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New names set to grace big stage

Published: Thursday 6 April 2006, 12.55CET
The 2005/06 UEFA Champions League final will be a case of old against new after Arsenal FC and Villarreal CF both booked engagements in the last four.

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Published: Thursday 6 April 2006, 12.55CET

New names set to grace big stage

The 2005/06 UEFA Champions League final will be a case of old against new after Arsenal FC and Villarreal CF both booked engagements in the last four.

A new team will add their name to the list of clubs that have contested a UEFA Champions League final after Arsenal FC and Villarreal CF booked places in the last four.

Unfamiliar territory
Regular participants in the competition, Arsenal had never been beyond the quarter-finals before finally breaking their duck in their eight successive campaign, with an impressive 2-0 aggregate win against Juventus. By contrast, semi-final opponents Villarreal have wasted little time in getting to grips with the format, progressing to the last four in their debut season after beating another Italian outfit, FC Internazionale Milano.

Old hands
Arsenal will have home advantage in the first leg on 19 April, a day after 1992 European champions FC Barcelona tackle six-time winners AC Milan at the San Siro. Both those sides were forced to work hard for their places, Barça seeing off a tenacious SL Benfica with a 2-0 victory, while the Rossoneri came within two minutes of elimination against Olympique Lyonnais. Late goals from Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko sealed a dramatic triumph, however, meaning the final will be a case of old versus new.

2005/06 UEFA Champions League
Semi-finals
1st leg 18 April; 2nd leg 26 April
2 AC Milan (ITA) v FC Barcelona (ESP)

1st leg 19 April; 2nd leg 25 April
1 Arsenal FC (ENG) v Villarreal CF (ESP)

Final
Stade de France, Paris
Wednesday 17 May
Winner semi-final 2 v Winner semi-final 1
Last updated: 06/04/06 13.41CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=411549.html#new+names+grace+stage

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