When Barcelona's name came out of that UEFA Champions League draw ball, there would have been a little "Oh man, not again" -- or the French equivalent of the expression â€“ from Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager would have then consigned and convinced himself of a possible way out against Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, but the initial reaction would have been along the "Oh man" lines.
At the other end of the spectrum, though, you would believe the Barcelona players and manager would not have been too worried drawing Arsenal, considering their previous results against the English Premier League club in the Champions League.
Barcelona have beaten Arsenal in the Champions League final, quarterfinal and last 16 in the recent past, and with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in the lineup, there really is nothing that should instil fear in this side.
However, celebrating and fist-bumping after drawing Arsenal in the last 16 might be considered a step too far, and possibly one that leads to eating some humble pie. That, though, was precisely the reaction from the Barcelona squad after drawing Arsenal in the first knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, according to the Metro, who quote the Mundo Deportivo.
The Daily Mirror also quoted a Barcelona insider as saying the club were pretty happy to draw Arsenal, and with it avoid PSG and Juventus, who were given last 16 ties against Chelsea and Bayern Munich respectively.
"This is the draw we wanted," the insider told the Mirror. "We did not want to play Paris or Juve -- but this is more straight-forward. We feel we have dodged a bullet."
Barcelona will obviously start as the heavy favourites, but as Arsenal showed in the group stage victory over Bayern Munich, they do have the defensive discipline to hold off wave after wave of attacks, while being lethal on the counter-attack.
Keeping that discipline over two legs, though, will not be easy, and that in the end could prove to be Arsenal's downfall, yet again, in this round of the Champions League.