Last eight set sights on final four

AS Roma will attempt to avoid another miserable night against Manchester United FC while two other English clubs meet elsewhere in this week's quarter-final ties.

Cristiano Ronaldo holds off Alberto Aquilani during October's game at Old Trafford
Cristiano Ronaldo holds off Alberto Aquilani during October's game at Old Trafford ©Getty Images

AS Roma will attempt to avoid another miserable night against Manchester United FC while two other English clubs meet elsewhere in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first legs.

Unhappy memories
Roma fans could have been forgiven a groan when the last-eight draw paired them with United again. The two sides know each other well – both from this season's group stage and from last term's quarter-final tie when Roma won 2-1 at home only to crash 7-1 at Old Trafford, their heaviest defeat in UEFA competition.

Point to prove
The teams renew acquaintances at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday 1 April, with Giallorossi goalkeeper Doni confident of an improvement on last season. "That was a very bad game for us at Old Trafford, but this year we are different – we are more experienced," he said. "Five or six players in our squad really wanted to get United in order to gain revenge."

Schalke thrills
Also on Tuesday, UEFA Champions League knockout-stage debutants FC Schalke 04 entertain FC Barcelona in the only quarter-final without English involvement. Thrilled by his side's progress, Schalke coach Mirko Slomka said that facing Barcelona is a "super draw for the club and for the players". The winners of that contest will take on United or Roma in the semi-finals. The second legs of Tuesday's ties are scheduled for 9 April.

English affair
On Wednesday, the focus will switch to London where Arsenal FC host Liverpool FC in an all-Premier League showdown – for the fifth successive campaign, the UEFA Champions League has an English-only affair. This will be the 200th match between the two teams, but their first European encounter. Visiting manager Rafael Benítez said of the draw: "Playing the second game at home could be very positive for us, because whenever we play at Anfield, it is an inspiration to us."

Return dates
On the same night, Fenerbahçe SK welcome Chelsea FC to Istanbul, with the eventual victor destined to play Arsenal or Liverpool. The Turkish club may be new to the knockout rounds yet winger Uğur Boral has no fear. "We are talented, fit and strong, so there is no reason for us to fail," he said. The return legs of Wednesday's games will take place on 8 April, with the semi-finals to be held on 22/23 and 29/30 April.

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