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Arsenal could face Barcelona rematch

Arsenal beat Partisan Belgrade at the Emirates last night to ensure their place in the draw for the Champions League knockout stage next week where they could face a rematch with Barcelona.

Despite having Bacary Sagna sent off, The Gunners secured victory thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri which guaranteed the London club second place in Group H.

Arsene Wenger’s team will now join Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea in the business end of the Champions League. However, defeats to SC Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk mean that Arsenal could be drawn against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Schalke.

The Arsenal manager spoke about his preference: ‘There is a 50 per cent chance of travelling to Spain and a 50 per cent chance of travelling to Germany. If you ask me “'would you like to go?' I don’t know. You might prefer to go to Spain, for us not necessarily.’

‘Let’s be realistic, Barcelona are the super favourite at the moment but we take what we get and if it is Barcelona it is Barcelona. We have played them already last year and we’ll see.’

Arsenal will need to address their defensive frailties no matter what team comes out of the hat on Friday week. Partizan’s second-half equaliser underlined that Wenger has serious problems at the back.

Brazilian striker Cleo picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and had all the time in the world before firing a shot which deflected off Sebastien Squillaci and past the wrong-footed Lukasz Fabianski.

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