma, while Inter Milan, Italy's runaway leader, will play host to injury-hit Valencia. Struggling AC Milan was dealt a seemingly kind draw against Scottish champ Celtic. "We are the last two European champions, and it will be an extraordinary series between the two teams," Barcelona president Joan Laporta told Antena 3 television after being drawn against Liverpool. "They also have players that we know very well, like Luis Garcia, who played with us, and Xabi Alonso. But we are the team to beat. Said Liverpool manager, "People are talking about Barcelona being the best team in the world at the moment. The positive thing is we have nothing to lose because people will expect them to win." The first leg of these ties will be held Feb. 21 and 22, with the return legs on March 6 and 7.

Read the whole story at Reuters UK »

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