Arsenal drawn with Barca again

NYON - European champions Inter Milan will play Bayern Munich in a repeat of last season's final following the draw for the first knockout round of the Champions League on Friday.

Inter beat Bayern 2-0 in Madrid with two goals from Diego Milito to clinch their first European crown for 45 years but struggled in this season's group stage, qualifying for the last 16 as a runner-up. Bayern topped their group with five wins out of six.

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Club president Massimo Moratti told reporters in Abu Dhabi: "We have met Bayern many times, it's an historic battle, but it's too soon to judge.

"Last season we got through past English and Spanish teams, and this time we start with Bayern, we'll see what form we'll be in."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, club CEO, said: "Inter are an extremely difficult draw, the most difficult I would have to say.

"But it will be an attractive duel. Maybe we could take revenge for the defeat in May."

The other stand-out tie paired this season's favourites Barcelona with Arsenal - the team they beat 6-3 on aggregate in last season's quarter-finals.

Barcelona, who also beat Arsenal in the 2006 final, drew 2-2 in London last season before Lionel Messi demolished the Premier Leaguer side, scoring all four goals in Barca's 4-1 second leg win at the Nou Camp.

Sports director Andoni Zubizarreta told Gol television: "It will be a very level tie with Arsenal with no clear favourite.

"Cesc (Fabregas) hasn't returned to play at the Nou Camp since he left so it is an opportunity for him. We know him well but he will be defending the colours of Arsenal as captain."

Arsenal Club Secretary David Miles said: "Barcelona are probably the form team in Europe at the moment.

"We are looking forward to two good games, two good teams playing attacking football.

"The last couple of times we played them they've got the better of us so hopefully we can turn the tables."

Real Madrid, the nine-times winners, face Olympique Lyon again after losing to the French side at the same stage last season.

Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas told Eurosport: "Our previous encounters with Real Madrid have often allowed Lyon to get through. But Real are a different team this year. It is a difficult draw in a different context.

"It will be a tactical match because Real Madrid are playing at home in the second leg.

"I think Lyon will be stronger in February and I am convinced we will play our part in the Champions League."

Tottenham Hotspur will return to the San Siro to face AC Milan, after finishing ahead of Inter in the group phase.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri told Milan's TV channel: "Tottenham are definitely a good side but among th