Benfica/Liverpool v Valencia/Atletico
Hamburg/Standard Liege v Fulham/Wolfsburg
Payback time for Champions League '05-06. That'll do, especially since I was convinced Liverpool would face Atletico or Valencia. We'll have to wait for the semis for that one, if Liverpool can replicate yesterday's result.
Could be worse, but could be a lot easier as well. Liverpool's side of the bracket looks far more ferocious. Angel Di Maria is one of the hottest wingers in the world. Pablo Aimar, whom Benitez knows well, is a perpetual danger. Oscar Cardozo is a dangerous striker and free kick specialist. Ramires is a beast of a midfielder. This article, from Zonal Marking (which absolutely everyone should be reading), makes me even more nervous.
I saw most of the Marseille/Benfica match yesterday, and I was massively impressed with Benfica's late fight back. Even though Marseille scored first, in the 70th at home and with an away goal advantage, only one team looked like winning, and Benfica did so with two goals in the last 15 minutes.
And then, if Liverpool manage to go through, there'll be Atletico or Valencia, with Kun Aguero or David Villa waiting in the wings. Of course, the year Liverpool drops to the Europa League, it's absolutely stacked.
At least Liverpool is at Anfield for the second leg in both the quarters and semis (again, if Liverpool advance). The QFs take place 4/1 and 4/8.
For shits and giggles, here's the CL Draw as well:
Inter/CSKA Moscow v Arsenal/Barcelona
Bayern/Man United v Lyon/Bordeaux
Lovely. Another year where the Mancs get a yellow brick road to the Finals. Probably the only English team happy with their draw. Grrr. Naturally, I blame Platini.